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Scotch Malt Whisky Society

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Image Credit: Beyond the Dram


Euan Campbell
*Head of Whisky Creation

United Kingdom

Barrel Head

Years of operation

Barrel Head

Owner/Head(s) of Whisky

Barrel Head

Country of Business

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) is a revered institution in the world of whisky, founded in 1983 by a group of friends led by Philip "Pip" Hills. Hills' whisky exploration in the Scottish Highlands in the late 1970s sparked the society's inception. They initially shared the cost of a Glenfarclas cask, and as their group expanded, it became a small syndicate that purchased, bottled, and distributed cask-strength whiskies to subscribing members.

In 1983, the SMWS opened its membership to the public and acquired its first property, The Vaults in Leith, a building with historic vaulted wine cellars dating back to the 12th century. Over time, the society has grown, establishing Members' Rooms at various locations in the UK and expanding internationally.

The SMWS has played a pivotal role in promoting single malt whiskies and popularizing the concept of bottling whiskies at cask strength from single casks. They have also ventured into bottling other spirits like Cognac, Armagnac, rum, Bourbon, and American whiskies.

The society's whiskies are known for their uniform presentation and unique coding system, with each bottling denoted by a numerical identifier. Membership provides access to exclusive venues and bottlings, which are reserved solely for members. After several ownership changes, the SMWS remains an influential and respected entity in the whisky world.

-Written (Mostly) by Robots-


  • 1994/16 Year (3.175)|On the dunes - watching a puffer| Refill Ex-Sherry Butt 56% Harold H.

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