Just received this from the fine people at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America (SMWSA), detailing their new membership benefits. While I still consider the membership fee a bit steep, if you’re really into whisky you could easily get your money’s worth. Also note that while the entrance fee into the society is $229, this drops to $60 in years after.
Pl Sunrise, FL May 17, 2010 — The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America (SMWSA) today announced its new Membership Program. Membership in this unique whisky Society now comes with added benefits. Membership is a must for those serious about their whisky. From the novice to the most sophisticated connoisseur, it is a perfect gift for Father’s Day or any other day.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society was founded in 1983. The Society’s Tasting Panel, a group of independent whisky connoisseurs and experts, meets regularly to nose, discuss and score each whisky sample brought before them. Rigorous and impartial, the Panel only elects to bottle whisky that meets its highest standards. Individual casks are bottled at cask strength. Undiluted and not chill filtered, these bottles are offered exclusively to members and cannot be purchased commercially either in liquor stores or restaurants. Since no two casks are alike and each cask yields only about 250 bottles, once the contents of a cask are consumed, the distinctive flavor and character of its whisky can never be replicated.
The membership kit is only the start of member benefits. Members, and up to three guests, will receive a warm welcome at Members’ Rooms in Leith, Edinburgh and London as well as the opportunity to stay at the original home of the Society in one of its flats at The Vaults in Leith. Members also receive Unfiltered, the Society’s innovative and informative magazine which contains a wealth of information and news about Scotch malt whisky, the people who make it and those who drink it. In addition, members are invited to one-of-a-kind events throughout the United States including Members’ Tastings and The Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza®. The new Membership Program begins with the Society’s exquisite membership kit, which contains four carefully selected 100ml single cask, single malt Society offerings. Chosen by some of the most knowledgeable whisky experts in the world, these four whiskies are just a taste of the finest and widest range of single cask, single malt whiskies to be found anywhere and are only available to Society members. The membership kit also contains an elegant Members’ Handbook, Society Notebook and copper lapel pin.
Of course, the biggest benefit of all is that members have exclusive access to the largest selection of single cask, single malt in the world.
Alan Shayne, president of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America, Ltd. said: “Within the whisky category, single cask, single malt whisky offers the widest variety of flavor available. The type of wood, how many times the cask has been used, where in the warehouse the cask is stored, how long the whisky is aged—all these factors and more go into making each cask a unique work of art. Tasting single cask, single malt whisky is a constant adventure.”
For those experts and devotees who wish to learn more about the pleasures of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, visit www.smwsa.com.
The initial fee for membership in the Society is $229 which entitles the member to all benefits for the first year, and includes the beautiful Society membership kit with four 100ml single cask, single malt Society offerings. Annual membership dues thereafter are $60 and entitle members to all benefits of the Society including access to the special offerings of the Society’s whiskies throughout the year.
About The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
In the mid-‘70s, a group of friends in Edinburgh gathered to sample and savor single malt whisky, drawn straight from the cask. The friends filtered the cask’s contents through muslin and poured the liquid into old whisky bottles. To their delight, they discovered that single cask whisky had more character and flavor than the whisky they routinely knew. Also, the influence of the wood was immediately and abundantly clear. The group went on to compare and contrast more single malt whiskies. The amazing revelation was that even casks that had been filled with the same spirit, from the same still run, revealed their own unique characteristics. The group realized that the spirit in each cask was one of a kind and could never be repeated. Once the contents of a cask were consumed, the unique whisky would be gone from the world forever.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society was formally founded in Leith in 1983. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society offers its members exclusively the widest selection of single cask, single malt whisky found anywhere in the world. The Society has now grown to 13 international branches, reflecting its worldwide following.
In 1993, Alan and Madeleine Shayne launched The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America, Ltd., which now has members in every state. Their goal was to introduce Americans to the world of single cask, single malts and raise awareness of the amazing variety and expressions available in the category of Scotch whisky. Many years ago, their family owned one of the premier distilleries in Scotland. Today, they have brought a rare opportunity to members of the SMWSA.