Argentine sets Guinness World Record for largest whisky museum
By Julieta Barrera
Buenos Aires, Oct 7 (EFE).- “My life would be nothing without the love I have for whisky,” says Argentine Miguel Angel Reigosa, whose museum of that distilled alcoholic beverage was recently certified by Guinness as the largest of its kind in the world.
Boasting a collection of more than 4,000 unique bottles, the Museo del Whisky in Buenos Aires was deemed to have surpassed the previous record holder – Edinburgh’s Scotch Whisky Experience.
“I’ve devoted my whole life to putting this museum together,” Reigosa told Efe about the visit from Guinness World Records representatives. “I was sure we were going to do it. We’re all very happy.”
A business leader and president of Whisky Malt Argentina, an association comprising the biggest local buyers of that beverage, he said he had made a commitment to himself and to fans of his “Mundo Whisky” television program during a visit to the then-record-holding museum in Scotland’s capital.
Speaking into the camera, he had promised that one day the largest whiskey collection on the planet would be located in Argentina.
“It was an obsession, something I passionately focused on and ended up achieving with room to spare,” Reigosa said.
He said he inherited his love for whisky from his father and in 2020 became the only Argentine to be named one of the “Keepers of the Quaich,” an exclusive, international society that recognizes individuals who have shown outstanding commitment to the Scotch Whisky industry.
Reigosa has received million-dollar offers for his collection, which includes a limited-edition bottle designed for the inaugural Concorde flight and a Royal Salute 62 Gun he received from Queen Elizabeth II.
The latter gift came in 2010 when he was invited to the British queen’s 84th birthday celebration and held a whisky tasting for a select group of people.
The Argentine was co-owner for more than 20 years of Buenos Aires’ Cafe de los Incas, a now-shuttered establishment that was the cradle of whisky in Latin America and the site where he began making plans for his museum.
He began by buying each of the bottles sold at that bar and later continued adding to a collection that he meticulously stored at his mother’s home.
After compiling a collection of nearly 2,900 bottles, Reigosa inaugurated the Museo del Whisky in November 2014 at a stately restored mansion in Buenos Aires’ Villa Urquiza neighborhood. “I ended up moving here and realized my lifelong dream,” he said.
That establishment currently has 4,220 unique bottles, although the collection is continuing to grow.
It also has a bar and restaurant where visitors can enjoy whisky tastings, learn about whisky culture and enjoy a large variety of labels from all over the world.
This year, Reigosa found another cause to pursue.
Forty years after the 1982 Falklands War pitting the United Kingdom against Argentina, Scottish distillery Glen Moray produced a 255-bottle limited edition to honor Britain’s fallen soldiers.
An additional 258 bottles were produced on the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory, to also honor three Falkland Islanders who were killed by friendly fire during the hostilities.
A combatant in that war, Reigosa felt it was unfair not to pay tribute to all of the fallen soldiers and formed a partnership with Argentine distillery Madoc to produce a 904-bottle edition that also paid tribute to the 649 Argentine troops killed in that 10-week conflict.
“No distinction should be made between those who died in combat, whether from one side or the other. I’m fortunate to share friendships with many English ex-combatants, and I hope to share a bottle of ours with them.”