This month:

Gathering Review: For the past 40 years, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has been a club of kindred spirits, where people can come together to celebrate the finest whisky in great company. September is a month to practise what we preach, with our annual Gathering celebrations. And in our 40th anniversary year, we went bigger and bolder than ever before, as the Society’s Mhairi Mitchell reports.

A 40-year-old legacy: As we head towards the end of our 40th anniversary celebrations, we’re preparing to release one of our oldest whiskies. Cask. No: 12.79 was laid down to mature in 1983, the year the Society began.

Maverick history – a single cask spirits journey: Two decades ago, it was unheard of for the Society to bottle anything other than cask strength whisky. Now as the SMWS celebrates its 40th anniversary, the Single Cask Spirit range is a core pillar in the Society’s flavour offerings. Society writer Julien Willems shares the journey of how this came to be.

On the road with Olaf in China: Olaf Meier has been a member of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society since 1992, an ambassador and Tasting Panel participant for 20 years and chairperson for 12 of those – but he’d never presented a whisky tasting in China. That all changed in August when he travelled to represent the Society at WhiskyL, the country’s largest whisky festival, as well as a series of tastings and masterclasses in Shanghai and beyond. Unfiltered asked Olaf to tell members about his experience.

Maverick tasting – float away: Whisky has always held a close relationship with our senses. From nosing an alluring dram after carefully analysing its golden hue, to embracing the first burst of flavour to reach our palates as we compare notes with the flamboyant descriptions from the Tasting Panel. But what happens when we are completely stripped of all of our senses? Society writer Duncan Gorman decided to take the plunge…

Classic cocktails: While we’re all about the unconventional, there’s beauty in the simplicity of a classic cocktail. Adding a Society whisky or spirit to these favourites brings a new element of flavour and you can make all of them in less than three steps. Add these drinks to your autumn dinner parties or come and see Simone Malavolta, Jakub Niziolek and the team at our London Members’ Room and try these classics for yourself.

Distillery profile – Warenghem (Armorik whisky): The region of Britanny in northwest France and the Highlands of Scotland have more in common that you might imagine. Building upon this connection in the modern day, Warenghem distillery has development a diverse single malt whisky inspired by Scotch and the unrelenting spirit of the Celtic Sea, as Society writer Julien Willems explains.

SMWS tastings – on the road: Every month we set out from our spiritual home at The Vaults in Edinburgh to take our tastings outside of our Members’ Rooms and on the road across the UK. As the Society’s Anthony Delcros explains, tasting events are hosted by an enthusiastic and passionate team of SMWS ambassadors, who bring not only entertainment and product knowledge, but also the care, sense of community and passion that has brought us all together since 1983.

Share a dram with…Johnny Love, Venue manager, 40 Bath Street, Glasgow: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has a new manager at our Members’ Room at 40 Bath Street in the centre of Glasgow! Johnny Love takes over from Calum Lawson, who has joined the Society’s Spirits Team. Johnny has worked in various hospitality roles in Glasgow and is excited to meet members at the Society’s home on the west side of Scotland’s Central Belt.

Whisky history – ghostly spirits: As we edge closer towards Hallowe’en and the nights turn darker, Gavin D Smith turns his attention to the spookier side of whisky distilleries, where more than one kind of spirit has been detected over the years.