THE man who brought together the world’s largest collection of Scotch whisky has been reunited with his bottles for the first time in almost a decade.
Claive Vidiz – who sold his collection to Diageo for an undisclosed sum ten years ago – returned to Scotland this week from his home in Brazil.
The visit is the first time Vidiz has been back to Scotland since the bottles were officially installed at The Scotch Whisky Experience in April 2009.
Since then, it’s estimated that 1.2m people have passed through the stunning glass vault where they are housed whilst touring the five-star whisky visitor attraction.
Comprising 3,384 bottles, The Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch Whisky Collection gives a snapshot of Scotland’s national drink through the ages, with bottles from as far back as the late 19th century sitting alongside commemorative releases and quirky one-offs, such as the 32-piece whisky-filled chess set.
Speaking about the collection’s home in Scotland, Claive said: “In Brazil, we have an expression – ‘the good son returns home’ – but it felt only right that the collection’s ‘father’ come back to check on his off-spring.
“Assembling the collection over more than 35 years was driven by my passion for Scotch whisky and I never expected to sell it.
“It gave me an immense amount of pleasure bringing all these diverse whiskies together, and it’s been fantastic to hear about the joy and sense of wonder visitors to The Scotch Whisky Experience have had whilst passing through it.”
Susan Morrison, director and general manager at The Scotch Whisky Experience, said: “Claive’s collection has become a central part of our offering at The Scotch Whisky Experience, with over a million people having basked in its amber glow since it was first opened.
“As we’ve invested heavily in the attraction over the past eight years, we felt it only right to invite Claive back for a visit, and we’re extremely proud to be welcoming him today to see his collection in its Edinburgh home.”
William Bullard OBE, corporate relations director, Diageo Miami, who was instrumental in acquiring the collection to assure its preservation a decade ago, also travelled to Scotland to join Mr Vidiz in raising a toast to the success of the initiative.
He said: “When we acquired this amazing collection ten years ago our vision was to preserve it and to bring it to Scotland so it could become a jewel in the crown of Scotch whisky tourism.
“It is incredibly gratifying to see that vision fulfilled, with well over a million people visiting the collection since it went on display.
“Scotch is the world’s favourite whisky because of its unrivalled quality and variety. The Diageo Claive Vidiz collection is a fantastic symbol of that and we’re very proud to have worked with Claive and the Scotch Whisky Experience to make it such a great success.”
For more information, log on to www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk or call 0131 220 0441.
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