Highlights online this month include:

  • The SMWS at 40 – Triple AAA: powering the Society: Women have been instrumental in making the Society what it is today. The three As of Anne Dana, Anne Griffiths and Annabel Meikle came from different backgrounds and hadn’t planned to have a career in whisky. But driven by a thirst for knowledge, an encouraging environment and an openness to new ventures, these women ended up shaping some of the most recognisable parts of the Society. Who better to speak to them than three women shaping the future of the Society today? Read on for a flavour of the interviews and then listen to our podcast, Whisky Talk, to take in each conversation in full
  • The Knowledge – A sensitive matter: Do women have a better sense of smell and taste? Or is it simply different? Charlene Rooke reports on how biology, evolution and psychology could all contribute to making women more likely to be “supertasters”
  • Tasting Panel: Doing it for ourselves: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has a proud history of representing women in our Tasting Panels, but does the absence of any men affect proceedings? We asked one of the contributors to a recent all-woman Panel to reflect on the experience
  • Making waves: Whisky is undoubtedly steeped in tradition – but that doesn’t mean the future has to look like the past. Kristiane Sherry meets the industry disruptors changing the whisky game and stirring up others to do the same. Prepare to be inspired
  • Industry Insider – Dr Rachel Barrie: A 30-year career at the very peak of whisky research and production is a feat that few can lay claim to. Dr Rachel Barrie, however, can proudly boast just that. Her journey has taken her from a rural upbringing in northeast Scotland via the Scotch Whisky Research Institute, working with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and onto her current role looking after three distilleries. Along the way she has collected honorary doctorates, multiple awards and entry to the esteemed Keepers of the Quaich. SMWS ambassador Lee ‘Connas’ Connor caught up with Rachel for a chat about her three decades in the world of whisky and about what’s coming next
  • Member Profile – Ann Bingham: For many, membership to the Society is as much about the memories made with kindred spirits as it is about the whisky. But what is a whisky journey if it doesn’t include adventure? From losing tasting notes (and recreating them) to friendships forged through our virtual tastings, Ann Bingham, a member living in Southampton, tells Mads Schmoll about how getting involved and trying different things can lead to unexpected whisky adventures
  • Share a dram with Suzy Tawse, Member Services and Operations Director, SMWS Australia
  • Whisky history – The First Lady of Laphroaig: There were ‘whisky women’ before Bessie Williamson, and happily there have been many more since. But she occupies an almost talismanic position in Scotch whisky history as the person who, without fanfare, proved that given the opportunity women could do so much more in a distillery than type or make tea, as Gavin D Smith writes
  • Partner bar – The Malt Vault with Giusi Condurso: Giusi Condurso started out as a cleaner at The Malt Vault in Utrecht, The Netherlands, as a 20-year-old with no whisky knowledge. But just four years later she finds herself manager of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s partner bar. SMWS ambassador Monique ten Kortenaar sat down with Giusi to chat about how she stumbled into her career in the whisky industry, and what makes The Malt Vault the perfect place to enjoy a dram