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SMWS redesigns bottles for first time in a decade

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has revamped its famous green bottle design for the first time in nearly 10 years, introducing a colour scheme that “defines whisky more by aromas than region”.

SMWS’s new colour-coded bottles reflect the society’s 12 flavour profiles

The range has been redesigned to mark the 35th anniversary of SMWS, a private members’ club that bottles single cask whisky from a number of unspecified distilleries.

Bottles now feature one of 12 different colours – in the caps, the strip on the label and age statement – which conform to the society’s 12 flavour profiles, ranging from Young & Sprightly to Old & Dignified.

SMWS said it “wants to make it easier to focus on the flavours” by emphasising a whisky’s aroma, rather than region. However, bottles will still specify their region of origin since this is a “useful signpost for newcomers”.

Another “big” change on the bottles is large font age statements. The SMWS tasting panel has selected whiskies with “unfamiliar” ages to “ensure we bottle when the whisky itself is ready, not according to when time dictates it’s ready,” the society claims.

SMWS’s logo of The Vaults in Leith has been modernised, “emphasising the shape of the bottle in the building”.

The bottles will continue to list the distillation date of the liquid, its out-turn, unique society code, tasting notes written by the SMWS tasting panel, the previous contents of the cask and the number of times it has been filled, and a quirky name based on the whisky’s essential flavours and characteristics.

In 2015, The Glenmorangie Company sold the Scotch Malt Whisky Society to a group of private investors. Last month, the society released what was thought to be the first Scotch whisky finished in an ex-gin cask.

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