SMWS Bottlings and the Codes They Use

We spoke of the brief history of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) in our previous article, and today, we are exploring the way they choose their casks as well as the interesting codes of their bottles. If you noticed the unique codes for each SMWS bottling and wonder what it all means, let us explore that together.

The SMWS’ Way of Choosing a Cask

Before we delve into codes, let us first look at how SMWS chooses its casks. SMWS appoints a “Tasting Panel” to select what casks to buy and bottle. The society acquires casks only after the tasting panel approved of the cask. In other words, the bottles that we bought off the website are tried and tested by the experts from the tasting panel.

The tasting panel consists of Society representatives who are either directly involved in the whisky industry or those who proved their knowledge of whisky. Besides tasting and approving casks to buy, the tasting panel also gives each expression an unusual and descriptive name. After their 25th anniversary in 2008, SMWS added mouth-watering tasting notes to depict the flavours of the whisky. An example of the unique name will be “Drunken Cherry Coconut Ice Cream”. Someone who is drinking this expression is likely to find cherry and coconut notes in the whisky, and the liquid will be creamy to taste.

The Unique Codes of SMWS’ Bottling

After choosing the cask, the society bottles it and give the outturn of each expression an unique two-part numerical “identity code”. The first part of the code represents the distillery and the second part indicates the number of cask bottled from the said distillery. For example, 54.45 means the 45th cask acquired from distillery number 54. Every society bottling uses this numerical system. The reason behind this system is simple. Every single cask is different, and SMWS did not want whisky lovers to link the whisky to the distillery’s general profile before drinking it. By using a code, drinkers are more willing to try it without judging and in a way, makes every sip a blind tasting.

It is worthy to note that SMWS bottles grain whiskies as well as single malt whiskies. The grain whiskies are denoted by the prefix “G” in their cask number. There is also rum with the prefix “R” as well as American whiskey with the prefix “B”.

The List of SMWS’ Distillery Codes

The list of distillery codes grows ever longer with every new distillery that SMWS adds to its embrace. Here is a list of the codes that we know of.

Single Malts

Single Malt WhiskySMWS Code
Glenfarclas Distillery1
Glenlivet Distillery2
Bowmore Distillery3
Highland Park Distillery4
Auchentoshan Distillery5
Macduff Distillery (Glen Deveron)6
Longmorn Distillery7
Tamdhu Distillery8
Glen Grant Distillery9
Bunnahabhain Distillery10
Tomatin Distillery11
Benriach Distillery12
Dalmore Distillery13
Talisker Distillery14
Glenfiddich Distillery15
Glenturret Distillery16
Scapa Distillery17
Inchgower Distillery18
Glen Garioch Distillery19
Inverleven Distillery20
Glenglassaugh Distillery21
Glenkinchie Distillery22
Bruichladdich Distillery23
Macallan Distillery24
Rosebank Distillery25
Clynelish Distillery26
Springbank Distillery27
Tullibardine Distillery28
Laphroaig Distillery29
Glenrothes Distillery30
Isle of Jura Distillery31
Edradour Distillery32
Ardbeg Distillery33
Tamnavulin Distillery34
Glen Moray Distillery35
Benrinnes Distillery36
Cragganmore Distillery37
Caperdonich Distillery38
Linkwood Distillery39
Balvenie Distillery40
Dailuaine Distillery41
Tobermory Distillery (Ledaig)42
Port Ellen Distillery43
Craigellachie Distillery44
Dallas Dhu Distillery45
Glenlossie Distillery46
Benromach Distillery47
Balmenach Distillery48
St. Magdalene Distillery49
Bladnoch Distillery50
Bushmills Distillery51
Old Pulteney Distillery52
Caol Ila Distillery53
Aberlour Distillery54
Royal Brackla Distillery55
Coleburn Distillery56
Glen Mhor Distillery57
Strathisla Distillery58
Teaninich Distillery59
Aberfeldy Distillery60
Brora Distillery61
Glenlochy Distillery62
Glentauchers Distillery63
Mannochmore Distillery64
Imperial Distillery65
Ardmore Distillery66
Banff Distillery67
Blair Athol Distillery68
Glen Albyn Distillery69
Balblair Distillery70
Glenburgie Distillery71
Miltonduff Distillery72
Aultmore Distillery73
North Port Distillery74
Glenury Royal Distillery75
Mortlach Distillery76
Glen Ord Distillery77
Ben Nevis Distillery78
Deanston Distillery79
Glen Spey Distillery80
Glen Keith Distillery81
Glencadam Distillery82
Convalmore Distillery83
Glendullan Distillery84
Glen Elgin Distillery85
Glenesk Distillery86
Millburn Distillery87
Speyburn Distillery88
Tomintoul Distillery89
Pittyvaich Distillery90
Dufftown Distillery91
Lochside Distillery92
Glen Scotia Distillery93
Old Fettercairn Distillery94
Auchroisk (Singleton) Distillery95
Glendronach Distillery96
Littlemill Distillery97
Inverleven Distillery (Lomond)98
Glenugie Distillery99
Strathmill Distillery100
Knockando Distillery101
Dalwhinnie Distillery102
Royal Lochnagar Distillery103
Glenburgie Distillery (Glencraig)104
Tormore Distillery105
Cardhu Distillery106
Glenallachie Distillery107
Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery108
Miltonduff (Mosstowie)109
Oban Distillery110
Lagavulin Distillery111
Loch Lomond Distillery (Inchmurrin)112
Braeval Distillery (Braes of Glenlivet)113
Springbank Distillery (Longrow)114
Knockdhu Distillery (An Cnoc)115
Yoichi Distillery116
Cooley Distillery (unpeated)117
Cooley Distillery (peated)118
Yamazaki Distillery119
Hakushu Distillery120
Isle of Arran Distillery121
Loch Lomond Distillery (Croftengea)122
Glengoyne Distillery123
Miyagikyo Distillery124
Glenmorangie Distillery125
Springbank Distillery (Hazelburn)126
Bruichladdich (Port Charlotte)127
Penderyn Distillery128
Kilchoman Distillery129
Chichibu (Japan)130
Hanyu (Japan)131
Karuizawa (Japan)132
Westland Distillery (USA)133
Paul John (India)134

Grain Whisky

Grain Whisky SMWS Code
North British DistilleryG1
Carsebridge DistilleryG2
Caledonian DistilleryG3
Cameronbridge DistilleryG4
Invergordon DistilleryG5
Port Dundas DistilleryG6
Girvan DistilleryG7
Cambus DistilleryG8
Loch Lomond DistilleryG9
Strathclyde DistilleryG10
Nikka Coffey Grain (Japan)G11
Nikka Coffey Malt (Japan)G12
Chita (Japan)G13
Dumbarton DistilleryG14

American Bourbon Whiskey

American Bourbon Whiskey SMWS Code
Heaven HillB1
BernheimB2
Rock TownB3
F.E.W DistilleryB4

Rum

Rum SMWS Code
Port Morant (Jamaica)R1
Demerara El Dorado (Guyana)R2
Mount Gay (Barbados)R3
Angostura (Trinidad)R4
Appleton (Jamaica)R5

We hope the list will help you to know more but do remember, do not judge the whiskies by the general characteristics of their distilleries, as it can be very different from what you expect. Instead, read the tasting notes and taste the whisky to find out if you love it!

 

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