Highlights online this month include:

  • A year of whisky adventures: Welcome to 2022, and a whole new year of whisky-inspired entertainment. We asked Moa Nilsson to pick out the events and occasions throughout the next 12 months that give us an excuse to raise a glass, explore our wider whisky world and savour suitable drams from the Society along the way. Get your calendars ready!
  • New member guide: You’ve received the card and have the badge to prove it. You’re a member of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Welcome! By now you’ll hopefully have read our special welcome issue of Unfiltered magazine about all things Society, from our manifesto and our history to the story of our founder, Pip Hills. Mads Schmoll has created this a Society one-pager with some of the more common questions and answers we get, along with tips from some of our long-standing members.
  • Where flavour comes alive – Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits: Over the next 12 months, the Society’s Julien Willems is taking us on a deep and delicious dive into each of the Society’s 12 flavour profiles. What better place to start than the perfect dram to warm up a chilly January day, with Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits.
  • Column – Oor Rabbie and the Guid Scots Tongue: Performing the work of Robert Burns as a youngster awoke a passion for Scots in poet Len Pennie, whose own work is helping a new generation appreciate a neglected and even derided language. As she writes, the Scots language did not die with the Bard – but it needs to be treated with respect.
  • Whisky and Burns: In his comparatively short life, Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns experienced huge changes in the production of the country’s national drink, asGavin D Smith reports.
  • Fair fa’ your online face! Last year under lockdown conditions, Alistair Heather gathered some advice about how to make the most of Burns Night, even when we couldn’t get together with friends and family in person. Here’s his guide to hosting a digital Burns supper with people far and near.
  • Industry insider Ian MacMillan: From taking on a summer job at Glengoyne distillery as a student to spending almost five decades in the industry, Ian MacMillan has come a long way in the whisky world. Unfiltered editor Richard Goslan caught up with the roving whisky consultant in the Society’s Members’ Room in Glasgow to find out more.
  • Knowledge – Buying a cask: Thinking about buying a cask of whisky as an investment? Tom Bruce-Gardyne says it might be time to think again – unless you’re more interested in the liquid than the asset.
  • Member story: One of the things we love about our whisky community is meeting kindred spirits and being introduced to their stories through our ambassadors who host tastings in Members’ Rooms, partner bars, hotels, distilleries and sometimes even trains. If you’ve ever gazed out the window of a train reflectively (perhaps with a dram in hand) and dreamt of the day when rail journeys were the only way to travel, read on!
  • Share a dram with… Kai Ivalo, SMWS Spirits Director.
  • Partner bar – The New Union, Kendal: The New Union in the Cumbrian town of Kendal in the Lake District is reason enough to visit this beautiful corner of northwest England. SMWS ambassador Lee ‘Connas’ Connor paid a visit to one of the Society’s newest partner bars to find out more.
Read the full issue