Sample society’s fantastic five

Kirsten Lawson
Drew McKinnie from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
Drew McKinnie from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Photo: Colleen Petch

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society holds its first tastings of the year on March 13 and 14, where you get to taste five rare whiskies, which are not only single-malt, but also single-cask whiskies. They are chosen by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s tasting panel in Britain, and then by the tasting panel in Australia, headed by cellarmaster Andrew Derbidge of Sydney. The group chooses then imports the whiskies four times a year, giving members of the public a chance to taste and buy also, at the tasting events.

They’re guided tastings, where ACT manager of the society, Drew McKinnie takes you through each of five whiskies, helping you understand the flavours, differences and appeal of each dram. Otherwise, if you’re anything like us, you might be so shocked by the fire of the alcohol and the sheer grunge of some of the flavours that you get no further. If you need help understanding the appeal of whisky, or you’re an aficionado, these tastings are for you.

The whiskies are tasted with canapes. Each of the whiskies is also for sale on the night in very limited quantities if you want to take a bottle home. 7pm, $90, bookings at