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26th Jan 2023


As the Society enters its 40th anniversary year, we have some extra special bottlings coming your way. Unfiltered asked spirits director Kai Ivalo what to expect…

It’s always a challenge to provide a taste of what’s to come without giving the game away. As you would expect me to say, there will be plenty of excitement, fun and new experiences in 2023.

Some of these are part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, so you can expect to see a couple of unusual projects see the light of day that we have been working on for several years. One of these may be quite small but will certainly ‘pack a punch’ and may ring a bell with some of our long-standing members. The other involves a creative experiment that we did with a certain distillery. I really can’t say more than that, but watch this space in the year ahead!

You can also expect to see some new distillery code numbers as we continue to shine a light on whiskies that will be new to most of our members. Plus there will be more sherry cask-matured whiskies. Hopefully you have seen and enjoyed the increase in this popular style of whisky over the past few years at the Society. We’re continuing to go to great lengths to source the best quality casks from a variety of different suppliers in Jerez, as well as similar style casks from other regions in Spain. We will also start sharing some more information on the wonderful world of the sherry cask and the work that is required to create the casks and the Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits or Spicy & Sweet style whiskies that many of us enjoy.

We’re also working on new ideas that we hope will make it into this year’s Experimental Series. At the time of writing they are still being planned or in development. If you have enjoyed these whiskies it would be great to know which ones have been your favourites and what you would like to see us do next.

Of course, in everything we do we take a rigorous approach to obtaining, maturing, selecting and bottling a variety of flavourful drams across a range of spirit styles and cask varieties. The Tasting Panel continues to apply its almost 40 years of expertise in selecting the drams that we look forward to sharing, discussing and drinking with friends and family in the year ahead.


Kai Ivalo

SMWS Spirits Director

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