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How to start a whisky club

Old Pulteney

3rd September 2014

Whisky club blog detail

Some time ago we gave you a few simple tips on how to organise a whisky tasting . It's quite simple really, as long as you plan ahead, give the line-up some thought and don't forget to hydrate and feed the whisky tasters. But what if your tastings become popular? It's surprising how quickly word spreads when there is excellent whisky involved. If you've thrown a few successful tastings or met regularly with a group of like-minded people to share new drams, perhaps it's time to launch a local whisky club? Here is a handful of tips to help you get started.

1. Start small 

If you don't have much experience in organising tastings, start small. Don't advertise your events in the newspapers straight away, that time will come. If you can get 10 people around the table on a regular basis, that's a good result and a very efficient way to spread the cost of wonderful new whiskies.

2. Work with your local 

Whether it's a restaurant with a decent selection of single malts, a good pub or, if you're lucky, a specialist whisky bar, talk to them about a partnership. From our experience if you offer to the bar owners to bring in a group of thirsty whisky drinkers on a quiet night on a regular basis, they are likely to offer you space and let you bring in your own stock.

3. If you don't ask, you don't get 

Your favourite whisky brands may seem like big inaccessible companies where people wouldn't care about a small whisky club. The reality is quite different. We're always excited to hear from people who run whisky clubs and societies and so are our colleagues across the industry. Drop your favourite brands a line, introduce yourself, let them know well in advance of any tastings you're holding and you never know, distillers may decide to support you in one way or another.

4. Meet regularly 

This may seem like a very obvious thing but it's better for a whisky club to meet regularly – most get together once a month or once a fortnight – than to arrange ad-hoc sessions. This way it's much easier to manage venue and attendance and also gives you motivation to plan ahead and get organised.

5. Talk to each other 

Don't just use group emails to let people know what's going on. Create a Facebook group or start a simple forum so that club members can get involved in shaping the direction of your whisky adventures rather than just being on the receiving end of your ideas. It's much more fun this way.

Hope these few thoughts helped to inspire you to get together with other whisky enthusiasts. It doesn't matter if it's just a couple of neighbours and a cat, every whisky club is a venture worth applauding and, you will find, a source of endless joy and banter. Good luck.

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