Alfredo Gonçalves was born in Portugal and at a very young age made the decision to go to Angola where he began his life as an entrepreneur by the late 50’s, after completing his military service. In Africa, whisky was notoriously appreciated and usually taken with ice and soda. However, due to the reduced supply, and being an enthusiastic of this drink, Alfredo tried to acquire as many different bottles as he could whenever he travelled for business or leisure. Over the years and with the ones he kept, he started a unique collection which lasts until today.
During the decolonization process in 1975, Alfredo was forced to return to Portugal and left a large part of the collection in Angola, having only managed to bring with him about a thousand copies. Already in Lisbon, he tried to keep regular travels and trips in search of bottles, having visited more than 60 countries across all 5 Continents.
OVER MORE THAN 60 YEARS, HE HAS GATHERED THE MOST PECULIAR AND EXTRAVAGANT UNITS.
Over more than 60 years, he has gather the most peculiar and extravagant bottles, prioritising the search of store, fairs and distilleries in the process. With each bottle and trip, Alfredo collected a couple more stories to tell. Nowadays, he remembers with exultation what he considers his most pleasant acquisition: the Snake Whisky. It was in Laos, in Southeast Asia, that Alfredo carried out a truly epic journey in search of a bottle so rare and eccentric that, for many, would be nothing more than a real daydream.
After a lifetime of collecting bottles, Alfredo did not consider his collection should be closed to the public and exclusive to family and friends.
He therefore put forth what he most wanted: In 2001, he inaugurated Whisky&Co., in Lisbon. This space offers a unique experience, not only to the genuine enthusiasts who find the most varied qualities, flavors and distilleries, but also to all those who are open to discover the nuances in flavour and aroma among Scotch, Irish, American or Japanese whiskies.
Since its opening, almost 20 years ago, many tourists from all corners of the world have visited, from Americans and Canadians to Irish, English and Scottish. The most aficionados describe Whisky&Co. as a landmark of the city of Lisbon and an undeniable reason to visit Portugal. Those who arrive there by chance are surprised to find, in a corner of the old city of Lisbon, such a distinct and sophisticated collection. In 2003, Whisky&Co. won the 1st place in the 2nd Single Malt Glenfiddich Whisky Collectors contest. It was honoured to receive, from the hands of the brand’s ambassadors, a prize represented by the symbol: the famous deer Glenfiddich.
The distinction as the largest collection of whisky bottles in the world, by Guinness World Records in 2005, only served to give recognition to Alfredo Gonçalves’s journey as ambassador for this spirit. More recently, in 2019, Whisky&Co. had the privilege of receiving the visit of Jim Murray, the most prestigious connoisseur of this drink and author of the book The Whisky Bible. In a family atmosphere, Jim Murray got to visit the collection, taste new whiskies, share stories and experiences with Alfredo and, in a brief note in the Whisky&Co. book, Jim left the challenge to anyone willing to unveil this one-of-a-kind collection in the world: “I have been to many special whisky places. But few as magical as here. Thank you so much for letting me into your special whisky world”.