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SMWS - questions

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SMWS - questions

Postby dapa » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:22 pm

Cheers ramblers!
Looking through the forum for SMWS questions really is tiresome! Therefore I have a few questions that I hope you can help me with:

* I was att one tasting where I tried a Linkwood 22yo and a Convalmore 23yo. Though it was threee years ago I still remember it and so does my palate! :D Question: Is Linkwood, Clynelish, Springbank and Longrow frequent bottlings or are they rare?

* How many bottlings are released each year by the Society? (Since the membership fee is quite steep I hope I have some to choose from!)

* In other parts of the world - can you buy bottles at a SMWS tasting? Member of course!

Hope I haven't bored you with these questions - thanks in advance. Now I hear Laphroaig Quarter Cask calling me - and I must answer! :twisted:
dapa
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:47 pm

Hi Dapa
Linkwood and Clynelish are fairly regular , Springbank and Longrow not so .
Have a look at https://www.smws.co.uk/shop/whisky_range.php to give you an idea of the releases in the UK (are you from the Uk ?), click on the lists on the right hand side, if not there are other sites for the other countries branches .
You can buy the bottles at the UK tastings , couldn't tell you about elsewhere .

Slainte
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Postby Admiral » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:23 pm

Hi Dapa,

As Gordon said, Linkwood & Clynelish are reasonably common. Springbank turns up occasionally; Longrow only very occasionally.

The number of casks bottled and released each year varies, but I don't think you'll ever be stuck for choices or feel that your membership isn't worth it.

Yes, you can purchase SMWS bottlings from the overseas branches, but only if you live in their operating territory. Are you in the UK?

Send me a PM if you want to ask anything else.

Cheers,
ADmiral
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Postby dapa » Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:26 am

Thanks!
I live in Sweden
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:55 am

My experiences of SMWS in Germany are not very good.

I was originally a member in the UK and was extremely happy, but after moving to Germany I had to deal via the Dutch arm of SMWS and I hardly ever received the magazines, which in turn meant that I was not receiving details of bottles on offer.
This made the whole thing quite pointless and expensive.

MT
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Postby Admiral » Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:29 am

after moving to Germany I had to deal via the Dutch arm of SMWS and I hardly ever received the magazines, which in turn meant that I was not receiving details of bottles on offer.


Yes, well, I didn't elaborate in my original post, but each international branch is reasonably limited in its scope to operate only within the bounds of its own country. The EU might be a slightly different situation, but, for example, the SMWS here in Australia cannot sell whisky to the neighbouring countries of Papua New Guinea or Indonesia, or whatever. This is simply because the organisation (i.e. the SMWS) can only operate by the liquor and licencing laws that are applicable in that country. As much as SMWS Australia would love to service members in other neighbouring countries, the Australian customs laws effectively prevent us from sending bottles of whiskies out to overseas addresses.

I understand the US branch of the SMWS has a similar problem with servicing Canadian members?

Cheers
ADmiral
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:40 am

In this case, I contacted SMWS and that particular branch ws the "official" one for Germany.

I just found their service slow, lacking and not worth paying for.
MT
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:54 pm

Admiral, that is correct in regards to your Canada/USA issue. However all non UK branches that I have every dealt with have accepted my UK membership as their own and allowed me to purchase bottles. A number of us here in Canada have UK memebership and frequently buy for the USA branch making use of travelling family and friends to act as couriers. This is very successful and there are more available 'rides' for bottles that I can use in the space of a year. It works out very well for me. Three bottels will be arrving in the next few weeks. :D
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:42 pm

Hi Lawrence / Admiral ,
There's something on the UK SMWS that seems to contradict what i thought was always the rules for members.....
"IMPORTANT!

Please note that only UK Society members can purchase whisky and gifts, event tickets and book flats."

Now i was always on the understanding that .....
1) only UK members could buy off the current list (book or online),unless overseas members bought them in the venues (ie The Vaults etc) . Though i do know of people getting round this , as you do with the US bottlings i think , getting country members to buy them for you .
2) Overseas members could rent the flats at the Vaults (i know a few that have done it ) .
3) I (a UK member) couldn't buy bottles from say Sweden , Holland , Italy , USA or where ever , but this could be got around by using friends who are members to do the deed .

Slainte
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:22 pm

I'm a UK member (I pay the full membership price and frequently buy off the UK bottling list) but when I ordered from the USA, I do the ordering and paying and specify where the bottles are to be delivered and then a friend/family member brings them home under their own duty free allowance.
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Postby Admiral » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:29 am

Hi guys,

1. Yes, any international member can book and stay at the UK flats.
2. Anyone from around the world can become a UK member, but that doesn't necessarily mean the UK can then ship whisky to you. It depends on which country you're in and what the local customs laws are. (This is precisely the same reason why Loch Fyne Whiskies or Royal Mile Whiskies cannot ship bottles out to some people in some countries).
3. The international branches (e.g USA, Australia, Italy, etc) all operate in a fashion similar to a sub-franchise. Each branch selects and imports a bulk-shipment of whiskies, and then sells these off to its local members.
4. If you are a UK member (or a member of one of the international branches) and you move or re-locate to a different country in which there is an SMWS branch, you are obliged to transfer your membership over to the local branch. We have plenty of UK members who have emigrated from the UK to Australia and have transferred their membership across to the Australian branch. (And they then obviously subsequently purchase whiskies from the Australian branch here).

Lawrence, how do you deal with duty and taxes if you order from the UK? If the UK Society sends a bottle to you, does Canadian Customs then charge you extra duty before they'll release the bottle to you?

Cheers,
ADmiral
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Postby Admiral » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:34 am

Oh, and incidentally, to answer Dapa's original question:

* How many bottlings are released each year by the Society? (Since the membership fee is quite steep I hope I have some to choose from!)


I believe the UK will be releasing over 120 different bottlings this year, so I don't you'll be stuck for choices! :D

(Unless you can get through a new bottle every three days :wink: )

Cheers again,
ADmiral
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