Founded in 1983

During the early 1980's, a debate raged among a small group of friends in Scotland over whether whisky truly was at its best when it was bottled straight from the cask, or with a more commercial bottling process which included dilution and sometimes filtration. A man by the name of Pip Hill drove from Edinburgh to the Glenfarclas distillery in Speyside to put the argument to bed.

Returning to Edinburgh with his newly acquired cask, Pip and his friends threw an almighty party, not only to successfully prove the point that cask-strength, naturally bottled whiskies offer so much more, but also to help recover the cost of the whisky.

After the purchase of a second cask, the Society was formed - rapidly expanding into a successful commercial operation, with the founding of members rooms in Leith, Edinburgh, and the employment of staff dedicated to the sourcing and bottling of special casks of whisky.

Over the next 35 years, the SMWS has grown from its 5 founders in Edinburgh, to an international society with thousands of members around the globe. The spirit of the Society remains the same as ever: to leave no nose upturned, to bottle whisky in it's most natural form, and to share it with like-minded folk.


The home of the scotch malt whisky society in NZ:

Whisky Galore

834 Colombo Street
Christchurch, 8013
New Zealand

0800 944 759