Leave your preconceptions at the door. This blind tasting session will make you re-evaluate the way you think about old and rare whiskies with some unexpected curveballs along the way. Hosted by The Whisky Exchange founder Sukhinder Singh and buyer Dawn Davies MW, this session will focus on the flavours in the glass of these old and rare bottles – without peeking at the labels first!
The tasting will explore six different whiskies, bottled from the 1970s onwards. While we won't tell you what the bottles are until the end of the tasting, we can say that they are six truly delicious whiskies in their own right. The real question is: are they what you think they might be or have we just blown your mind?
Celebrating The Great Silvano
Silvano Samaroli started his working career in the drinks industry and over the ensuing decades established himself as a true legend of the whisky world.
Having established Samaroli Srl Wine and Spirits Merchants in Rome in 1968, he became well known for importing whiskies into Italy throughout the 1970s. In 1979 he released his first series of independent bottlings, and quickly became known for his selections. Through the 1980s he championed the bottling cask-strength whiskies and his releases have become some of the most sought-after bottles on the secondary market.
He passed away at the beginning 2017 and in this masterclass we hope to honour his memory in the best way we can – sharing some of the incredible whiskies that he chose over the years.
The tasting will be hosted by Emmanuel Dron, friend of Silvano Samaroli, collector of Samaroli bottlings and owner of Singapore's Auld Alliance, one of the world's finest whisky bars.
Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice
Gordon & MacPhail are one of the best-known names in the world of independent bottling. Found in 1895, they are one of the oldest bottlers, with more than 100 years of selecting and bottling great whisky. Among those drams sits the Connoisseurs Choice range, a landmark in the whisky world, now 50 years old.
Launched in 1968, the Connoisseurs Choice series was one of the first ranges of whisky to focus entirely on single malt. Over the past five decades, the Connoisseurs Choice bottlings have been an opportunity for lesser known distilleries to take the spotlight and for whisky fans to see different sides of the names they already know and love.
In this tasting we will try whiskies from across the years, finding out what has made the series so successful.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
In the late 1970s, Pip Hills and some friends clubbed together to buy a cask of Glenfarclas. Little did they know that this simple act would launch the world's largest whisky society and provide a home for thousands of great whiskies.
Officially established in 1983, the SMWS is much more than an independent bottler, with a worldwide membership of thousands of members. Monthly releases of whisky are backed up by members rooms and partner bars, giving whisky fans the chance to meet like-minded people and drink great drams.
Over the years, the Society has released thousands of whiskies with many achieving legendary status. Show organiser Angus MacRaild has been digging in the Society's archives to uncover hidden gems to accompany some more famous releases, and will be opening them to share with us at The Whisky Show: Old & Rare.