Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society app

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to the launch of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society's (or SMWS for future reference) new app at their London facility in Bleeding Heart Yard.  In the past, an 'evening' at The SMWS (and their extensive collection of cask strength whiskies) has resulted in some 'less than productive' days at work the following day ... especially when Helen Stewart and Joe McGirr of The SMWS are present.  This evening turned out to be no different and we joined them, plus some fellow whisky bloggers including Billy from Billy's Booze Blog, Jason from Whisky Squad and Mark & Michelle from Dramatic Whisky.

The app sees the SMWS producing a new digital edition of their award winning Unfiltered magazine, which comes out regularly for its members.  The plan is to have one new digital edition every two months or so, and the app has been designed by Connect Communications (Scotland) Ltd.  It is currently only available on the iPad and is the first fully interactive digital whisky magazine.

Many things about the app impressed us ..
  • It is not simply a reproduction of the regular magazine but instead offers something extra, such as extended and interactive elements that can simply not be reproduced on paper.  
  • It is not exclusive to members - it opens up The SMWS to non-members around the world.  This in turn opens up the world of whisky to anyone who is interested and shows the unique slant that The Society has.  
  • It encompasses the high quality writing and artistic photography (including some very cool 360° photography) that The SMWS are building a reputation for, plus adding in movies which are filmed in a similar way and uses cutting edge technology.  
  • The usability of the app is very good - neither of us have iPad's but found it very easy to navigate and engage with.

A free sample version of the Unfiltered app (pictured, above) is available on through iTunes - click here to download it.  We suggest that you have a play, a read and enjoy.  Further editions will be available through iTunes for £3.99 per issue or a special introductory price of £7.49 for three issues.  In time it is hoped that it will be expanded to be available on other systems, which will open the app and The SMWS to an even wider audience.

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