Malt whisky society matches whisky with clan names

CLANS are famously associated with territorial battles and bloody skirmishes. But next month, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is putting ancient rivalries aside with the launch of Clans & Drams – a month-long celebration of ‘whisky clans’ based on flavours that takes place during Homecoming Scotland 2014’s Whisky Month.

Picture: Rob McDougall
Picture: Rob McDougall

The society, which bottles single cask malt whiskies from a range of distilleries, has created 12 special whisky clans based on flavour profiles. Every traditional family clan has a reputation that defines them, with attributes such as bravery, honesty or dexterity. The society has taken real clan mottos and personalities and attributed these to their flavour clans. Whether you’re the fiery ‘Spicy and Sweet’, or the majestic ‘Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits’, there is a whisky clan for everyone.

Mark van der Vijver, UK sales manager for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, said: “We believe it’s really important for our members not to have any preconceptions based on traditional whisky regions or distillery brands when choosing a whisky; we encourage everyone to focus on the flavours within each whisky so they don’t miss out on discovering something they may not usually try. Clans & Drams embodies this concept by taking a playful approach to traditional clans and creating our own flavour-based whisky clans.”

Caroline Packman, Homecoming director, said: “The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is one of the world’s most renowned whisky clubs, and their Clans & Drams events will give visitors a unique tasting experience this May. Homecoming is a great opportunity to place the spotlight on Scotland’s greatest assets, with Whisky Month set to celebrate our national drink through a series of innovative and engaging events.”

The society has launched its Clans & Drams activities with the creation of a unique wooden kilt – handmade by furniture maker Anselm Fraser from pieces of wood from a single cask of whisky. The sporran represents the society’s 12 whisky clans – with each clan represented by a colour. The society’s three venues in Edinburgh and London will also be transformed with whisky clan badges and an array of props.

Non-members are welcome at the society throughout May and a full list of the experiences throughout Clans & Drams month can be found at