Whisky icon Charles MacLean handpicks collection of whiskies for Kaleidoscope Bar

World-renowned whisky expert Charlie MacLean has curated a guest whisky list featuring 30 old and rare malts from his personal collection and auction for The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s new Edinburgh bar. 

Published 20th Oct 2016
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The Edinburgh-based whisky specialist and star of 2012’s whisky-inspired film ‘The Angel’s Share’, has curated the selection - the first time that The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has offered non-Society whiskies - for Kaleidoscope, the new bar, opened at the society's 28 Queen Street venue following a £300,000 makeover.

The selection includes 21 Scotch whiskies that MacLean sourced from a whisky auction, including a Dufftown-Glenlivet 12-year-old distilled in the 1960s, a Balvenie Founder’s Reserve, distilled in the early 1970s, and a Mortlach ‘Flora & Fauna' 16-year-old.

A further nine whiskies are drawn from MacLean’s personal collection and around the world, including the Hakushu 18-year-old Japanese Single Malt Whisky and the Kavalan Solist Fino Sherry Cask from Taiwan, which was named ‘Best New World Single Malt’ at the 2012 World Whisky Awards.

This is the first time that The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, which bottles single cask single malt whisky, has offered non-Society whiskies alongside its own bottlings at its bar.

Charles MacLean, who has been writing about whisky for 35 years, said, “The Scotch Malt Whisky Society looks at whisky through the lens of flavour, and my idea for this guest selection is to encourage everyone to explore how whisky flavours have evolved over the past decades.

“All of these expressions are discontinued so there are very few places in the world you can taste them, making a visit to Kaleidoscope a unique experience for whisky fans. I recommend a visit soon before all of the drams are gone!”

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