News>Around the World with The SMWS Team

Traveling has heightened my appreciation for whisky in so many ways. Each new place I visit offers a unique experience in enjoying whisky, from food pairings to glassware and even to recommendations. As the light at the end of this dark tunnel grows nearer, the notion of traveling again is so close I can almost taste it. I am very much looking forward to visiting my teammates around the globe for great times and great Society drams! 

To share that excitement with you all, I have reached out to a small handful of them to ask a few questions to learn a little bit about what their favorite whisky pairings are, what type of glassware they prefer and what their current favorite flavour profile is! 

I hope you enjoy reading their answers, and if you ever find yourself in their corners of the world, I hope you can share a dram with them and learn a little bit about what makes enjoying whisky in these countries so unique!


Alex Hay - SMWS New Zealand

What whisky + food pairing do you enjoy most? My food and whisky pairing would be aged Windsor Blue cheese, and fortified wine cask matured heavily peated whisky.

What is your preferred type of glassware, and why? My preferred type of glassware is the Copita style as it provides a huge advantage for nosing. 

Current favorite flavour profile? My current flavour profile is the Oily and Coastal.


Rob & Kelly Carpenter - Founders, SMWS Canada

What whisky + food pairing do you enjoy most?

Kelly - I'm always up for pairing whisky and chocolate, and I also love experimenting with cheese (which is really just an excuse to eat cheese). 

Rob - I enjoy pairing Society drams with a crisp lager or pilsner (let's acknowledge that beer is a food group, after all). The acidity of the beer (careful not to swig or glug!) cleans and resets the palate brilliantly and let's one really enjoy the whisky.

What is your preferred type of glassware, and why?

Kelly - Over the years our glassware collection has grown to be mostly SMWS glasses and Glencairns, so by default those are probably my favourites. I like the delicate elegance of the SMWS glass, and the robustness of Glencairns (I'm a bit of a klutz; once dropped a Glencairn from a high kitchen cupboard, and instead of shattering when it hit the floor, it dented the hardwood!).

Rob - prefer the SMWS whisky glasses. Glencairns are a close second, but prefer the stem of the SMWS glasses to the chunkiness of the Glencairns (and safer for floors, as Kelly has pointed out).

Current favorite flavour profile?
Kelly - Currently really into Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits and Oily & Coastal.

Rob - always drawn to something Oily and Coastal as those tend to be the curious, dirty, slightly weird drams (love a 93).


Andrew Park - EU Activations Executive, Edinburgh

What whisky + food pairing do you enjoy most?
Two very distinct experiences.  A peated Distillery #4 with a deep fried Oyster/oysters with a shallot vinaigrette.  The other is all our flavour profiles with alcoholic ice cream. Ice dream dram activation in 2015. The Ginger Rasta was amazing!

What is your preferred type of glassware, and why?
I have The Dramathon” branded Glencairn.  It reminds me of how hard I worked to get the glass, helps me enjoy the dram more and makes me think of Speyside and the joy of finishing a half marathon at Glenfiddich Distillery.

Current favorite flavour profile?
Juicy oak and Vanilla going into summer!


Magnus Fagerström - SMWS Country Manager,  Sweden

What whisky + food pairing do you enjoy most?
I dont often pair whisky and food but smoked salmon and smoky whisky is nice. A cigar with a Sherry matured whisky is also nice but thats not food.

What is your preferred type of glassware, and why?
I like the Bugatti glass. I like the thin glass and the stem it stands on. And I like the shape of the glass.

Current favorite flavour profile?
Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits.


Matt Bailey - National Ambassador, SMWS Australia

What whisky + food pairing do you enjoy most?
The kind of pairings that really give you a proper 'whisky epiphany', and it's almost never what you think it will be. Compliment or contrast is one half of it, but the other half is definitely texture and mouthfeel. There's no particular food + whisky pairing I lean on, but always love experimenting with textures and tastes that surprise and warp the mind! That said, I'm currently experimenting quite a bit with textures in types of fresh seafood and whisky.

What is your preferred type of glassware, and why?
I generally have two broad types of glassware: appreciation or assessment. For assessing a whisky critically and writing tasting notes, I'll use a stemmed bulb like our Society spirit glass or tulip-style stemmed Glencairn. For sheer enjoyment and appreciation I sometimes use a nice angled tumbler or Denver & Liely glass.

Current favorite flavour profile?
This is a tough one as it changes with the seasons and mood, but right now it's Juicy Oak & Vanilla, again. I've recently had a big Oily & Coastal / Lightly Peated stint which was delicious, but back to JOV as I'm loving those rich and savoury, biscuity notes in a whisky right now.

I wish you all safe travels, when the time is right and hope you enjoy not only the drams but the company too! 

Jenna  Elie