Whisky Magazine Issue 19
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Charles MacLean talks to Richard Gordon, Managing Director of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the world's premier whisky club – now in its 18th year
Richard Gordon joined the whisky industry as Marketing Manager at Glenmorangie plc, having obtained an MBA from Edinburgh University, and via fund management and advertising. He was appointed Managing Director of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in 1994.
CM How do you account for the success of the Society?
RG Providing our members with what they want. The Society began as a group of friends who bought a cask of malt whisky, bottled it in a kitchen and divided it between themselves. This group of friends now numbers around 20,000, but the founding principal – the celebration and enjoyment of malt whisky – remains the same. We listen closely to what our members want. We have to or they will resign.
RG By this I mean everything else we offer. Although our key role is to make high quality single malts, bottled from single casks at full strength, that are available to our members, there is much more to it than this. Education and information through our newsletters, whisky schools and tastings programme: we do over a hundred tastings a year, all over the UK, and any member who brings together a group of interested friends can request a tasting, wherever they live. Conviviality and the chance to meet kindred spirits in our Members Rooms in Edinburgh and London. Immersing people more deeply in the whisky experience.
CM Do you have overseas members?
RG All over the world. Even in countries which we can't send whisky to, surprisingly! We also have bra...