Scotch Malt Whisky Society distillery numbers
I aim to make this a thorough list of distillery numbers. There are dozens of other lists out there, but frequently they're incomplete. If you have a correction, please send it to me!
Why does the SMWS only identify scotches by number? There are two answers to this question - the old answer and the modern answer.
The old answer is that this is/was a part of their agreement with each distillery - they agrees to not overtly identify the source distillery (though their descriptions sometimes give strong hints at who it is). People began keeping lists of which distillery corresponded to which number - which is how this page got started.
The modern answer is that this really isn't a secret anymore - you can go to the SMWS website and find distilleries listed by number for the bottles they currently have in stock. Lists like this page come in handy when trying to find information on bottles that are now out of stock. Perhaps the agreement with the distilleries changed.
The best reason to de-emphasize the distillery names are that SMWS releases come from single casks, while the whisky bottles you buy in your local store come from a blend made up of many different casks. Liquor companies work to ensure that retail bottles all taste generally the same from one bottle to the next - but SMWS releases can taste very different from one cask to the next. So the numbers also help to remove any preconceived notions of what a release should taste like - a Macallan from the SMWS will almost certainly not taste the same as a Macallan you buy in the store. And that's a good thing, this means that each SMWS release is a unique thing. However, if you visit their tasting rooms in the UK, their staff will be happy to tell you which distillery the bottles are from.
What do the numbers mean? 5.19 means that the bottle is from the 19th cask/release the SMWS has purchased from distillery 5. In this case, it would be from Auchentoshan.
Why can't I find X in the SMWS' current catalog? The SMWS doesn't have offerings from every distillery available all the time. Some of the distilleries listed may never see the light of day in the SMWS catalog again. And if you're in the US, the US SMWS affiliate has a much, much more limited selection than the UK does. This is just a guide to what the numbers are, not what you can order at any time.
What about other spirits? The SMWS offers other spirits from time to time outside of the usual Scotch realm. Often these will be unique creations - like cask-aged gin that you won't find in stores. These are designated by different codes before the number. They are listed below:
- A: Armagnac
- B: Bourbon
- C: Cognac
- Cider: Cider Brandy (only one known release with no official cask prefix)
- G: Grain whisky
- GN: Gin
- R: Rum
- RW: Rye whisky
What about the Vaults Collection? The SMWS issues special archival releases branded as the Vaults Collection from time to time. These follow the standard release numbering scheme, though I've added a P tag to the release number to flag these as premium releases.
Why are some catalog items blank? If I can confirm in the SMWS catalog that an item exists, I'll list the item number here. Once there's more information, I'll add it, otherwise I'll leave the entry blank.
Why isn't the number I'm looking for listed here? I probably haven't updated the list. The SMWS doesn't add new distillers as frequently as they add releases, so I'm not constantly checking for updates. Feel free to ask me if you think I need to add something that's missing.
What about blends? I've made a subsection under the main whisky section for these. There is no official numbering scheme for these.
What are the different colors in the top wraps and labels? The SMSW has introduced a series of flavor profiles. These are an attempt to go beyond the general regional distinctions. A single distillery could have casks in SMWS with multiple different flavor profiles. The profiles are listed here.
Are you affiliated with the SMWS? No. I put this together without any direct help from the SMWS. They can't be held responsible for any of the information I have listed here or any errors. Please let me know if you find any mistakes.
Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, Japanese whisky, Indian whisky, Welsh, English, American...
This category has become a bit of a catch-all with the last few releases, as you can see the title keeps growing longer. I've updated the distillery status here and there, but this should not be considered an authoritative source for distillery operational status - that's not the purpose of this list.
|6||MacDuff (Glen Deveron)||Highland|
|17||Scapa||Island||Reopened||Mothballed in 1994|
|20||Inverleven||Lowland||Demolished 1991||Distilled 1938-1991 at Dumbarton|
|21||Glenglassaugh||Speyside||Reopened 2008||Closed 1986|
|25||Rosebank||Lowland||Closed 1993||Plans to reopen|
|31||Isle of Jura||Island|
|38||Caperdonich||Speyside||Closed 2002||Pernod Ricard||Demolished in 2010|
|43||Port Ellen||Islay||Closed 1983, partially demolished.||Diageo||Only maltings. Reopening by 2020.|
|45||Dallas Dhu||Speyside||Closed 1983||Opened as a museum in 1992.|
