Whisky Schiff Lucerne, 2010, 4th edition (26-27 March).


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The Whisky Schiff in Lucerne was my first whisky fair of 2010. I attended to the fair on Saturday and took part of the Master Class (see Picture organized by Claudio Bernasconi from Waldhaus am See/ World of Whisky in St Moritz, one of the most famous Swiss whisky collector.

Claudio Bernasconi during the Master Class


The master class started with an old Glengoyne 8 YO 43 % bottled in the late 1970s, a nice smooth and juicy whisky, more smoky than the current production, followed by an old Glenburgie 5 YO 40% (see pioc, with a nice juiciness and smoothness. The last antiquity was a 10 YO Isle of Jura, a correct whisky, with more sherry than the current bottlings. The last two whiskies served where the Linlingowth bottled by Signatory to celebrate the election of Claudio Bernasconi as a Keeper of the quaich. A nice floral, subtle and complex whisky, benefiting from some dilution. Before the cask was filled with distillate, some wine was poured into the cask. Hence, the mention of “wine treated” on the label. The last whisky was the excellent Bomwmore 1972 bottled for the Waldhaus am See last year, a whisky I had the opportunity to taste during the Whisky Schiff Zürich last December. The master class was a good opportunity to taste some good whiskies in company of the whiskyforum.ch.


My malt maniac friend Patrick De Schulthess kindly informed during lunch about the stand of antiquities from Glenfarhn. This was my first stop after the master class and I could not resist sampling most of the old dumpy Cadenhead bottlings presents, some old Port Ellen (an old bottling for Alambique and a 12 YO for James MacArthur), as well as few old Bowmore. My budget suffered from the first stop (approximately 15-20 CHF per cl for the old Cadenhead’s), but this was a rare opportunity to sample such old whiskies.

A selection of old and rare Cadenhead's dumpy bottlings



The next stand was at Alexander Weine, a new comer to the Whisky Schiff Lucerne, with a large selection of The Bottlers range, including the recent bottlings such as the 30 YO Bunnhabhain, an Isle of Jura and a Balmenach. The trio of Springbank was tempting, but this will have to wait.  Before moving, I took the opportunity of tasting the Bruichladdich SwissLink 1, a special bottling for the shop. This 6 YO whisky showed a remarkable complexity for it’s age, relatively spicy and smoky.

A long display of The Bottlers bottles


The third stop was at the second stand of Glenfahrn, with a rather impressive collection of Gordon & Macphail connoisseurs choice (the old brown label serie), where I restricted myself with a 20 YO Lochside from 1965 and a 18 YO St Magdalene from 1964.

Without a break, I continued my tour with Angel’s share for a taste of Glenlossie 12 YO bottled before 1990 by James MacArthur. A remarquable Glenlossie, smooth, slightly grassy, with a good spiciness.

The James MacArthur line-up and its owner


On the other board of the ship, I congratulated Frank McHardy for his 65th Birthday. Before leaving the Lateltin stand, I gave a wee taste to the new Springbank 18 YO, a version with a high proportion of sherry. The new Springbank CV was present. Since I had the opportunity of tasting last December the new Bruichladdich expression, I moved to the other side of the ship at Cadenhead’s and went for the two new Ardbeg 15 YO Authentic collection (1994). The first version tasted (55.7%) was rich, complex and round, while the second version (56.0%) was less rich, but more maritime and on iodine/camphor. The last bottle tasted at Cadenhead’s was the Ardmore 1997, 11 YO 57.1% from the Authentic collection. A farmy, intense, rich, very peaty and complex single malt worth tasting. In two words, an excellent surprise. At World of Whisky, their selection of Signatory, Chivas and other products was similar to the one presented at the Whisky Schiff in Zürich and Michi’s Whiskywelt was presenting a large range of Blackadder and a selection of Douglas Laing, most of them which I had the opportunity to taste last year during a Blackadder tasting and other occasions. With my remaining jetons, I stopped at Monnier to buy a sample of an old Springbank 12 YO 46% (Black & White label).

Glenfahrn General Manager Dieter Messmer in front of the Connoisseur's choice selection and Malt Maniac Patrick de Schulthess working hard


After 4 hours spent on the 3 ships harboured in Lucerne, it was time for me to leave this whisky fair with very good memories, a lighter wallet, but also with many whisky samples that I will taste quietly at home over the next weeks (and months). The atmosphere at Lucerne was as pleasant as for the former editions, but the choice of antiquities at this edition was simply impressive! Not only did I enjoy the whiskies present at this festival, but I enjoyed meeting the other whisky enthusiasts, mainly from the www.thewhiskyforum.ch. As part of the off-bottles, I was given the chance to taste an excellent old Talisker 100 proof black label (thank you Patrick S) and a sweet-mellow but peppery Benriach 1980 26 YO bottles for La Maison du Whisky (thank you Bernhard).


Well after this excellent start of the year, I am getting ready for the Limburg Whisky Fair next month!



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