Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Speyside Life – Single Malt and Spas

Earlier this year I was privileged to visit Ystad Saltsjöbad with John Grant to unveil a complete set of The Family Casks. Ystad Saltsjöbad, or more simply (and easier to say) YSB, is a relaxed beach front hotel on the southern tip of Sweden, famous for its spa, and an indulgent retreat on the Swedish Riviera. 

Looking for something different for their whisky bar, and seeing similarities with our family owned company, Anders Nilsson of YSB was inspired to make the centre piece of their new whisky bar a complete set of The Family Casks. YSB now joins a select group of bars worldwide to offer 43 years from The Family Casks by the dram.

To give guests a preview of The Family Casks, with YSB we presented a Five Decades of Glenfarclas tasting, prior to ceremoniously unveiling all 43 bottles to the sound of the pipes. This was followed by a delightful whisky makers’ dinner overlooked by the 43 bottles now proudly displayed in their new home. We were honoured to be joined by Dag Lennartsson, author of five books on whisky in Swedish, most recently 'Golf och Whiskyresor'. 

We recognise that for many the fun of The Family Casks is the opportunity to explore the subtle differences between the casks, or to celebrate an anniversary with a dram from that special year. We are delighted that YSB’s investment in The Family Casks, to offer the collection by the glass, will allow many more whisky drinkers the opportunity to sample the collection.

Back in 2007, when we launched The Family Casks, two bars were quick to offer all 43 of The Family Casks by the dram; Bar Nemo in Tokyo and The Mash Tun in Aberlour. More recently this exclusive network of bars has been joined by the Waldorf Astoria in Shanghai, Soho Whisky Club in London, and Hotel Montana in Luzern. My colleague Ian McWilliam will be visiting the latter in May to present a 1950s masterclass. Not many other distillers can offer that!

Erik Hultberg, John Grant and Anders Nilsson with The Family Casks
For more pictures please visit
Robert Ransom
March 2012

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