|49||St Magdalene/Linlithgow||Lowland||Demolished 1983|
|55||Royal Brackla||Highland||Reopened 1991||Closed 1985|
|56||Coleburn||Speyside||Closed 1983, equipment and buildings sold.||Diageo|
|57||Glen Mhor||Highland||Demolished 1983||Distillers Company|
|61||Brora||Highland||Demolished 2019, will be rebuilt.||Closed 1983|
|62||Glenlochy||Highland||Demolished except for the kiln building.||Closed 1983, a hotel now stands on the site.|
|64||Mannochmore||Speyside||Reopened||Closed 1985-1989 and 1995|
|65||Imperial||Speyside||Demolished 2013||Mothballed 1998|
|67||Banff||Speyside||Demolished 1991||Distillers Company||Closed 1983|
|69||Glen Albyn||Highland||Closed 1983, Demolished 1988|
|74||North Port||Highland||Closed 1983|
|75||Glenury Royal||Highland||Closed 1985, buildings sold.||Diageo|
|77||Glen Ord / Glenordie||Highland|
|82||Glencadam||Highland||Reopened||Was mothballed in 2000|
|83||Convalmore||Speyside||Closed 1985, dismantled.||Diageo||Site still used as a warehouse.|
|86||Glenesk / Hillside||Highland||Demolished||Closed 1985, only maltings|
|87||Millburn||Highland||Demolished 1985||Most buildings demolished 1988, a hotel is in the remaining building.|
|90||Pittyvaich||Speyside||Demolished 2002||Mothballed 1993|
|92||Lochside||Highland||Closed 1992||Allied Domecq||Demolished in 2004.|
|95||Auchroisk (The Singleton)||Speyside|
|97||Littlemill||Lowland||Closed 1994||Dismantled 1997, buildings burned in 2004. Loch Lomond distillery is aging the remaining casks.|
|98||Inverleven||Highland||Distilled 1956-1985 using Lomond stills|
|99||Glenugie||Highland||Closed 1983, sold.|
|104||Glenburgie (Glencraig)||Speyside||Distillery is open, but these original Lomond stills are gone.||Pernod Ricard||Distilled with Lomond stills until 1981.|
|109||Miltonduff (Mosstowie)||Speyside||Closed 1981||Distilled with Lomond stills|
|113||Braeval (Braes of Glenlivet)||Speyside|
|115||Knockdhu (An Cnoc)||Highland|
|117||Cooley (Tyrconnell)||Ireland, unpeated|
|118||Cooley (Connemara)||Ireland, peated|
|126||Springbank (Hazelburn)||Campbelltown||Not sure what this signifies, Hazelburn closed in the 1920s.|
|127||Bruichladdich (Port Charlotte)||Islay||Closed in 1929||Bruichladdich Distillery Co||SMWS sells Bruichladdich casks aged at Port Charlotte.|
|131||Hanyu||Closed in 2000, demolished in 2004||Japan|
|132||Karuizawa||Mothballed in 2000, Closed in 2011||Mercian||Japan|
|133||Westland Distillery||USA (Washington)|
|134||Paul John||John Distilleries||India (Goa)|
|139||Kavalan||King Car Group||Taiwan|
|142||Breuckelen||USA (New York)|
These releases aren't officially numbered, I originally tried to put these in chronological order but failed/gave up. Some listings use the prefix "Batch".
|Blend2||Exotic Cargo 2|
|Blend3||Peat Faerie||Speyside and Islay|
|Blend4||Peat Faerie 2|
|Blend5||Peat Faerie Jr|
|Blend6||Old Fashioned||IPA, Bourbon, Sherry casked|
|Blend7||Festival Blend 2019||Unsure about the order of this one.|
|Blend11||Small Batch Lemon Odyssey||Renewal Exclusive|
|A1||Château de Lacaze|
|A3||J. Goudoulin||Veuve Goudoulin|
|A5||Chateau de Laubade|
Bourbon (and other American whiskey)
Source is Kentucky unless otherwise commented. Some lists cite B6-B13, but I cannot find evidence of these releases actually existing (yet).
|B5||Cascade Hollow||George Dickel, Tennessee|
There is only one known release, it is labeled as "Cask No. 1" with no prefix on the bottle.
|Cider1||Somerset||Apple brandy, made in UK. Distilled 1991.|
Not much is known here, but I've added origin notes. Note that some distilleries have multiple regional sources within the Cognac AOC.
|C1||Camus||Ile de Ré (Bois à Terroirs)|
|C2||Domaine de Chez Guérive||Petite Champagne|
|C3||Louis Royer||3.1 is from Ile de Ré (Bois à Terroirs), 3.2 is from Grande Champagne|
|C4||Distillerie D'Aumagne||Petite Champagne|
|C5||Tiffon Cognac||5.1 and 5.3 are from Grande Champagne, 5.2 is from Petite Champagne|
There's no official numbering scheme for their cask blends. SMWS Switzerland uses LRB as the prefix, Hong Kong calls it "CASK Blend".
|CBlend1 (LRB1)||A Trifle Delightful||XO|
|GN1||Glasgow Distillery / Makar||Glasgow, Scotland|
|GN3||The Borders Distillery||Hawick, Scotland|
|GN4||The Boatyard Distillery||Northern Ireland|
Source is Scotland unless otherwise commented.
|G2||Carsebrisge||Closed 1983||Dismantled in 1992|
|G3||Caledonian||Closed 1988||Torn down|
|G4||Cameron Bridge||Major renovations in 1989, 2000|
|G11||Nikka Miyagikyo||Japan, Coffey Grain|
|G12||Nikka Miyagikyo||Japan, Coffey Malt|
|G15||Loch Lomond (Rhosdhu)|
There are differing opinions about some sources. I've listed what appear to be the more informed sources, with the alternative source in the comments.
|R1||Monymusk||Jamaica (Some say Port Mourant in Guyana)|
|R3||Rockley Still at West Indies Rum Distillery||Barbados (Some say Mount Gay)|
|R5||Longpond||Jamaica (Some say Appleton)|
|R8||Flor de Caña||Nicaragua (Full distillery name is Compañia Licorera de Nicaragua)|
|R9||Ron Abuelo||Panama (Full corp name is Varela-Hermanos)|
|R10||Caroni||Trinidad (some say Trinidad Distillers)|
|RW1||FEW Distillery||USA (Illinois)|
|RW2||USA (New York)|
|RW3||USA (New York)|