We have the vivacious Anita di Sotto, head of operations and Secretary General of the Monte Carlo Whiskey Society, to tell us about this impressive club and its upcoming events in Monaco.
The Monte Carlo Whisky Society is the first collaborative venture in the Principality of Monaco to promote Scottish heritage and culture through the appreciation of fine whisky, with the support of the Monegasque and Scottish governments. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco is the Honorary President of the society.
Basically, the aim of our society is to bring together men and women who are either connoisseurs of whisky or who wish to explore some of the world’s most remarkable whiskies whilst enjoying the finest gourmet and cultural experiences.
The grand inauguration of the society took place on Wednesday 25 January 2012 in the prestigious and historic setting of the wine cellars of the Hôtel de Paris. Our home, a place where our members and friends can meet for a “wee dram”, is the famous Tasting Room opposite the Prince’s Palace in Monaco Ville.
It’s not unusual to see Prince Albert at The Whisky Fringe standing in the queue for Murray’s fish and chip van after seeing the “Angels’ Share” in the cinema with popcorn and a dram of Balblair.
Our guest profile started with a small group of food and wine lovers from Monaco who wanted to learn about whisky. They were tired of “luxury” black tie events, which were all very formal and stiff. The core life members/benefactors are very interested to grow the club slowly and invite their friends from all over the world to join in. This has turned the whisky society into an international private club.
As it is the members who invite their friends to join us we have maintained the same profile. People who you look forward to hanging out with regularly at our tasting room or to meet up once a year at the whisky festival and St. Andrews gala dinner.
My vision, of course, is to be partnered with Formula 1. To set up whisky society tasting rooms all over the world and hold exclusive small whisky tasting evenings. A place to meet the racing drivers, the celebrities and those who make a difference. Also to share the official gift of the famous Monaco Blend Private Stock, chosen by Charles Maclean himself for HSH Prince Albert and our society in order to raise funds for the Prince Albert II Foundation.
I think clubs like the whisky society are valuable to very large international events.
We can find a very private, intimate personal space for members, guest celebrities and royals to enjoy each other’s company and relax over a little dram of single malt.
We try to hold our events a few days before the chaos begins, when people are arriving in town and just want a lovely welcome. A place to meet people and find out what is going on. Private invitations to races and dinner parties are the norm and we find that many people become very good friends and collaborate in many ventures in the future.
Formula 1 is a big engine, and thankfully it’s still growing. It is glamorous and luxurious, just as everyone remembers it.
This year we have introduced the whisky festival and the whisky fringe. The main festival is for the connoisseurs such as investors and whisky lovers. Whisky society members and invited guests are invited to take part in a three-day event.
We have great support from HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, our honorary president, who in previous years has opened the whisky conference at the oceanographic museum where a panel of experts chaired by our Patron, Charles Maclean, discuss and drink the rarest of the rare single malts. Our special guest last year was Campbell Evans from the Scotch Whisky Association (Scottish government body). Our honorary members from the whisky industry include Ronnie Cox, Dr Bill Lumsden, Richard Paterson, Dr Sam Simmons, David Robertson and Brian Nation.
And it’s not unusual to see Prince Albert at The Whisky Fringe standing in the queue for Murray’s fish and chip van after seeing the “Angels Share” in the cinema with popcorn and a dram of Balblair. Murray has travelled for the past three years from Fife to Casino Square at Cafe de Paris to bring the very best of Scotland to The Whisky Fringe. Last year we danced and laughed to Whisky Kiss and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers in Casino Square. This is the society experience – what could be better?
Wednesday May 20th 3pm, Crystal Bar, Hotel Hermitage: The Grand Prix Penderyn Whisky Tasting. A tutored master class by the experts from the Penderyn Distillery.
Wednesday May 20th 6pm, Garnier Suite, Hotel de Paris: The Grand Prix Legends Whisky Tasting. One of the world’s leading whisky collectors will unveil, taste and discuss his first-ever bottling.
Thursday May 21st to Sunday May 24th Evening, The Tasting Room, Place du Palais: The Grand Prix at the Tasting Room. Join the President of the Monte Carlo Whisky Society at the new Tasting Room, overlooking the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, every evening after the F1 racing, by appointment.
Also, keep an eye out for the secret “After parties”!
By invitation only – Contact Anita
Thursday 21st of May-Sunday 24th of May
Enjoy whisky with cigars, little bites and great music
June to November, The Tasting Room, Place du Palais: Whisky of the Month at the Tasting Room. Join the members in selecting, with the assistance of our Patron, Charles Maclean, a special whisky expression to taste and enjoy.
Thursday December 3rd to Saturday December 5th, Monte Carlo, Monaco: The Monte Carlo Whisky Festival and Whisky Fringe. Join the gathering of investors, collectors and connoisseurs from around the globe at the annual whisky festival, for an exclusive 3-day event in glamourous Monte Carlo.
For more information regarding pricing and reservations, please contact Anita Di Sotto at firstname.lastname@example.org or +33 6 43 91 27 00.