A whisky barrel purchased in Scotland ten years ago by wine merchants from Vienna, Austria has lovingly made its way back ‘home’ to Scotland in time for Whisky Month which is in full swing this month, as part of the Year of Homecoming.
The story of the barrel’s journey began in the summer of 2004 when Stefan Pagacs from Pagacs wine merchants in Vienna, visited Scotland in search of something special to offer his Austrian customers. A chance visit to Edradour Distillery in Pitlochry, Scotland’s smallest traditional distillery dating back to 1825 produced the perfect product - a special filling of an Edradour barrel and a chance for their customers to sample the wonderful Scottish ‘water of life’.
On arrival in Austria, the barrel’s contents were turned into 180 bottles of limited edition whisky which were adorned with a specially designed label painted by Austrian painter, Thomas Reinhold, an Art Master and one of the initiators of the ‘New Painting’ movement or ‘Junge Wilde’ as it was referred to in German.
Ten years on, the barrel has bid ‘So Long, Farewell’ to Vienna and returned back to Pitlochry to its new luxury home at four star Bed and Breakfast ‘Torrdarach House’ where owners Graeme Fish and his wife, Susanne Wallner said it will sit pride of place in the garden.
Susanne Wallner, Owner of Torrdarach Bed & Breakfast said:
“Myself and Stefan have been friends for years, so when we told him we were moving to Torrdarach House; he thought it was only right the whisky barrel be returned back to its rightful home location. Despite taking over a week to bring the barrel back to Pitlochry from Austria, it has been well worth it and is now sitting pride of place in our garden. Sadly for us, all the wonderful whisky has been consumed but it’s nice to have a little piece of history sitting in our garden for visitors to enjoy.”
Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland Director said:
“We’ve heard some fantastic stories of people returning ‘home’ to join the Year of Homecoming celebrations, but the story of the whisky barrel returning home to its original location couldn’t be a nicer way to celebrate the month long Whisky Month celebrations.”
Stefan Pagacs, Owner of Stefan Pagacs Weinhandel OG, Vienna said:
“After various visits to distilleries on our trip to Scotland in 2004, we decided to choose an exclusive bottling of Edradour Single Malt Whisky for a selection of our exclusive customers to celebrate our first year of trading in May 2004. We were taken with the fact that the size and shape of casks can have their own influence on the whisky inside and our customers enjoyed hearing the history behind the exclusive bottling. I’m delighted that little piece of history can continue now the original cask has come home to Pitlochry.”
Des McCagherty, from Edradour Distillery said:
“It never ceases to amaze me the passion international visitors have for single malts and Edradour in particular. Edradour is a very special place and it is difficult not to fall in love with it and the handcrafted malt we produce. This is another one of those special and intimate associations, which people all over the world have struck up with Edradour over the years and it is great that the cask has survived, albeit empty, to take pride of place in the beautiful grounds of Torrdaroch in Pitlochry.”
Taking place throughout Scotland from 1 - 31 May, the programme of nineteen funded Whisky Month events will showcase the very best of Scotland’s food, drink, music and culture. With a diverse range of unmissable whisky events, fantastic festivals, special tours and tastings, Whisky Month invites visitors and locals to sample Scotland’s national drink as well as explore both the traditional and contemporary blend of stories, circumstances, provenance and science behind our vast array of marvelous malts.
The brand new Tummel and Tay Festival taking place in Pitlochry (23 – 25 May) this forthcoming weekend will have a full programme of events including film screenings, exhibitions and a superb new production of the musical ‘Whisky Kisses.’