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I'm thinking of joining SMWSA....

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I'm thinking of joining SMWSA....

Postby peergynt323 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:32 pm

1) What bottling will they send me for joining?
2) Any thoughts? Is it tough to get the good bottlings?
3) Any members here?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:18 pm

I'm thinking of joining, too. (Actually, I have been thinking for a long time.) The thing that keeps me from doing it is feeling that I will end up excluding other buying opportunities. On the other hand, considering that I lean more and more toward cask-strength single-barrel bottlings, it seems like a logical thing to do.

While there are lots of bottlings to choose from, I think that if you are very picky about which distilleries you want to buy, you probably won't want to do it. If you are more open-minded and adventurous, and less choosy in that way, your problem will be narrowing your choices down.

The bottling they send you may be something you really want, or not. Another member here, who I expect will reveal himself shortly, got a Glenlivet, which I gather was about the last thing he would have chosen. It turned out to be a real eye-opener for him (and indirectly for me--I never tasted his bottle, but became a big 'Livet fan). Again, you will be better off if you are open-minded about it.

"Good" bottlings? They're all good bottlings, aren't they? 8)
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Postby peergynt323 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:24 pm

I'm open-minded when it comes to good whisky. :wink:

I was thinking of joining D&M's club, but so few Islays/Islands/Coastals! I like the selection that SMWS has. I guess what I'm asking is, does the U.S. get an allocation for the same bottlings the European chapters get or do we get stuck with the leftovers/rejects?
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:54 pm

peergynt323 wrote:
does the U.S. get an allocation for the same bottlings the European chapters get or do we get stuck with the leftovers/rejects?


I wish i had a pound for everytime i've heard the last bit , i'd be a very rich man! :wink:
If you look here you'll see the current list which includes an Ardbeg us in the UK can't get .
The SMWSa get some casks of their own , sometimes casks are split with other branches (never the UK). I've had drams in The Vaults that have been returns from the USA (incl a 39yo Glenfarclas !) .
I'm a big fan of the SMWS , great bottlings , good value for older bottlings and fortunately i can take good advantage of the Members facilities in Edinburgh with a 2 hour drive , a cheap hotel or an hour and a half train journey .
Have a look at the SMWSa site , it will give you some idea of what goes on in the states .
Edit: Just had a closer look at the list , 39yo Farclas , 16yo Springer , 18yo Laddie , 25yo Caol ila , 30yo Glencraig just for starters ..... not a bad set of leftovers / Rejects .......:lol:

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Postby peergynt323 » Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:04 am

Wow I hope they send me the young Ardbeg or the old Caol Ila. :shock:
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:09 am

peergynt323 wrote:Wow I hope they send me the young Ardbeg or the old Caol Ila. :shock:

Very unlikely !
I got an 11yo Glen Garioch as mine :(
I can thoroughly recommend the SMWS Caol Ilas , Glenfarclas's , Laddies.....

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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:15 am

No, I wouldn't expect your "freebie" to be anything high-demand.
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Postby peergynt323 » Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:17 am

$199 is far from a freebie! :shock:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:10 am

Thus the "quotes"....
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Postby Di Blasi » Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:26 am

I joined almost a year ago and am glad I did! I will renew next month for sure! I love the "members only" atmosphere at the 2 locations I have visited in Edinburgh/Leith, I missed the new room in London unfortunately. And the opportunity to taste and enjoy excellent whiskies from single casks from a variety of distilleries. I highly recommend joining, find out for yourself, as I find it's worth membership.
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Postby Wave » Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

I was thinking of joining D&M's club, but so few Islays/Islands/Coastals!


True, though a Highland Park 32yo D&M I got last year was truely made in heaven! :)


Cheers!
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Postby peergynt323 » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:53 am

No longer around unfortunately! I love OLD Highland Parks! :cry:
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Postby martin grant » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:38 pm

I've been a member now for a couple of years, and have to say for me it really was worth joining. Mainly because I find the members rooms in Edinburgh City Centre and in Leith both very different but also both very enjoyable. The downstairs restaurant in the city centre is tremendous, and is a definite contender for one of the best meals I enjoyed in 2006
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Postby lbacha » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:59 pm

I just printed out the form, I have tried alot of the bottlings and most are great. Now to decide to pull the trigger.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:31 pm

In answer to the specific questions - I agree with Gordon that the freebie is likely to be something that has not flown off the shelves. I got an 11yo Mortlach which I've not opened. Nothing against Mortlach, but there are so many other bottles asking for attention. I did go for a lucky dip a couple of Christmases ago and got a youngish Glenrothes, Dailuaine, and Craigellachie. I wouldn't have bought the bottles if I'd known what they were, but found them thoroughly enjoyable. It was a good way of getting me to discover something new and different.

