IN THIS MONTH’S UNFILTERED

FESTIVAL SEASON: The Society has covered all bases during festival month this year. From the limited edition festival bottles specially crafted by our Whisky Team, to the Society’s first ever feature-length documentary celebrating Scotch & Sherry, find out what’s to come as Duncan Gorman uncovers everything on offer this May.

SCOTCH & SHERRY: This month sees the launch of the Society’s documentary, telling the story of sherry casks from the forests of Galicia to the cooperages and bodegas of the ‘sherry triangle’ in Andalucía. Unfiltered editor Richard Goslan produced Scotch & Sherry: A Flavour Odyssey and explains here what to expect, and how it all came together.

WHISKY KNOWLEDGE – A BELATED BICENTENARY: A landmark piece of legislation passed in 1823 was fundamental in the story of Scotch whisky’s global success and saw a slew of distilleries gaining their official licenses to distil the following year. Tom Bruce-Gardyne reflects on the Excise Act and the bicentenary celebrations of a number of distilleries founded in its wake.

DISTILLERY PROFILE – NC’NEAN: From thinking whisky was ‘disgusting’ to founding her own distillery, Annabel Thomas has been on quite a journey in the wilds of Scotland’s Morvern peninsula. Sarah Gillespie caught up with her to find out more about her conversion to loving Scotch, her vision for an organic net-zero distillery, and why the world of whisky has to change or be left behind.

FLAVOUR FOCUS – DISTILLATION PART ONE: The stillhouse is the beating heart of every distillery, the glamorous showpiece every visitor wants to see. This is what all the milling, mashing and fermenting has been leading up to, as Gavin D Smith explains.

SMWS MEMBER PROFILE – AN ISLAY ADVENTURE: After 22 hours on a plane, a missed connection, seven hours of tense driving down narrow roads and an unexpected ferry cancellation, SMWS member Jay Baris and his son Ben learned that visiting Islay from New York demands both patience and ingenuity. Yet, the question looms: was it worth it? According to Jay, the answer is a resounding yes!

PRIVATE CASK SALES: As the Society enters its fifth decade, SMWS ambassador Lee ‘Connas’ Connor reflects on where we’ve come from, and how members can find themselves sharing the love with their own private casks ending up in our iconic green bottles.

OLAF MEIER – 20 YEARS OF TASTINGS: Many of you will have been fascinated by one of Olaf Meier’s passionate tasting sessions. Our SMWS ambassador is a fountain of knowledge, driven by a limitless number of whisky stories, who now finds himself celebrating his 20th year representing the Society. Despite having more than two decades of whisky experience, Olaf started his journey with humble beginnings, as Duncan Gorman finds out.

SMALL BATCH DELIGHTS – UNDERWATER BARBECUE: If you’ve been following the Society’s unconventional releases from our clear glass ‘Heresy’ series you may have been wondering what the next peated offering would be. As Julien Willems reports, the wait is finally over.