The SMWS – Cracking The Code

I recently reviewed a Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottling of Balmenach, 48.70, and in the review I was discussing the coding system that they use on their bottles. I mentioned that I would do a write up of this to better explain how it works, though it really is quite simple.

Any bottle that is released by the SMWS will have two numbers on the bottle, for the Balmenach I reviewed these were 48 and 70. The first number on any of their bottles is representative of the distillery that the whisky originated from; every distillery is given a different number. The second number is to represent the number of casks that they have bottled from that distillery. So to put it simply, 48.70 – Balmenach is the 48th distillery on the SMWS coding system, and this bottle came from the 70th cask that they have bottled from this distillery. As well as this there is obviously other information on the specific cask i.e. cask type, age, the strength of the bottling.

The coding for the SMWS’s bottling used to be a close kept secret, though now it is free information, you can simply search it on the internet and easily find out, or if you are at one of their tastings they will more often than not tell you the distillery anyway. For those of you that are interested a list of the distilleries and code numbers is shown below:

Distilleries SMWS Codes
Glenfarclas Distillery 1
Glenlivet Distillery 2
Bowmore Distillery 3
Highland Park Distillery 4
Auchentoshan Distillery 5
Glen Deveron (Macduff Distillery) 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
Ledaig (Tobermory Distillery) 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
Lomond (Inverleven Distillery) 98
Glenugie Distillery 99
Strathmill Distillery 100
Knockando Distillery 101
Dalwhinnie Distillery 102
Royal Lochnagar Distillery 103
Glencraig (Glenburgie Distillery) 104
Tormore Distillery 105
Cardhu Distillery 106
Glenallachie Distillery 107
Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery 108
Mosstowie (Miltonduff Distillery) 109
Oban Distillery 110
Lagavulin Distillery 111
Loch Lomond Distillery (Inchmurrin) 112
Braes of Glenlivet (Braeval Distillery) 113
Longrow (Springbank Distillery) 114
An Cnoc (Knockdhu Distillery) 115
Yoichi Distillery 116
Cooley Distillery (unpeated) 117
Cooley Distillery (peated) 118
Yamazaki Distillery 119
Hakushu Distillery 120
Isle of Arran Distillery 121
Croftengea (Loch Lomond Distillery) 122
Glengoyne Distillery 123
Miyagikyo Distillery 124
Glenmorangie Distillery 125
Hazelburn (Springbank Distillery) 126
Port Charlotte (Bruichladdich Distillery) 127
Penderyn Distillery 128
Kilchoman Distillery 129
Chichibu Distillery 130
Hanyu Distillery 131
Karuizawa Distillery 132
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
Miyagikyo (Nikka) Distillery Coffey Grain G11
Miyagikyo (Nikka) Distillery Coffey Malt G12
Chita Distillery G13
Dumbarton Distillery G14
Heaven Hill Distillery B1
Bernheim Distillery B2
Rock Town Distillery B3
Port Morant Distillery (Jamaica) R1
Demerara Distillery (El Dorado) (Guyana) R2
Mount Gay Distillery (Barbados) R3
Angostura Distillery (Trinidad) R4
Appleton Distillery (Jamaica) R5

 

Well there you have it; a very fun read I’m sure you will agree… the eagle eyed amongst you may also have noticed that as well as malt distilleries there are some other distilleries in here too. These are at the bottom of the list, listed as G, B and R. These are Grain whiskies, Bourbons and Rums, which the society have recently started bottling.

The main reason behind the coding as oppose to putting the names of the distilleries on the bottles is to prevent people getting hung up on the name of the distillery that it has come from, the society is all about getting people to try unique and fantastic whisky without trying it because it has a famous name. Which I personally think is a very good way of doing things, as quite often a lot of their bottlings come from distilleries that don’t even have an official bottling, such as Balmenach, if not for the SMWS I may never have tried anything from this gem of a distillery.

This is the SMWS full list as of writing this article, please let me know if there are changes/additions to be made to the SMWS codes you see here. 

Sláinte

Gary

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