Stronger Stuff

Blind Test Birthday: Samaroli 45 years old

November 21, 2016
samaroli_illustration

Boys and whisky have come a long way since my guy friends were stealing their father’s Blue Labels at house parties. These days, the young men in town are exposed to all sorts of whisky, While everyone was going crazy over Japanese single malts, one friend of mine was not. Let’s call him Q. Q’s whisky is called Samaroli.

Founded in 1968 by Silvano Samaroli, an Italian who had a passion for Scotch Whisky, Samaroli’s company focuses on bottling single cask whiskies from Scotland then re-casking them into new oak casks to change the style of what it was originally supposed to be. They go to different distilleries and pick out the best, and make it their own. Its a two-step process to perfection. The transfer to the new oak barrels accounts for its smooth and unifying taste. Samaroli works with different distilleries and create unique blends sold only by Samaroli. They have single malts, wherein they create one blend from different distilleries. Its all done in a single cask, meaning there are only limited bottles.

We all knew Q loved his single malts so much that he would take his little single malt glass, which came in a portable case, out for friends to try his whisky anywhere we would be—and I mean anywhere. From his son’s birthday party (understandable) to his wife’s trunk show. While all the women fawned over the wares, the men patiently and happily waited with Q and his array of whisky.

It was there that I saw my husband’s face light up when he was tasting different kinds of whisky. I knew this must be something special. I found the single malts he had so interesting because of the story of their origin, and how Q had come to bring them into the country.

 

I called up Q to ask for help. He sent over little containers with different varieties to let me try. After I chose my top two, I called him and told him what I liked. “Congratulations, you chose the two most expensive ones!”

 

A big birthday of my husband was coming up and I thought it would be nice to get a special bottle, but which one? I called up Q to ask for help. He sent over little containers with different varieties to let me try. After I chose my top two, I called him and told him what I liked. “Congratulations, you chose the two most expensive ones!” Well. My palate doesn’t lie.

“Why did you like it?”, he asked. Well, because when it hit the back of my throat it didn’t grip my tonsils with the spiky feeling that makes you go “Accccck.” It also had a lovely smoky flavor and was so smooth. Its color, a beautiful amber… like the one they pull the dinosaur DNA from in Jurassic park.

These bottles from the 45th anniversary Samaroli’s were numbered and, lucky for me, my husband’s number—day of his birth—was available. This was meant to be. This particular bottle was from the Bunnahabian Distillery, cask No.4. This is pretty much the farm-to-table of whiskies. You know where it came from and what they did to it. This particular single malt was aged in a cask for 45 years before being put in a bottle.

To this day, my husband has only shared this bottle with two people. My father on Christmas day, and one friend we had over for dinner who showed a true understanding and appreciation for fine liquor. This bottle is so special and well kept that I don’t even know where it is. If anyone ever asks him if this bottle exists he feigns ignorance and whips out the usual 12, 18, and 21 year old bottles. For once, a brand’s tagline holds true to the feeling towards the product. Just as Samaroli’s tagline is “Unique as you are”, taking a sip of this single malt really makes me feel that the bottle chose me.

 

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