I returned to my student city of Edinburgh during a recent trip back to Scotland and had the opportunity to attend a Morning Masterclass whisky tasting session at the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile right next to Edinburgh Castle.
The collection of whiskies comprises 3,384 bottles and are stored in a beautiful room in glass cases. Although all the bottles have never been opened many of them show signs of significant evaporation of their precious content.
In the 1970s, Claive Vidiz, a whisky enthusiast in Sao Paulo, Brazil and founder member of the Brazilian Association of Whisky Collectors, started to seek out and purchase Scotch whisky of varying type, cost and rarity. He amassed almost 3,500 bottles over 35 years.
In October 2006 The Collection was purchased by Scotch whisky distiller, Diageo. When Diageo brought the Claive Vidiz Collection home to Scotland, it was with a commitment to preserve the legacy, the passion with which it was collected and to share it with an international audience. It was decided that this would be best achieved by locating it here at The Scotch Whisky Experience in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.
One of the most unique aspects of this collection was Claive’s desire to collect as wide a range of whisky as possible, from the most accessible to the rarest, including eccentric and unusual items. Having been preserved in its entirety we have an invaluable insight into the recent history and branding of Scotch whisky; a unique “snapshot” of 35 years of the Scotch whisky industry.
Hiding amongst the collection are some unusual bottlings for younger visitors to spot…two Scottie dogs, monks, a bull, books, golf bags, a seal, an eagle and many more – all containing Scotch whisky.
After looking at the vast collection of whiskies we then retired to the bar where we introduced to all the key components that make up whisky and then sampled a selection of whiskies.
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