Scotch Malt Whisky Society to launch online selection engine

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has launched a whisky selection engine, which will provide users with a new way of discovering its range of Society bottlings.

Developed by Whitespace, The Spirit Cellars is located within ‘the dark vaults’ of the SMWS website, combining advanced algorithms with tasting notes to allow users to identify their perfect malt whisky.

The selection engine utilises technology which was developed for the computer dating industry – a range of widgets such as MoodBot, Palate Equaliser and the Phrenology Lab that assess frame of mind, personality, palate preferences and favourite flavours to help members of the society find their ideal dram.

Tasting notes are also provided to help complement specific meals with certain whiskies, while through the provision of feedback, users can develop their own signature online gadget and win an exclusive bottle from the Society’s range of single cask malts.

Kai Ivalo, sales and marketing director of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, explained: “Choosing the right whisky is a personal experience, with a myriad of factors affecting the final decision. The Spirit Cellars whisky selection engine offers a guiding pathway through a minefield of choice, enabling us to pair whisky fans with the right single cask malt and ultimately ensure they get the most from their membership.”

Phillip Lockwood-Holmes, head of digital at Whitespace, added: “The technology, licensed from New York-based Transparensee, has never been used outside the USA before. State-side it drives fuzzy searches to find the closest match to an ideal date, restaurant or rental property and we thought it would work brilliantly for matching users to their perfect tipple.

“We use keyword analysis to give each whisky a weighting on 8 flavour profiles based on keywords in the tasting notes - these are then fed into the Discovery Search Engine which drives all the closest match results for the widgets. It’s a delight to behold how well The Spirit Cellars project is working.”

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