Samaroli 2008 Review


9/10 - Would buy again

Description: Complex and changes flavors, with a smoky overtone throughout.  

Unfortunately very difficult to procure.

We were introduced to Samaroli as the Italian house that makes the rums-to-collect by bartenders at the San Francisco rum/tiki institution Smuggler’s Cove. Once we discovered their scotches, we were sold. Their bottles generally run in limited editions of just a few hundred each, and their peated scotches and rums easily rank as my top favorites.

In this review, I taste their 2008 first edition (2015) made to commemorate the year when the proprietor Silvano Samaroli turned over the reins to his successor Antonio Bleve.


Overall: This is a complex whisky that transforms during a tasting. It’s very hard to place a distinct flavor, and the ethereal taste seems to meld into different flavors while you sip. The first note for me is always a soft smoke but it turns toasted marshmallow-y and a bit like strawberry balsamic. Sometimes, I taste dark chocolate. The end tends back toward smoke, with a pop of peat and ginger.

Fun Facts about Samaroli:

  • First non-Scottish and non-English independent Scotch whisky bottler

  • One of the early pioneers of bottling cask strength whiskies in the 1980s and also one of the first to embrace no age statements transparently

  • Samaroli is known for their Laphroaig bottlings, including one that went for 60,000 British pounds in a recent auction

  • Silvano Samaroli recently passed away in 2017. Although he had given over management to Bleve, he was still heavily involved in the blending until his passing, thus catapulting many pre-2017 to collector’s items.

Samaroli 2008
Samaroli 2008 tasting