IN THIS MONTH’S UNFILTERED

SMWS EXPERTISE – THE WHISKY TEAM: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Whisky Team is the beating heart of our club, planning years ahead to make sure our members will always be able to enjoy an exceptional variety of outstanding whiskies. Duncan Gorman pulls back the curtain to find out more about how the team operates.

SMWS AND SHERRY – SO WHAT IS SHERRY? If you enjoy a sherry cask-matured whisky, here’s what you need to know about the Spanish wine and how it’s much more than a sweet, creamy drink beloved by elderly relatives at Christmas time.

SMALL-BATCH DELIGHTS – SHIMMERING SILK: Just in time to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, the SMWS is releasing an Irish whiskey created in collaboration with the team at Dunville’s Irish Whiskey. The Society’s Julien Willems has more on how Shimmering Silk came about, and why it’s one to savour – whatever the time of year.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: For International Women’s Day this year, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is marking the occasion with the special release of a range of bottlings sampled and selected by an all-female Tasting Panel. We’re also celebrating Our Whisky Foundation’s mentorship programme to support women working in the whisky industry – including the Society’s very own brand innovation manager Julie Roberts. Here, Julie explains how the programme works and how it has benefited her.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY BOTTLINGS: Join Mhairi Mitchell as she explores this year’s International Women’s Day bottle releases. Delve into a collection of exceptional bottles, curated by an all-female Tasting Panel to celebrate the expertise of women in the whisky industry.

DISTILLERY PROFILE – WESTLAND: Our recent flurry of casks from American distilleries is continuing at pace. For our next instalment, SMWS ambassador Lee ‘Connas’ Connor had a chat with Westland’s Ana Hinz and Tyler Pederson to find out what they’re bringing to the whiskey scene in Washington State and what’s in store for Society members.

FLAVOUR FOCUS – MASHING: At its most basic, the process of mashing involves mixing ground malt – known as grist – with hot water to convert the starch within the grain into fermentable sugars. The end-product of mashing is called wort. Gavin D Smith explains what’s going on during the mashing process, and how different approaches can influence a distillery’s spirit character.

SMWS DISCOVERY – A NIGHT OUT IN TAIPEI: Taipei is one of the world’s greatest destinations for whisky lovers, and the Society has an outstanding selection of partner bars where you can experience the city’s passion for whisky from Scotland and beyond, as Rose Wei from our SMWS Taiwan team explains.

PARTNER BAR – PURE IRISH, BELFAST: Nestled in Belfast’s thriving east end, our new partner bar Pure Irish is a home-from-home for Society members. Having soaked up inspiration and knowledge during his time managing our Greville Street Members’ Room in London, Sam MacDonald has set his eyes on creating an equally passionate whisky community in Northern Ireland, as Duncan Gorman writes.