Schwartz knew little of this vast new world when he started. His quick-fire baptism taught him extreme lessons, and he refined his vision, eschewing mass sales in favour of a more intimate connection with his growing fans.Next, in 2008, he gave them a dark, smoky Bowmore eight-year-old, all brazen, shameless and punk in attitude. He describes it as a whisky that dresses only in black.
And then Kirk phoned. He had a Bunnahabhain cask, sherry-finished and 31 years old.
It was a rare moment that Schwartz had to seize. He bought the barrel and produced 560 bottles at cask strength. We taste it together. It's overwhelmingly good, with a rich, bombshell nose and a sweet, lingering finish.
Jim Murray was also impressed. In his 2011 Whisky Bible he scored it 94.5, describing it as "delicious... dazzling... so special". Schwartz smiles as we sip. "After the Bunnahabhain I knew if I died, I would die happy."
After the Bunnahabhain, Single & Single did go quiet. Schwartz let it rest. I suspect he wanted this venture to be more meaningful, but he also wasn't done with being an adman.
Now, almost a decade later, he's free to focus solely on his whisky.