Highlights online this month include:

  • Whisky story-tellers: This year has been designated Scotland’s ‘year of stories’, celebrating the tales and memories that reflect who we are, and shape how others see us. We thought that would be an opportunity to dig into the rich tradition of whisky story-telling, and gathered contributions from two Scottish musicians, story-tellers – and whisky lovers – Hamish Napier and Robin Laing. Listen at https://whiskytalk.fireside.fm/38
  • The sound of whisky: Whisky can stimulate each of our senses in profound ways. But how about the sound of what’s in our glass? We thought we’d try to capture the sonic sensations from a Society bottling, from opening the packaging through to pouring the dram. Put your headphones on, relax and enjoy the sound of a Society whisky.https://youtu.be/-_xQobrSvbY
  • Where flavour comes alive – Oily & Coastal: This enigmatic flavour profile can carry you to new flavour frontiers, from clifftops to harbours, rockpools and lobster pots. Julien Willems takes a deep dive into the wonderful world of the Society’s Oily & Coastal whiskies.
  • Member profile – Rachel MacNeill: Islay is full of whisky characters, but they’re not all necessarily employed by the island’s distilleries. One such individual, SMWS member Rachel MacNeill, has dedicated herself to preserving Islay’s traditions and culture around whisky through her Islay Whisky Academy. Lee ‘Connas’ Connor caught up online with Rachel to find out more about the Academy and what makes her tick.
  • Distillery profile – GlenWyvis: Looking west, against a backdrop of rugged hillsides as far as the eye can see, GlenWyvis distillery stands defiant against the wild splendour of the northern Highlands. There is a beauty to the landscape, but its emptiness also reflects a social problem that affects much of rural Scotland. This crowdfunded distillery is determined to help regenerate the local community, finds Julien Willems.
  • Whisky history – Scotland’s festival season: After two years of largely ‘virtual’ living we are delighted to be venturing out into the world beyond our laptops and tablets again to embrace live festival experiences. Gavin D Smith reports on the history of our regional whisky festivals and how May has grown to become such a huge whisky month in Scotland.
  • From The Vaults – the multisensory experience of Scotch: As we continue to explore how each of our senses help us to appreciate what’s in our glass, we return to Unfiltered issue 59 from July 2021, when Professor Charles Spence looked at how environmental and atmospheric sensory cues can help to accentuate the flavours you enjoy in whisky – from the sound of a fire, the creak of wood, the sound of a double bass, or even the texture of silk. Welcome to the world of ‘sensploration’.
  • Partner bars – Festival homes-from-home: If you’re fortunate enough to be travelling to this month’s festivals across Scotland, be sure to visit the Society’s fantastic partner bars for a warm welcome and discounted drams.
  • Share a dram with… Rob Carpenter, SMWS Canada.