Highlights online this month include:

  • Get ready to gather: The arrival of September can only mean one thing – it’s time for the Society’s annual Gathering, when we bring members together in the UK and around the world to share their passion for amazing whisky, firm friendships and all the good things in life. Wherever you are, there are plenty of opportunities to join the fun and capture the flavour of events.
  • Where flavour comes alive – Lightly Peated: September has come and the summer heat is behind us, so gather round our seaside campfire. Are you comfortably seated? Julien Willems embarks on a story of the Society’s trio of Peated flavour profile whiskies, a topic that will keep us busy through the short-lived autumn and into the threshold of Scotland’s night-soaked winter. Put your marshmallows on a stick and toast them over the coals, enjoy a skewer of flame grilled salmon or a slice or two of pata negra. Wash all it down with a cup of lapsang souchong and let us celebrate the flame that keeps us all going into endless new flavourful adventures.
  • Distillery profile – Campbeltown rising: The region once known as ‘Whiskyopolis’ has suffered from a dire lack of distilleries for decades. As Tom Bruce-Gardyne reports, that’s all about to change with not one but two new ventures confirmed in or around Campbeltown. Tom caught up with the team from R&B Distillers to find out more about their plans for Machrihanish distillery.
  • Industry Insider – Stuart MacPherson, Master of Wood: From a summer job as a schoolboy to more than four decades in the Scotch whisky industry, it has been quite a journey for Stuart MacPherson. As he calls time on his role as Macallan’s Master of Wood, Unfiltered editor Richard Goslan caught up with Stuart to find out more about his life’s work in the world of wood.
  • One of a kind – Glittering Edge: It’s comforting to know that after providing so much influence on the quality of a well-matured whisky, a cask can go on to have an afterlife as a work of art. From his workshop close to The Vaults in Leith, bladesmith and swordmaker Greg Marr tells Moa Nilsson how an exhausted cask can live on to make the perfect sgian dubh, the ceremonial knife worn with the kilt.
  • Share a dram with…Dave Broom: Whisky writer Dave Broom is back with a new work exploring the story of Scotland’s whisky history, the spirit’s importance within the country’s culture and the diverse landscapes that it comes from. Mads Schmoll sat down with Dave at The Vaults to find out more.
  • The Vaults – From monks to modern times: The Vaults is where the Society was founded and continues to call home. But as SMWS founder Pip Hills writes, its history in the wine and spirits business dates back to medieval times.
  • From the vaults – Leith’s liquid history: As the Gathering gets underway this month at The Vaults in Leith and at the Society’s many other Members’ Rooms and partner bars across the world, we revisit our tour of Leith in 2019 with SMWS member and whisky historian Justine Hazlehurst to uncover some of the area’s fascinating whisky stories.
  • Knowledge – All about aroma: Scientist and SMWS member Aidan Kirkwood has had a lifelong fascination with aromatics, which has led him to explore exactly what’s going on to create the powerful flavour associations from our glasses of whisky. As he explains to Tom Bruce-Gardyne, it’s all about chemistry and compounds – and context.
  • SMWS Spain and La Whiskeria partner bar, Barcelona: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has now landed in Spain, with partner bars opening in Barcelona and Madrid. Unfiltered editor Richard Goslan paid a visit to the Society’s inaugural event at Barcelona partner bar La Whiskeria to find out what’s in store.
Read the full issue