Photo: In a speech to mark the opening
of the collection, First Minister Alex Salmond said
that Scotch whisky was one of Scotland’s most iconic contributions
to the world. (enlarge
He said: “Whisky is an iconic
and high-quality product which has hugely influenced Scotland’s
heritage, culture and economy.
“A billion bottles of Scotch are enjoyed
each year, and it is exported to 200 countries and generates
more than £2 billion for Scottish exports.”
The whiskies were shipped from Brazil
after specialists spent months preparing the collection, which
has been bought in full by drinks manufacturers Diageo.
Visitors will be able to tour
the collection in a high-tech vault at the Scotch
Whisky Experience on the Capital’s Royal Mile. The collection contains more than 3000
whiskies built up over 35 years by Brazilian whisky enthusiast
Claive Vidiz, and has been shipped across the Atlantic
especially to mark Homecoming 2009.
“To split up a collection which I have
devoted more than 35 years of my life to would have broken
my heart so I am truly thrilled Diageo has purchased it in
its entirety. It is now in the hands of a company which is
at the heart of the Scotch industry and I am certain they
will cherish and develop the collection,” said Mr Vidiz.
As well as the collection itself, the
exhibition features an interactive tour, charting the history
of Scotch whisky from a cottage industry to a famous brand
The huge collection, described by whisky experts
as “invaluable”, is part of a £2 million investment at the
Scotch Whisky Experience.
Among the many rare bottles is a Strathmill single
malt produced to celebrate the Speyside distillery’s 100th
anniversary. One of only 69 bottles ever produced, this limited
edition centenary malt was offered to a very select few –
including various heads of state and, fortunately for the
collection, Claive Vidiz!
A personal favourite of Mr Vidiz is Dimple Pinch,
one of the first special editions of a Scotch Whisky ever
produced. Bought in 1969 for US $1000, it was the most expensive
limited edition bottle of Scotch Whisky on the market at the
As a keen follower of Grand Prix racing, a Limited
Edition Johnnie Walker Blue Label, signed in 2005 on the eve
of the Brazilian Grand Prix by then Team McLaren Mercedes
driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, is another of Mr Vidiz’s most
cherished finds – particularly since Montoya went on to win
the race the following day!
“We are delighted to have worked with Claive to
bring this wonderful collection safely back to Scotland and
to play a part in preserving its legacy and historic significance,”
said Bryan Donaghey, Managing Director of Diageo
“We are loaning the collection to the Scotch
Whisky Experience where annually 200,000 visitors will be
able to view the Collection in its atmospheric vault.”
Julie Trevisan-Hunter, Marketing Manager for
the Scotch Whisky Experience, said: “The collection ranges
from standard, blended whiskies in every imaginable shape,
size and alcohol content.
“There are some extremely rare and exclusive
single malts, where perhaps only 100 bottles were made, and
then only given as gifts.
“Visitors will see some really unusual
things too – whisky inside a grandfather clock, whisky that’s
been made into a chess set, for example.
“I would challenge anybody in the world
to come here and be familiar with every single whisky, there’s
going to be lots of surprises within the collection.”