Highlights online this month include:

  • Ten things I wish I’d known about whisky: Let’s face it, there can be a LOT to learn about how to enjoy and appreciate your dram when you start out on your whisky journey. We thought we’d ask SMWS ambassadors in the UK and around the world to share their own experiences about what they wish they had known when they started exploring this fascinating world. Here’s what they told us.
  • Where flavour comes alive – Spicy & Sweet: Spring has arrived, and everywhere you look shops are extolling the virtues of Easter treats. If you’re going to indulge in Easter eggs and cinnamon-spiced hot cross buns, or maybe strawberries with spiced wine, what could be better than a couple of drams of our Spicy & Sweet whiskies? Echoing the sweet, spicy and malty flavours of your treats with a dram cut from the same aromatic cloth will certainly make for an indulgent experience, as Julien Willems explains.
  • Distillery profile – Lochlea: This farm distillery in Ayrshire has quietly started producing whisky and lured John Campbell away from Laphroaig in Islay in the process. Unfilterededitor Richard Goslan paid a visit to find out more and hear about the distillery’s ambitions (INC WHISKY TALK PODCAST).
  • Peat around the world: The waft of peat smoke may be one of the most powerful associations of Scotch whisky. But increasing numbers of international distillers are finding ways to create their local version of ‘peat reek’, reports Tom Bruce-Gardyne.
  • Member profile – Pete Begg: From studying engineering, Pete Begg found himself drawn to the world of cooking, working in various restaurants before becoming friends and subsequently business partner with Jamie Oliver. Now Head of Food Development with Jamie’s organisation, Pete is also a devoted member of the SMWS. Our master brand ambassador John McCheyne caught up with him for a dram in our London Members’ Room at 19 Greville Street to find out more about his journey and whisky passion (INC WHISKY TALK PODCAST).
  • Industry insider – Alastair Simms: From experiencing the near extinction of his trade in England, master cooper Alastair Simms is enjoying a new lease of life, thanks in no small part to the rise of craft distilleries south of the border. The Society’s Lee ‘Connas’ Connor paid Alastair a visit to find out more.
  • SMWS bottles upcycled: We know it can be hard to part with a treasured bottling from the SMWS, even after you’re drained the last dram. So what could you do to keep the memory of a particular malt alive? Mads Schmoll explored some of the options…
  • From The Vaults – Whisky & Jazz: In his column from Unfiltered issue 37 in November 2017, SMWS honorary ambassador Hans Offringa explored the shared evolution and symmetry between his twin loves – a good whisky and great jazz.
  • Share a dram with… Janelle Ong, SMWS Japan