MALT WHISKY SOCIETY

of

AUSTRALIA
   INCORPORATED   
 
 
News & Updates
New committee elected.
Check out our home page for information on the new committee elected at the AGM, January 2014.

MWSoA 2013 4th Whisky Convention
Click here for information on this exciting and memorable event.

Gift certificates
The perfect gift for the whisky enthusiast.
Click here to apply


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The Malt Whisky Society of Australia, Inc. is a group of malt whisky enthusiasts, dedicated to the proposition that Australia needs more malts, and more appreciators of malt. To that end, we formed the not-for-profit Malt Whisky Society of Australia Inc in 2002. The 2003 National Malt Whisky Convention (Canberra, 2003) was the MWSoA's inaugural effort to provide a nationwide forum for malt whisky fans. The success of the inaugural convention led to Australia's 2nd Malt Whisky Convention which was held in Sydney in 2005, with the 3rd Convention in Melbourne in 2007 and the fourth convention in Adelaide, June 2013.
 
We also conduct the Malt Whisky Awards where we seek entries of commercially available malt whiskies and they are judged by an expert panel and the results published in our newsletter. Our list of medal winners throws up some excellent value for money malts and you might want to take our medal list (available under the Feints & Foreshots tab) when you go malt hunting.
 
We also occasionally arrange vanity bottlings from our favourite distilleries to be bottled for members.

The Management Committee, elected on 18 January 2014, comprises Craig Daniels (Chairperson), Aaron Baxter (Secretary), Ian Schmidt (Treasurer), Malcolm O Farrell (Vice Chairperson) and committee members Roger Gillard, Bob Manouge, Paul Shand, Viano Jaksa and Craig Ritchie.
 
 
  
  

Craig Daniels - Chairperson - Craig is the Foundation Chair of the Society from 2002 and was re-elected unopposed for the ninth time in January 2014. Craig has led all the Convention organising committees and has a special interest in event development and innovation in membership servicing.  His working life mainly encompassed 28 years in public administration across various Federal labour market programs, industry and regional services portfolios.   He most recently managed an Australian Apprenticeship Centre in the Adelaide Hills. Craig has been involved in whisky connoisseurship since 1991 and is a successful competitor in the National Malt Tasting Competition and he is now pursuing whisky related business opportunities. He has won the competition on three occasions, most recently in Sydney in June 2013 and previously in 2008 and 1995 and has placed second in 2000, 2001 and 2010. Craig is internationally recognised for his knowledge and palate, contributing to various whisky websites.   He is a proud member of the international internet malt collective, The Malt Maniacs, and a long standing member of the Earls of Zetland Malt Tasting Club (1991), the Streah Malt Tasters (1995) the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (2003) and the Macquarie Branch of the Gillies Club (2004). Craig has visited Scotland twice to pursue his personal passion and has photographic evidence of visits to over 80 distilleries. If pressed he will also acknowledge a growing appreciation of Australian and Japanese single malts and American rye whiskies. He has not found the perfect whisky yet; he is still hot on the trail.


Aaron Baxter - Secretary - Aaron works for a software development company providing clinical software support to customers in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK.  He has developed a lot of useful IT skills through his engagement and interest in technology and software.   Aaron has a keen interest in fine food and drink which has over the last two years expanded into the area of whisky.  Aaron has been keen to get involved with clubs and associations in areas of interest to him and he has a particular interest in whisky and food and will join fellow Committee members in developing and hosting whisky and food matching events.  Aaron has been involved with the Adelaide University Science Association and Valhalla LAN Parties and was treasurer for both organisations.   He was the president of the Adelaide University Stein Club in 2010 and enjoys exposing people to beers they have not previously tried through the club's regular tasting events.   Aaron holds a degree in Economics from The University of Adelaide.


Ian Schmidt - Treasurer -  Ian carried out his first distillation at about 16 years of age when working with his father making cider.   After a long break from distilling that had him serving, briefly, in the Navy, then fishing, sailing, mast making and flagpole making, the wheel has turned the full circle and Ian is back distilling in Adelaide at Southern Coast Distillers.   The last few years has seen Ian serving with distinction as the main coordinator of the MWSoA Malt Whisky Awards.   Unfortunately a conflict of interests keeps him out of the judging panels but he finds the organizing and the event enjoyable and educational. In the last 5 year and in the process of educating himself in the finer points of distilling Ian has acquired a real passion for malts, of all types.  Favourite drams: Southern Coast 002 of course and Caol Ila 12.


