Situated in a former bank vault, The Vault Bar in the basement of the historic Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam has been unlocked to feature some of the world’s rarest Scotch whiskies: The Dalmore 40 Year Old Single Malt, and Port Ellen 39 Years Untold Stories. Both bottlings are typically restricted to whisky collectors and investors only, but The Vault Bar offers pours of each at a fraction of the bottles’ full retail prices, making it a unique opportunity for connoisseurs who have the cash to splash.

The Vault Bar Amsterdam is a must-see spot for fans of rare Scotch

The Vault Bar is the only location nationwide where The Dalmore, which is sold for €850 (S$1207) for a 35ml pour,  is served by the glass. “Here at the Waldorf [Astoria], we try to partner with brands that align with ours and are as exclusive as we are,” says Emiliano Di Franca, the food and beverage manager at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam. “Last year, we decided to work with The Dalmore to create a special opportunity for our guests, which not only included stocking this rare whisky, but to also create a bespoke tasting experience for our guests with a few other expressions by the Dalmore.”

the Vault bar Amsterdam
Image: Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

In addition to being able to buy a glass of this exclusive 40 year old whisky on its own, guests can also opt for a more affordable flight of The Dalmore 12YO, 15YO, cigar malt and King Alexander III for just €69 (S$98). “We worked with the brand to create an experience where The Dalmore whiskies were combined with The Vault Bar concept,” says Di Franca. “Guests who want to embark on this whisky journey are given a wallet that has the menu in it and some other items related to the bank and the vault before being served the whiskies. Then, our bartenders take the guests through the tasting notes and give them some information about the whisky’s production.”

For non-whisky aficionados, Port Ellen is one of the most prestigious ‘ghost distilleries’ in the world: these are distilleries that have ceased to produce whisky, and therefore sell an increasingly rare collection due to supply and demand. This legendary distillery on the Scottish island of Islay created its last whisky in 1983, and is well-known among enthusiasts, collectors and investors.

Their Untold Stories collection is one of their most exclusive, and this limited-edition series focuses on the illustrious past of this mythical distillery. With only 1500 bottles of the 39-year old whisky available worldwide, it’s very much a case of when it’s gone, it’s gone. The Vault Bar, where guests can have a taste of this precious liquid for €800 for a 35ml pour, was able to secure three of the last bottles on earth, although there are currently only two left. The bar and Port Ellen Untold Stories 39 Years also happen to be a perfect match because the whisky’s packaging is that of a vault, only able to be unlocked by two unique keys. It makes for a nice touch that’s also conceptually cohesive.

the Vault bar Amsterdam
Image: Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

For the whisky-loving traveller who is looking to splurge on an exclusive tasting at Amsterdam’s most luxurious hotel, a trip to The Vault Bar is requisite — just get there sooner rather than later. “Once these whiskies run out, they’re gone; but don’t worry, as we are currently in conversations with The Dalmore about offering a similar tasting experience with their Luminary series,” says Di Franca. “Our goal at the Waldorf Astoria is to create memorable experiences for our guests that you can’t have anywhere else, and partnerships such as these ones make that possible.”

This story first appeared on www.foodandwine.com

(Credit for the hero and featured image: Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam)

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