Scotch Malt Whisky Society launches subsidiary in Taiwan

Taiwan country director Murphy Chang and Artisanal Spirits Company non-executive director Mark Bedingham

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has launched a new subsidiary in Taiwan, which is now the world’s third-largest market for ultra-premium Scotch, valued at $593 million.

SMWS, which is owned by The Artisanal Spirits Company, is described as ‘the leading curator and provider of premium single cask Scotch malt whisky’, selling primarily online to a global membership.

The newly established SMWS Taiwan subsidiary replaces the previous franchise agreement covering the territory, and provides direct sales access to the Taiwanese market, marking a milestone in the Group’s strategic expansion in Asia.

SMWS already has similar subsidiary operations in China and Japan, as well as franchise partners in a range of markets, including new partners in Malaysia, and a recently established franchise agreement in South Korea.

Artisanal Spirits Company chief executive, Andrew Dane, said: “Taiwan is one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated whisky markets. The new subsidiary expands our footprint in Asia and gives us direct access to this exciting territory, helping us to capture demand for our unique combination of ultra-premium and limited edition whiskies and outstanding experiences and knowledge.

“We now have an SMWS presence in the world’s six largest markets and our full global footprint giving us coverage of over 80% of the $8.1 billion ultra-premium Scotch whisky market.”

In its first day of trading, SMWS Taiwan enrolled 500 paying members. The Group plans to drive forward sales through its website, in-person events and digital marketing, as well as social media activity, whisky clubs, brand ambassadors and retailers.