The wait is over. At long last I am delighted to be able to announce the latest Whisky Shop venture. Having grown to nearly 20 shops across the United Kingdom, extended our eight page newsletter to an award-winning 64 page magazine, and increased its readership to 100,000 and growing, we’re about to raise the bar again.
So, ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pride that I give you the W Club, an exciting new project that takes whisky websites on to a whole new level. So what are we talking about here?
The W Club – at www.thewclub.co.uk – is a state of the art interactive website, a members’ club and an online magazine all rolled in to one.
I’ve moved to a new role within the company and will be overseeing the editorial side of the new site. But there’s a back room team both within The Whisky Shop and site designers and builders Archant in place to ensure that we will offer an unmatchable service.
AN INTERACTIVE WEBSITE
The W Club will offer a range of whisky information, from tasting notes to an in-depth beginners’ guide to whisky. The site will carry my W Club tweets, up to date news feeds, regular blogs, interactive surveys and the latest whisky videos. The site can be accessed free and visitors can sign up to access extra parts of the site or to take part in forums and debates.
AN ON-LINE MAGAZINE
The printed version of our award-winning magazine Whiskeria is expanding this year, but there just hasn’t been the space for me to write about all that’s going on in whisky.
That’s set to change with the on-line magazine component of the new site. The site will be updated daily, weekly and monthly and will offer unprecedented whisky coverage. It will include:
* Daily news updates
* A question and answer service where visitors can ask me anything they like to do with whisky
* New releases and tasting notes from myself and respected taster Darren Leitch
* My blogs, including a ‘what I liked in whisky this week’ every Friday
* A whisky review round up
* Old flames – a weekly review and reassessment of one of the many iconic but mainstream standard malts which cutting edge bloggers tend to forget about
* Regular features, covering everything from distillery focus pieces, interviews with leading industry
figures, news analysis and cutting edge insights in to trends within whisky
* Video features including tastings, interviews and reports from across the world of whisky, including in the coming weeks The Viking Fair from a cruiser sailing from Stockholm this week, the Nth Whisky Show in Las Vegas in early March, the visit to the UK by Jim Beam’s Fred Noe on March 5, and previews of the Speyside and Islay festivals which take place in May
* Editor’s comment – my outspoken, provocative and occasional controversial views on what’s happening in the world of whisky
* Quickfire Q&A with an industry figure in the hot seat
* Two new monthly columnists:
- Miss Whisky: she’s young, sassy and sexy, and she takes a delightfully fresh view of the world of whisky
- Andy Simpson – he’s not particularly young, sassy, or sexy, but he is by far the whisky world’s leading expert on whisky prices and investment trends, and he’ll be offering hard facts and statistics to guide anyone interested in buying whisky
THE W CLUB
You may know that The Whisky Shop had a club called The Glenkeir Club. You paid £25 for a members’ pack with a rare miniature and a couple of books in it, and you could then get a 10 per cent discount on some shop products. But truth be told, we didn’t do much with it.
So the management team got together a while ago and asked ourselves what we would like from a club membership. And we came up with The W Club, a club with so many benefits that you’d be mad not to join.
We’re offering two membership price points – the existing £25 charge for an annual membership and the introductory pack, or £12.50 for annual membership without the pack.
In return we’re offering benefits including:
* Discounts on whisky in our shops
* Exclusive bottlings available only to club members, starting with a delightful Glenfarclas 8 Year Old
* The chance to sign up for tasting samples weeks before they go on general release
* Access to the whole of the W Club site
* Copies of Whiskeria sent to your home address
* Invites to exclusive in-store tasting event
And best of all, a plethora of competitions with ‘money can’t buy’ prizes including:
* An all-expenses paid trip for two to Yamazaki Distillery in Japan
* An all expenses paid trip to Mackmyra in Sweden
* The chance to join a world renowned landscape photographer on a trip to Islay to photograph distilleries
* Trips to distilleries in Scotland to join distillery managers taste cask samples and to selects casks for bottling, either for the club or to bottle your own unique malt
* The chance to visit distilleries not open to the public
* Private tasting sessions featuring some of the world’s rarest whiskies
* The chance to join leading whisky writers and bloggers on press events such as the release of rare whiskies
* VIP passes to scores of whisky-sponsored sport and music events
* The chance to enjoy whisky experiences, such as staying in distillery accommodation, working in a distillery. spending a day with a top blender and making your own blend, the chance to play and stay at one of the world’s most famous golf courses etc
Frankly, the sky’s the limit. We’ve extended an invitation to the industry’s leading companies to think out the box and come up with innovative and exciting membership offers.
So are you in?
The W Club is launched this week at www.thewclub.co.uk and will be rolled out fully over the next two weeks.
Editor: just to clarify, the W club is a Whisky Shop venture and has nothing formally to do with the Whisky Tasting Club, which is an entirely independent company. Our link is Dominic, and we wish them all the best with this exciting new project.