An Unrivaled Passion for Whisky!
     

  Jack Smith is remarkably humble when it comes to touting his own expertise of Scotch and other fine spirits. However, question just about anyone involved in the Scotch and spirits industry in the Atlanta area regarding who is one of the most knowledgeable in the city about Scotch or other whiskies and his name is likely to be mentioned. Jack has educated and entertained thousands of whisky enthusiasts at one of his classes, tastings or pairings over the past six years. Jack's passion for single malt Scotch whisky was ignited by friend Brian Williamson (one who shared Jack's Scottish descent) when they both resided in Los Angeles. Jack was born in the USA. Brian's elderly mother was in declining health, to the point of Brian flying home half a dozen times over the next year. Each time Brian returned, he brought Jack a bottle of Single Malt: Balvenie, Glenfarclas, Macallan, Glenfiddich, Glen Livet and Glenrothes. What a collection Jack soon acquired! "One thing that always fascinated me during my early single malt Scotch drinking days," he reflected, "was that the Scotch all looked very similar, but it tasted quite different - no two of them tasted alike.”

 
   

  Jack's desire to learn more about Scotch whisky lead him on a mission to acquire as much information as he could about his favorite spirits. He ravenously consumed just about any worthwhile texts he could find and read countless magazine articles in his quest to learn everything he could about Scotch Whisky. In an attempt to locate other Scotch enthusiasts who might share his passion, he performed a Google search (while still residing in Los Angeles) for “Los Angeles Scotch Club”… he had never heard that there was any such thing as a Scotch Club, but he figured that if one existed any place, it would be in L.A. (which has everything and usually several too many of them). The search immediately revealed “Los Angeles Scotch Club” or LASC as it is referred to. Over the next 4 years, Jack became engrossed in the club, missing only 2 events out of nearly a hundred or so. He, eventually, became the Club Secretary. After attending a few Scotch seminars and tastings at a Pasadena bar, Jack approached a friend of his in Long Beach about conducting a Scotch & Cigar tasting at his cigar shop. As he was still a relative Scotch novice in his own eyes, he didn’t tell a soul at LASC… before or after this event. However, his event (a dozen people) went very well and he conducted a second tasting there about 6-weeks later. He had now truly started to become an educator and he enjoyed sharing his passion with others.

In 2011, as Jack remembers, "I left the smog for the land of grits" and moved from Los Angles to Atlanta. "I was sitting in a cigar store (Maxwell’s in Woodstock, GA) smoking a cigar with my brother Alan. "I told him that I really missed the folks from LASC and that I intended to start a similar Scotch club here." On August 10, 2011, the Metro Atlanta Scotch Club (MASC) was born. One week later, he hosted a Scotch & Cigar tasting at Maxwell’s for 17 paid attendees. It proved fun and successful and Jack knew that he wanted to grow MASC so that he could enjoy whisky with people of diverse backgrounds. MASC has grown to some 1,300 members. "I thank God for MASC and the good friends that appreciate good whisky with me and the many industry folks that I’ve met along the way," Jack Smith reflected. " Whisky education is a never ending pursuit. I enjoy reading the books and magazines articles about the distilleries and their products, knowing that I will never really be an expert (I have never and will never work in a whisky distillery) but I do try."
     
   

     
   

JACK "THE WHISKY GUY" SMITH'S CREDENTIALS

     

  Completed the 6-month "Certified Specialist of Spirits" course at Society of Wine Educators and passed the examination with a score of 95%. It is the only certification available to US candidates; the course material was developed by Chris Morris, Master Distiller, Brown-Forman Corporation.

In 2012, he competed in a mixology competition sponsored by The Patrón Spirits Company. He created a cocktail using Patrón Silver and centered on lemon grass and herbs with a dash of Angostura bitters. He named it “Battle of Poitiers!” and gave Patron his recipe (see image at left with Jack on the cover of Patron Cocktail Lab).

He earned the title “Lord of the Malt” in a club wide competition at Los Angeles Scotch Club in 2010.

Founder and President of the Metro Atlanta Scotch Club (MASC), boasting some 1,300 members.

Consultant to the Whiskies of the World Expo in Atlanta since 2013.

Has conducted hundreds of Scotch and Spirits classes and tastings.

Has visited 14 Scottish distilleries during visits to Scotland with intense engagement and dialogue with numerous Master distillers.

Jack serves as the spirits expert / consultant for the Cigar Guys Radio Show in Atlanta where he will be handling a weekly segment called "Jack the Whisky Guy," where he discusses a different whisky and its flavor profile.