Malcolm O'Farrell -  Vice Chairperson -  Mal is an experienced publican with a long term interest in malt whisky.   Since taking over the Rob Roy Hotel n 2006 his wife Stacey and he set out to create a venue and atmosphere for the true whisky lover.   Building one of the countrys best whisky collections, the Rob Roy Hotel has gained a reputation as the home of malt in Adelaide.   From hosting private malt tastings, whisky and food matching degustation dinners and involvement with several malt clubs, Mal has strived to bring all of his 20 years hospitality industry experience to building and expanding malt whisky appreciation and knowledge.   Mal looks forward to the opportunity to further develop and drive whisky appreciation through the Malt Whisky Society of Australia.


Roger Gillard - Committee member - Marketing officer - Retired Advertising and Public Relations Consultant. Born and bred in Adelaide of German and English parents. Qualified Mechanical Engineer, but never worked in the field.  Roger worked in the photographic industry initially [family involvement] then progressed to senior management in a retail chain and then became State Manager of Advertising and Public Relations for that company.  He then took up a position as senior representative of Amex then started an independent advertising/public relations consultancy in Adelaide.  Rogers hobbies & interests include motor racing, malt whisky tasting, golf, gym and travel.  He was introduced to scotch whisky by his father in 1961 and for many years he stuck to his formula, which was Haig's in the short black bottle, but in later years Roger discovered malt whisky.  During the last 10 years his interest heightened and he joined several tasting clubs.  Roger has also entered tasting competitions, recently reaching the taste offs at the SMWS National Malt Tasting Championship in Sydney 2010.


 

Bob Manouge - Committee member.   Bob has recently retired from 41 years in State Government public administration in the agricultural sector. His first interests in the liquor industry revolved around the collection of beer cans. This progressed to a stint at home brewing and an appreciation of the various styles of beer. As a foundation member of the Beer Can Collectors Association of Australia he has held the positions of National President and State President for several years in its 30 plus years of existence.   Following a visit to Scotland and Ireland in 2006 the attraction of whiskey was too great to ignore and Bob became an enthusiastic member of the MWSoA.  Whisky has brought another glass to my table to enjoy.   His second visit to Scotland in 2012 has entrenched his love for Scotland and the cratur.


Paul Shand - Committee Member - Paul is a geologist and has been working as a research scientist in Adelaide on soil and water quality for the past eight years. He also spent fifteen years working in the UK and internationally on surface water and groundwater issues being provided with ample opportunity to sample local eau de vie from many countries. Paul was brought up in Wick, close to the Old Pulteney distillery, and has been passionate about malt whisky and the history of the industry for many years. He is also interested in the relationship between the land and its whisky and convinced that the old timers were right in thinking that water quality is the key to some of the characteristics of whisky  having a significant effect on the mashing and fermentation stages of the production process. Pauls biggest surprise in coming to Australia is the quality of its malt whisky and he has exported significant quantities back to friends and family in Scotland. He was joint winner of The Golden Dram award in 2013 along with Vic Orlow and got 1st prize in last years convention raffle  he is hoping his luck will continue but not holding out too much hope!

Viano Jaksa - Committee Member - Viano has worked as a professional film editor, as a teacher and lately as an IT consultant. His Italian heritage explains his passion for Alfa Romeo motor vehicles and for wine but there is no genetic explanation for his love of "uisge beatha," the water of life. Viano's belief that life is all about the journey and so, after having received a copy of "1001 whiskies You Must Try Before You Die," he's undertaking this challenge with characteristic passion and enthusiasm.

 

Craig Ritchie - Committee Member - Craig is a Risk Management Consultant specialising in Asset Protection and Business Continuity. He joined the Streah Malt Whisky Club in 2001 and is a past club Laird.  He was first equal (with Craig Daniels) in the 2005 club championship. Craig has read extensively on the subject and in particular found Goodness Nose - the passionate revelations of a Scotch whisky master blender  - by Richard Patterson and Gaven D Smith very instructive and interesting. In recent years Craig has made several trips to Scotland and whilst there visited distilleries (both the Mainland and the Isles) to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the single malt industry. Craig attended the Malt Whisky Society of Australias Convention in Adelaide in 2013. This enabled him to connect with all sectors of the malt fraternity. He was invited to join the Judging Panel for the Malt Whisky Society of Australias 2013 Whisky Awards.