Still looking for the perfect gift this Christmas? We think we’ve found just the thing!
Annual membership to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society starts from just £65 and offers your loved ones the chance to discover new flavours and experiences with fellow whisky-lovers across the globe!
Membership includes access to an ever-changing range of one-off whiskies, released each month, and tickets to a calendar of exciting and informative virtual events.
Every Society single malt whisky is hand-picked for its exceptional quality and intriguing character. Distinctive, diverse, and strictly limited to the contents of one cask, each bottling is a case study in flavour and a precious opportunity to experience whisky in its purest form, straight from the cask.
But being part of its ever-growing community of over 27,000 whisky fans goes beyond the Society’s outstanding single-cask spirits. Membership provides exclusive access to Members’ Rooms in Edinburgh, London and Glasgow as well as a calendar of UK-wide virtual tasting events.
A year’s membership to the Society costs £65 and provides whisky-lovers with benefits throughout the year, including access to the multi award-winning monthly single cask whiskies; free subscription to its award-winning monthly digital members’ magazine, Unfiltered, and a calendar of events and whisky experiences.
Tailor your membership with a choice of extras:
Happy Hamper: Society Hosting Kit, £90
The brand-new Society Tasting Kit, brings you everything you’ll need to host a whisky tasting at home.
Includes: Two Society glasses, whisky journal, water jug and pipette, tasting mat, 3 x 10cl Society whiskies.
Flavour Fun: Bottle of the Moment, £45
Whatever your home entertainment plans, you’ll need some great whisky to see you through. Delve straight into the Society’s unique flavour spectrum, add your first 70cl bottle to your membership.
Explore: Five Dram Discovery Pack and Virtual Tasting, £25
Kick-start your membership and take part in your first Society tasting online, where you’ll be guided through five 25ml drams by Society ambassador Bob Wenting.
Curl up: The Founder’s Tale, £14.99
Going hand in hand with a great whisky is a good read. Society founder Pip Hills has written a book about the Society’s origins and how it grew into the world’s leading whisky club.
EXCLUSIVE MEMBERS’ ROOMS
The SMWS has its spiritual home at The Vaults in Leith, Edinburgh as well as a Members’ Room at 28 Queen Street in the city centre. Non-members can also experience a range of single cask whiskies and other spirits at Queen Street’s Kaleidoscope Whisky bar, as well as a selection of fantastic food in the renowned Dining Room.
As well as locations in Edinburgh, the SMWS has an exclusive Members’ Room at 19 Greville Street in London’s Farringdon district, and opened a new Members’ Room at 38 Bath Street in Glasgow in early 2020, providing a perfect place for the high number of dedicated members in and around the city to share a dram.
Mince Pies with Whisky Butter
To go with your drams, we’ve come up with a suitably festive recipe to get you in the mood. You may be more familiar with mince pies being served with brandy butter but we love this whisky version. We’ve also spiked our mincemeat with a little whisky too! To keep things simple, we’ve used ready-made shortcrust pastry but you could also make your own if you prefer.
Makes about 12 pies
2x 320g shortcrust pastry sheets (we used Jus-Rol)
411g good quality mincemeat
1 tablespoon whisky
Caster or icing sugar for sprinkling
1 tablespoon milk
For the whisky butter
225g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
4 tablespoons of sweet, fruity and mellow SMWS whisky
For the whisky butter
While your pies are in the oven, soften the butter until beatable but not melted (you can leave in a warm place or use the defrost setting on the microwave). Beat with the sugar until fluffy. Keep beating while adding the whisky. Put in the fridge to set and serve with warm mince pies.
For the mince pies
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Unroll the pastry and cut out 12 discs with a cookie cutter. Cut out 12 slightly smaller dishes for the lids (you could use a star shape if you’re feeling fancy!)
Lightly oil the tins and line with the larger of the two discs. Press gently into the sides, all the way around.
Mix the mincemeat with the whisky, cinnamon and zest from the orange. Fill each of the pies with your mincemeat mixture and flatten off the top. Lightly brush the underside of the pastry lid with water (this will help it stick) and press the lid closed with fingers and thumbs to seal.
Whisk one egg with 1 tablespoon of milk and brush this over the top of the pie, this will make it go golden brown.
Make a hole or two in the top to allow the steam to release.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on colour. Keep an eye on them! Allow to stand for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Serve warm or cold, with the whisky butter.
To buy membership to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society as a gift this Christmas, visit: smws.com/whisky-club-membership
This was written in collaboration with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.