I've acquired a distinct preference for scotch over bourbon during the past few years. Last year, in anticipation of a 2-week trip to Scotland this Spring (which of course was cancelled
), I joined the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, mainly to be able to visit their members' rooms in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Society is an independent bottler of casks they acquire from all over, and they re-age them in various casks before bottling. It is said (by them) that they have over 10,000 casks in their warehouse in Edinburgh.
They have branches all over the world including the U.S. (based in NY). About every two weeks they release new bottlings ("outturns") of anywhere between a couple and a dozen different scotches. Most of them are cask strength. Of each outturn, say a cask yields 250 or 300 bottles, somewhere around 70-90 will be sent to the U.S. Pricing for most bottles is between $95 - $150, and there seems to be an almost direct correlation between price and age. They also have frequent releases in the $200-$400 range.
Since our trip was cancelled, I've been building an unreasonable collection of scotch. All of the Society bottles have been outstanding, in particular their peated releases. They don't identify the distillery directly, but rather by a code number followed by a cask number. The unofficial code numbers are online from various sources. They have tasting panels which write the most amusing and ridiculous-sounding descriptions.https://www.smwsa.com