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Chivas Brothers Launches The Vault, an Exclusive Whisky Tasting

Tour the oldest working distillery in Speyside before sampling 14 whiskies unavailable anywhere else.

By Alex Martin

Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky company behind Ballantine’s, Royal Salute and, one of our favorites, Longmorn, has launched an ultra-exclusive whisky tour that allows you to buy one of its most precious casks.

Fittingly named The Vault, the new experience becomes the latest cask ownership program aimed at private clients. Those with the cash and the contacts take a bespoke tour around Strathisla, the oldest operating distillery in Speyside. First established in 1786, Strathisla offers a tantalizing glimpse into the origins of the Scotch whisky industry. The distillery’s archivist will be there to help you unlock its secrets.

But you’ll be here for a reason. And that reason won’t be looking at grainy photographs and old ledgers. The fun begins in The Vault’s impressive whisky library, where Chivas Brothers has curated 240 exclusive samples including newmake spirits, ultra-aged whiskies and one-off oddities for you to try.

[See also: The Most Expensive Whisky Ever Sold at Auction]

Cask drinking
Trying whiskies straight from the casks is one of life’s great pleasures / ©Chivas Brothers

You won’t be trying them all. By this point, Chivas Brothers’ whisky experts will have analyzed your preferences and curated a selection based on your favorite drams. That information will follow you into The Vault, where you’ll see 14 casks hand-selected by two industry veterans, Sandy Hyslop and Kevin Balmforth.

Hyslop, the blending expert, and Balmforth, the cask expert, have over 60 years of industry experience between them. They have curated a collection that spans the different styles of the Chivas Brothers portfolio, from the floral notes of The Glenlivet to the sea salt funk of Scapa. There are also the last remaining casks from the ghost distillery Caperdonich.

“Every cask safeguarded inside The Vault demonstrates Chivas Brothers’ unrivaled quality, heritage and craftsmanship,” Hyslop said. “By opening the doors of The Vault, we are providing a one-of-a-kind opportunity for those visiting Speyside, bringing some of the world’s rarest and most remarkable whiskies into the spotlight for whisky connoisseurs and collectors to enjoy, savor and purchase.” 

[See also: This May be the Most Exclusive Whisky Tour in the World]

The Vault
Chivas Brothers will cater the whisky tasting to your exact preferences / ©Chivas Brothers

This will be the only place in the world where you’ll be able to sample these whiskies, with a view to buying a whole cask – the price for which will go deep into six-figure territory (and don’t even get us started on the taxes). For that, though, you also buy time. Chivas Brothers will continue to store your cask for up to four years, before handling all the bottling and labeling for you.

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You don’t have to buy a cask to get access to all the good stuff, however. Chivas Brothers will offer the bespoke tour and tasting to anyone with a spare £1,200 (approx $1,550). For a step up, reserve a night at Chivas Brothers’ newly reopened private guest house, Linn House.

For more information, visit chivasbrothersvault.com.

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