This month:

Record breakers! The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has set a world record for the biggest online whisky tasting, with Society drams being shared simultaneously in more than 15 countries around the world.

Sherry week – From Spain to Scotland: As we celebrate ‘Sherry Week’ and the huge role that the Spanish wine has played in the whisky world, Gavin D Smith digs into Leith’s history with wine in general, and sherry in particular.

Vaults refurbishment: Many have waited anxiously over the summer months in anticipation of seeing the transformation of the Society’s spiritual home, The Vaults. The time has finally come for us to reveal the changes to our historic Members’ Room where the SMWS began 40 years ago. Discover what you can expect on your next visit to Leith with Society writer Duncan Gorman.

Vaults artwork: What do you do when The Scotch Malt Whisky Society gives you free rein to come up with a new piece of art for The Vaults, inspired by our wonderful – and sometimes weird – bottle names? For Edinburgh artist Shona Hardie, it was the opportunity to see where the Tasting Panel’s imagination would lead her, as Mhairi Mitchell found out.

Christmas special: Celebrate the spirit of the season with whisky gifts for everyone on your list – Mads Schmoll has the perfect present, whatever level of whisky fan you’re gifting to.

Distillery profile – Kyrö and the birth of Finnish rye: Rye has always been Finland’s main grain, but until Miika Lipiäinen held a spicy tasting in a traditional sauna, no one had thought to create the country’s first rye whisky. SMWS ambassador Lee ‘Connas’ Connor sat down with the founder of Kyrö distillery to find out more about how he brought a taste of Finnish rye grain to the whisky world.

Fanatical about flavour – when two becomes one: The Society’s Spirits Team are all about experimentation, with a view to providing members a constant range of exciting flavours to explore and enjoy. SMWS ambassador Lee ‘Connas’ Connor caught up with the Society’s head of whisky creation, Euan Campbell, to find out more about a new offering where two casks have been combined to create a new ultra-small batch release and it has been crafted.

Additional maturation: Trick or treat? The Society’s creativity in moving the contents of one cask to another to impart additional layers of flavour isn’t by any means a recent innovation – and is never done because the whisky in the original cask wasn’t considered up to our high standards. The Society’s Julien Willems reports on our history of additional maturation and what it means to members seeking an ever-increasing range of flavours.

Whisky adventures – cycle of life: The team behind LeBlanq cycling experiences have teamed up with InchDairnie distillery to offer a taste of both worlds – two-wheeled adventures, riding with legends of the sport, followed by fireside drams. Tom Bruce-Gardyne tells us more.

Member profile – David Fisher: Society member David Fisher grew his passion for whisky from attending SMWS tasting events in North East England and has now published his very own book to capture his personal whisky journey. Society ambassador Lee ‘Connas’ Connor caught up for a chat with David about his passion for whisky and what made him turn his hobby into a publication.