Like others, I think I get value from the bars and bottlings. Many of the whiskies differ from their distilleries' usual profiles and others are simply unobtainable elsewhere. The quality of the whiskies has improve markedly over the past few months and an SMWS label is now a pretty good guarantee of quality. Provided you order within a couple of weeks of a list coming out, you can generally be assured of your bottle. I have also started going to some of the events and like the single distillery events in particular - but they are quite pricey for what you get.

All this refers to the UK SMWS - but I am sure the American version is similar - good value if you use its services and very expensive if you don't.
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Postby lbacha » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:56 pm

Do you find out what distillery they are from when you get the bottle or are you still guessing based on the description? The descriptions narrow down the distillery and some even state it but other descriptions on the order form are pretty vague.

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Postby peergynt323 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:08 pm

Some are vague, but fortunately malt maniacs writes the bottling number next to the distillery on the malt monitor.
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Postby lbacha » Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:54 pm

Well I just got off the phone with Lauren at the SMWS. The customer service is great and after a great conversation I think I might take the plung. They have a special to get $10.00 off a bottle in the month of Jan so I need to choose a second bottle to get now. If you need some info I would recommend calling, she was very helpful and that is a selling point to me. I also found out that when you join they will give you a map with all the distilleries on it and there are numbers for each one that corresponds to the first number on the bottle, so you can tell where it is from. Hope this helps persuade some people to join, it seems like a neat society to be a part of.

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Postby lambda » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:07 pm

googling for 'smws codes' also works.

Personally, I haven't joined yet. I will probably not visit their bar in the near future and have good access to all kinds of other bottlers such as cadenhead. Nonetheless, I appreciate what they do, but I need to convince myself a bit more..
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Postby lbacha » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:51 pm

Since no independents are allowed into the state of Ohio this will be a great way for me to try some other bottlings.

Len
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:07 pm

Try here for the Codes.....
http://www.whiskyportal.com/smws/SMWS_codes_1.asp

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Postby rthomson » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:01 pm

I've been fully satisfied with my membership and I'll soon be renewing for a second year. The customer service is great and the whiskies I've purchased have lived up to, and in some cases exceeded, my expectations. I also had the opportunity to drop by The Vaults for a couple of drams when I was in Edinburgh last year.

Ron
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Postby vitara7 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:17 pm

how much is it to join and how much is membership each year?
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Postby peergynt323 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:19 pm

$199 to join, $35 per year to renew
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Postby vitara7 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:24 pm

that seems not too bad.

what do you get for your money? do you get like a goodie bag when you join or that?
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Postby vitara7 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:24 pm

its just ive heard folk saying its all single cask cask strength stuff, just what im into ;)
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Postby peergynt323 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:10 pm

I just joined. :twisted:

We get a 10yo Isle of Arran with the $199 membership fee.

What really impresses me are the prices. $245 for a 39yo Glenfarclas, $150 for a 25yo Caol Ila, etc.
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Postby vitara7 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:20 pm

think ill be looking into it a bit more myself likes...
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:33 pm

Go peergynt323 Go !
I raise my glass of 29.22 to you ! (still got a cold and it's giving it a run for it's money!)
The older bottlings are excellent value , the younger ones are a touch more expensive than other indy bottlers but i think they've got the balance right .
Don't just stick to the "Popular" one's , on the past 4 trips to the Vaults i've been trying to have one's i've never tried (both as SMWS and O.B. /I.B. ) before and it's been a real eyeopener .
I'm lucky in the respect that i'm close to Edinburgh and the Tasting Team are regular visitors to our area .

Enjoy Your membership !
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Postby vitara7 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:44 pm

do they have like a shop where you can pop in and buy bottles of their own whisky? i live just outside edinburgh and im in on work at least twice a week, if they did it would prove very handy
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Postby peergynt323 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:53 pm

Spirit of Islay wrote:I raise my glass of 29.22 to you !


A dram of God's own medicine should do the trick. I have to say I rather like referring to bottlings as numbers...makes me feel like I'm in a science fiction movie.
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Postby lbacha » Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:23 pm

Well I'm going to see the society this weekend at the Whiskyfest in Victoria and I will make my decision then.

I think it will be the Canadian chapter there but still will help sell me on the membership.

It would be a neat thread to start in the forumjust discussing the different bottles, by number of course.

Len
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Postby Wave » Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:33 pm

Spirit of Islay wrote:I raise my glass of 29.22 to you !



29 = Laphroaig
Quite a compliment! :D


Cheers!
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Postby vitara7 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:42 pm

so i take it each distillery has a number, then the second number will mean thats how many times they have done a cask from that distilery? am i right or totally wrong?
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Postby peergynt323 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:54 pm

That's my guess.
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