Highlights online this month include:

  • Love (for whisky) is blind: As we gaze longingly towards spring, February brings the opportunity to look at a new way of falling in love with flavour. Blind tastings offer the chance to hone your senses without any preconceived notions – depending of course on how you structure them. Mads Schmoll asked our ambassadors around the world for their top tips on how to make the most of this style of tasting and what revelations it has inspired for them.
  • Where flavour comes aliveSweet, Fruity & Mellow: Ready for a tropical and adventure, with notes of vanilla, custard, citrus, orchard and stone fruits, mango and pineapple? Sweet, Fruity & Mellow is the flavour profile for you. Julien Willems delves into where these enticing aromas come from and what leads the Society’s Tasting Panel to place a single malt in this category.
  • News and events round-up: The Society has been active around the world over the festive season – here’s a flavour of what’s been going on at the world’s most entertaining whisky club.
  • Happy New Year of the Tiger: The Chinese New Year of the Tiger falls on Tuesday, 1 February. We asked our ambassador Freddie Xiang in Shanghai to let us know more about how the occasion is celebrated, and how whisky plays an increasingly important role.
  • Whisky history – For the love of Cardhu: Passionate about family and making fine whisky, the Cummings of Cardow (Cardhu) distilled for more than a century and were a well-loved part of the Speyside community, finds Gavin D Smith.
  • Distiller profile – Dr Emma Walker: The way Dr Emma Walker describes it, her ascent from starting out as a chemist to becoming master blender at whisky giant Diageo has been something of a ‘lucky path’ – but undoubtedly with sizeable amounts of hard work, determination and ambition spurring her on to fill the shoes of outgoing whisky mentor, Dr Jim Beveridge OBE.
  • Member profile – Tyler Lunceford: SMWS member Tyler Lunceford shares his passion for Ducati motorbikes with whiskies at the more robust end of the Society’s spectrum of flavour profiles. Tom Bruce-Gardyne paid a visit to Tyler’s Leith workshop to find out more.
  • Knowledge – a question of texture: It’s common to reach for far-flung metaphors and similes when we nose a whisky and attempt to describe its aromas – but so much of the pleasure of a dram comes from simply how it feels on the palate, finds Tom Bruce-Gardyne.
  • From the vaults – a passion bottled: One of the whisky world’s greatest love stories concerns young Rita Cowan from Kirkintilloch, who fell in love with her family’s Japanese lodger Masataka Taketsuru and played a key role in his dream of creating a little bit of Scotland in Japan. Richard Goslan told their remarkable story in Unfiltered issue 46 from February 2020.
  • Share a dram with…Dean Marinello, SMWS The Vaults.
  • Partner Bar – Websters: Sydney is lucky enough to be home to four Society partner bars — the largest number of any city ‘down under’. The latest venue to be able to name itself an official partner bar of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is Websters – a three-storey powerhouse that quite literally has something for everyone, as Adam Ioannidis reports.
Read the full issue