Re: SMWS - worth joining?
Recently the costs for joining and renewing the society have greatly increased. Keep this in mind with my response.
I believe you need to assess your personal situation. What kind of selection is available to you? What kind of pricing is available to you? Do you have a friend that is already a member? How much do you plan to purchase?
In my area, there is a very large selection available to me. Whereas liquor control states (countries) have less availability. Low whisky pricing will make the Society bottlings a little less attractive. High whisky prices, especially in areas of limited availability, will make the Society bottlings more inviting.
If you have someone already a member or you have other friends that would like to join, then share a membership. You split the membership dues and make orders to save on costs. This is especially true if you don't want to purchase more than a handful of bottles each year.
My experience has been quite good with the bottlings I've tried. So I wouldn't back out based on the quality of the bottlings.