Scotch Malt Whisky Society announces whisky tasting World Record attempt

Scotch Malt Whisky Society announces whisky tasting World Record attempt

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is attempting to enter the Guinness Book of World Records with the largest-ever online whisky tasting event

News | 10 Aug 2023

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The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) is attempting to set the Guinness World Record for the most participants in an online whisky tasting.


To celebrate its 40th anniversary, and approaching the milestone of 40,000 members globally, the whisky club is hoping to bring together more than 1,200 members across the UK, USA, Japan, China, and Australia for a three-dram tasting of around 45 minutes (hosted on Zoom) on Saturday 30 September 2023.


The record-setting attempt will take place during The Gathering, billed as the flagship event in a year of anniversary celebrations for the society. It will kick off at 2pm and be live-streamed from the SMWS' home at The Vaults in Leith (in partnership with video production company GLO). 


Founded in Edinburgh by Pip Hills in 1983, the SMWS began with a small group of whisky enthusiasts buying and bottling casks for their collective enjoyment and entertainment. It was bought by current owner the Artisanal Spirits Company in 2015. It is now the world's largest whisky club with close to 38,000 members in more than 20 countries and a successful side-line in independent bottling. 


The three dram tastings will be hosted by SMWS master ambassador John McCheyne, senior director of SMWS USA Tom Smith, and director of SMWS Australia Matt Bailey. The drams are: Cask No. 55.78 What a Spread!, a 13-year-old bottling from a Speyside distillery; Cask No. 39.244 Tutti Frutti in a Wooden Bowl, an 11-year-old whisky from the SMWS Juicy Oak & Vanilla flavour profile; and Batch 15 Smokus Fruticosus, a blended malt comprising malt whiskies from the islands of Islay and Orkney.


Event host Madeleine Schmoll, the social media and community manager at SMWS UK, said: “The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has come a long way since Pip Hills and his friends started exploring the amazing array of flavours in single cask whisky in Edinburgh in the early 1980s.


“Now, 40 years later, the society has almost 40,000 members around the world, including around 18,000 here in the UK, so what better way to celebrate that by bringing so many of our members together to go for this world record.”

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