Christmas has come early for collectors of old and rare whiskies as a selection of stunning Samaroli whiskies head to auction.
When it comes to independent bottlers, there are few more revered among whisky lovers than Samaroli. Silvano Samaroli established his wine and spirits merchants in 1968 and in 1979 made the pioneering step of becoming the first independent bottler of Scotch Whisky outside of the UK. Among the Samaroli back catalogue are some of the most legendary and sought after whiskies by collectors and connoisseurs alike. Bottles such as the Bowmore Bouquet from the iconic Flowers series, and this Laphroaig 1967 (one recently sold by Whisky.Auction for £55,000) frequently top lists such as the Whiskybase.com Top 1000 and are awarded high scores by distinguished reviewers such as Serge Valentin.
In many ways, Samaroli’s whiskies are almost the perfect bottles for collectors. Bottled in very limited numbers at cask strength and packaged in often simple but gorgeous labels, they make the perfect addition to any bar or whisky cabinet.
December’s Whisky and Spirits Auction holds plenty of delightful bottlings for fans of Samaroli to bid on. Here’s a taster of just a few of the bottles guaranteed to get any whisky lover’s mouth watering.
Port Ellen 1981 – Bottled as part of the Handwritten Labels series featuring Samaroli’s own gorgeous calligraphy, this Port Ellen, distilled just a couple of years before the distillery closed, will be a beautiful addition to the collection of any Islay lover. Described on the label as ‘distinctive, but delicate with a sweet peaty nose.’
No Age Pure Malt 1992 First Edition – In addition to pioneering the approach of bottling whiskies at cask strength, Samaroli also led the way in releasing no age statement whiskies, a practice that has become increasingly common in today’s market. This No Age Pure Malt, released in 1992 was the first of the No Age bottlings that continued until 2016.
Longmorn Glenlivet 1974 – For those who like their malts heavily sherried and cask strength, this may be the bottle for you. A legendary Longmorn, enticingly dark and bottled at a hefty 60.8%, this is one of only 600 bottles released in 1985, quite a few of which have likely been enjoyed by now adding to the rarity of this bottle.
Macallan 1971 – Another beautiful sherried Speyside, this time from Macallan. As well as the amazing liquid, Samaroli has always been renowned for their gorgeous labels, many of which were designed by Silvano himself. This series are affectionately known as the ‘curved distillery name’ labels and in addition to this Macallan, there is also a Talisker 1978 from the same series.
Glen Garioch Coilltean 15 Year Old – The Coilltean range from Samaroli was created by Silvano to differentiate his releases – especially of the 1975 vintage Glen Garioch. This bottle was another edition to the Hand Written Label series giving Silvano the chance to add a personal touch of his own caligraphy to the bottles.