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 Whisky SMWS Code
Glenfarclas Distillery 1
Glenlivet Distillery 2
Bowmore Distillery 3
Highland Park Distillery 4
Auchentoshan Distillery 5
Macduff Distillery (Glen Deveron) 6
Longmorn Distillery 7
Tamdhu Distillery 8
Glen Grant Distillery 9
Bunnahabhain Distillery 10
Tomatin Distillery 11
Benriach Distillery 12
Dalmore Distillery 13
Talisker Distillery 14
Glenfiddich Distillery 15
Glenturret Distillery 16
Scapa Distillery 17
Inchgower Distillery 18
Glen Garioch Distillery 19
Inverleven Distillery 20
Glenglassaugh Distillery 21
Glenkinchie Distillery 22
Bruichladdich Distillery 23
Macallan Distillery 24
Rosebank Distillery 25
Clynelish Distillery 26
Springbank Distillery 27
Tullibardine Distillery 28
Laphroaig Distillery 29
Glenrothes Distillery 30
Isle of Jura Distillery 31
Edradour Distillery 32
Ardbeg Distillery 33
Tamnavulin Distillery 34
Glen Moray Distillery 35
Benrinnes Distillery 36
Cragganmore Distillery 37
Caperdonich Distillery 38
Linkwood Distillery 39
Balvenie Distillery 40
Dailuaine Distillery 41
Tobermory Distillery (Ledaig) 42
Port Ellen Distillery 43
Craigellachie Distillery 44
Dallas Dhu Distillery 45
Glenlossie Distillery 46
Benromach Distillery 47
Balmenach Distillery 48
St. Magdalene Distillery 49
Bladnoch Distillery 50
Bushmills Distillery 51
Old Pulteney Distillery 52
Caol Ila Distillery 53
Aberlour Distillery 54
Royal Brackla Distillery 55
Coleburn Distillery 56
Glen Mhor Distillery 57
Strathisla Distillery 58
Teaninich Distillery 59
Aberfeldy Distillery 60
Brora Distillery 61
Glenlochy Distillery 62
Glentauchers Distillery 63
Mannochmore Distillery 64
Imperial Distillery 65
Ardmore Distillery 66
Banff Distillery 67
Blair Athol Distillery 68
Glen Albyn Distillery 69
Balblair Distillery 70
Glenburgie Distillery 71
Miltonduff Distillery 72
Aultmore Distillery 73
North Port Distillery 74
Glenury Royal Distillery 75
Mortlach Distillery 76
Glen Ord Distillery 77
Ben Nevis Distillery 78
Deanston Distillery 79
Glen Spey Distillery 80
Glen Keith Distillery 81
Glencadam Distillery 82
Convalmore Distillery 83
Glendullan Distillery 84
Glen Elgin Distillery 85
Glenesk Distillery 86
Millburn Distillery 87
Speyburn Distillery 88
Tomintoul Distillery 89
Pittyvaich Distillery 90
Dufftown Distillery 91
Lochside Distillery 92
Glen Scotia Distillery 93
Old Fettercairn Distillery 94
Auchroisk (Singleton) Distillery 95
Glendronach Distillery 96
Littlemill Distillery 97
Inverleven Distillery (Lomond) 98
Glenugie Distillery 99
Strathmill Distillery 100
Knockando Distillery 101
Dalwhinnie Distillery 102
Royal Lochnagar Distillery 103
Glenburgie Distillery (Glencraig) 104
Tormore Distillery 105
Cardhu Distillery 106
Glenallachie Distillery 107
Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery 108
Miltonduff (Mosstowie) 109
Oban Distillery 110
Lagavulin Distillery 111
Loch Lomond Distillery (Inchmurrin) 112
Braeval Distillery (Braes of Glenlivet) 113
Springbank Distillery (Longrow) 114
Knockdhu Distillery (An Cnoc) 115
Yoichi Distillery 116
Cooley Distillery (unpeated) 117
Cooley Distillery (peated) 118
Yamazaki Distillery 119
Hakushu Distillery 120
Isle of Arran Distillery 121
Loch Lomond Distillery (Croftengea) 122
Glengoyne Distillery 123
Miyagikyo Distillery 124
Glenmorangie Distillery 125
Springbank Distillery (Hazelburn) 126
Bruichladdich (Port Charlotte) 127
Penderyn Distillery 128
Kilchoman Distillery 129
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 Distillery G1
Carsebridge Distillery G2
Caledonian Distillery G3
Cameronbridge Distillery G4
Invergordon Distillery G5
Port Dundas Distillery G6
Girvan Distillery G7
Cambus Distillery G8
Loch Lomond Distillery G9
Strathclyde Distillery G10
Nikka Coffey Grain (Japan) G11
Nikka Coffey Malt (Japan) G12
Chita (Japan) G13
Dumbarton Distillery G14

American Bourbon Whiskey

American Bourbon Whiskey  SMWS Code
Heaven Hill B1
Bernheim B2
Rock Town B3
F.E.W Distillery B4

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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