SMWS unveils anniversary single cask whiskies

by Amy Hopkins

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has enlisted Charles MacLean to select a batch of 21 single cask bottlings to mark its 35th anniversary.

Whisky expert and writer MacLean was joined by the SMWS’s tasting panel to sample and select the single casks over the course of one day. MacLean has also compiled tasting notes for the range of whiskies, which are aged from eight to 29 years. “In keeping with the way the society has always sought to unearth whisky casks that are hidden gems, I was looking for samples of distinction,” said MacLean. “We came across many samples that were okay, but not yet ready for bottling. We were hunting for whiskies that were unusually good examples of the distillery character.” The whiskies will be exclusively available for society members to purchase from July. Eight of the bottles will be exclusively available to UK members. The SMWS is also launching two special membership offers for whisky fans keen to buy any of the whiskies in the range. “Ever since the society was set up in 1983, we’ve always looked to do things differently and seek out the most amazing whiskies for our members,” said Euan Campbell, SMWS spirits manager. "Having a whisky legend like Charlie choose these whiskies is a perfect example of what makes being a member of the society such a special experience.” A long-time supporter of the SWMS, in 2016, MacLean curated a list of 30 discontinued whiskies for the society's Kaleidoscope bar in Edinburgh. In October last year, the SMWS moved into Indian whisky for the first time.