b'THE CARNEGIE CLUBT he complexity and nuances of whisky really mean that no other spirit can compare. There is a growing range of truly high-quality spirits on the market, but what is unique to whisky is the broad diversity of styles available. Nothing beats the excitement of discovering a new distillery, or trying a new bottle that helps to broaden your taste, introducing you to new flavours. In many ways, the closest comparison to whisky is winethere are so many different styles of wine and whisky and, with both, such a broad range of ages. This separates them from other drinks and makes them such a joy to collect. You should always build a collection around the styles you enjoy. It kindles passion and brings your collection to life. Tasting is therefore the best way to build your knowledge and appreciation of whisky, as it allows you to discover what you most enjoy. Buying bottles and tasting at home is certainly fine, but attending tutored tastings is a great way to truly discover the world of whisky. In my role as head of rare and collectable whiskies at wine and spirits merchants Justerini & Brooks, I enable private customers to access distilleries,ICONIC GHOST DISTILLERIE S HAVE A CULT 39 sample rare liquids and casks, and attendFOLLOWING AND ARE NOW UNDERGOING bespoke blending experiences. We can see from our customer base that people whoRENOVATIONS TO BE REOPENEDcollect fine wine are developing an interest in rare whiskies, and vice versa.Justerini & Brooks association with whisky stretches back through the generations, starting in the mid-19th century.response to a growing and increasingly globalit is turned upside down to wet the cork. This Today, we have relationships with more thandemand from connoisseurs. Other Scotchwill prevent any breakages of a dry cork.28 distilleries across Scotland, and we havewhiskies I personally love include the RoyalJusterini & Brooks private collectors a specialist team who are tasked withLochnagar, which is a Highland whiskyitsare based in 49 countries and each collection, sourcing the finest and rarest bottles froma whisky that doesnt shout, but has thiswhich comprises a portfolio of whiskies, is across the globe. As a merchant, we haveextraordinary persistence of flavour. Andentirely bespoke. In Hong Kong, for example, unique direct access to a whole range ofI also really like the subtle, citric notes ofcustomers have a penchant for collecting one whiskies, from distillery bottlings and selectAuchroisk, which is a delightful Speysideor two particular distilleries, so they might casks to single casks of rare malt whisky. malt. Mortlach whiskies are developingwant to focus on building a vertical collection There is a range of fascinating liquidsa real following too, with their distinctive,of vintages from their favourites. In other available on the market, but perhaps the mostdark, earthy rich flavours. So special findsparts of the world, customers enjoy collecting exciting are from the ghost distilleriesthosefrom these distilleries would be my topcasks to mark anniversaries or special distilleries that have been long closed butchoices to add to my own personal collection.occasions, safe in the knowledge that they liquid has been kept back to maturewithAs long as whisky is stored correctlycan store their casks with us until ready for stand-out examples being Port Ellen on theit will last for decades. Whisky should bebottling. In the UK, customers lean towards Isle of Islay and Brora in east Sutherland,kept in a cool, dry location and protectedbottles of rare and unique limited-edition which is just 18 miles up the road from Skibo.from direct sunlight. It is important that itreleases. Whisky is a very personal passion, These iconic distilleries have developed a cultshould be stored in a place without varyingso we are continually evolving our knowledge following and are actually now undergoingtemperatures, and standing upright. One tipand portfolio to build collections that are as major renovations to be reopened, inwhen opening an old bottle is to ensure thatunique as our global collectors. '