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WHISKY WARMERS

Scotland's Whisky Warmers

Take a break to enjoy the winter flavours of Scotland - luxury hotels with blazing log fires, hearty whisky-flavoured Scottish desserts, and warming Scotch whisky cocktails... and that's just the tipple of the iceberg.

Written by Linda Jackson

galss of Scotch Whisky
Whisky on Ice

Single Malt

Although favoured as a warming tipple best enjoyed on a cold night, on ice, or with a splash of water, whisky also plays a very tasty role on Scotland’s gourmet stage and social scene. So when you visit Scotland don’t expect to find whisky only in bottles or on the rocks. Scotch whisky comes in many flavoursome guises.

You’ll find whisky in marmalade, cakes, cocktails, desserts and sauces. You can attend whisky conferences, whisky courses and Scottish whisky festivals. You can indulge in rare Scotch whisky flights, savour whisky tastings, delight in gourmet tasting menus matched with whiskies, and even be pampered with a whisky turn-down service.

What better time of the year than now, when cold winter evenings are upon us, to discover Scotland’s diverse range of whisky-related ‘warmers’. Just imagine, after a day exploring a kaleidoscope of scenic winter landscapes, sinking into the depths of a comfortable sofa in front of a blazing log fire. Where better to sip a rare malt whisky than in the snug lounge of a luxury hotel in Scotland, the home of whisky. 


Tasting Room at The Old Course

Derived from ancient Gaelic words (Uisge Beatha), meaning ‘The Water of Life’, whisky is distilled in several regions of Scotland, the single malts being characterised not only by age but by their geographic source and what barrels were used in the ageing process. There are five main regions: The Lowlands, The Highlands, Islay (an island in the Hebrides), Campbeltown (Argyll & Bute) and Speyside, an area renowned for its elegant and complex whiskies.

If as yet you haven’t stumbled upon Scotland’s most famous malt whisky trails or whisky festivals, then it’s time you did.

Smell, taste and absorb the whisky scene on the most famous of them all: the Malt Whisky Trail through picturesque Speyside, where more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries are located (for special whisky festival ‘nosings’ in Speyside visit in May or September).

The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa, an elegant five star country hotel on the outskirts of historic Aberdeen, or Boath House & Spa, a beautiful Georgian mansion in 20 acres of gardens near Nairn, winner of the AA Hotel of the Year Award 2010 for Scotland,  are two luxury hotels in Scotland perfect for your Speyside Malt Whisky Trail base camp.


Cameron House Whisky Bar

Discover the distinctive flavours of Scotland’s island whiskies; the distinguishing taste is attributed to their unique landscapes and unspoiled locations; but for great variety head for the Highlands.

There are several luxury hotels in The Highlands which will make cosy bases for your whisky forays: Inverlochy Castle, located amongst the glens, lochs and mountains of the West Highlands of Scotland; Inver Lodge Hotel set in spectacular scenery on Scotland’s rugged west coast; and Andy Murray's luxury hotel Cromlix home to the Balvenie Whisky Room, a room dedicated to whisky connoisseurs and featuring the entire collection of products from Balvenie Distillery in the Speyside region as well as a range of distilleries from elsewhere in Scotland. Cromlix’s whisky sommelier and bar team are available to host tastings and answer guests’ questions.

There are few Lowlands distilleries, but in this region you will discover single malts much lighter and mellower than other Scotch whiskies; while in Campbeltown, Argyll (on the Kintyre Peninsula southern tip), some of the most distinctive malt whiskies in Scotland are still produced using ancient traditions.


Glenmorangie at Greywalls

Greywalls Hotel & Chez Roux Restaurant, an elegant Scottish Edwardian country house hotel located in Gullane, East Lothian, is a cosy retreat in The Lowlands for any whisky lover. Designed by renowned British Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1901, the hotel overlooks Muirfield championship golf course and offers far-reaching views over East Lothian and the Firth of Forth. The Whisky Room boasts more than 50 prestige and rare malts and was created in April this year for the opening of Greywalls Hotel & Chez Roux Restaurant. This year Albert Roux is introducing a special Whisky Menu that will allow guests who pre-book to have dinner in the Whisky Room with a tasting menu matched with whiskies (guests can also currently pre-book the Whisky Room for private dining for parties up to ten).

For Argyll-based whisky forays stay at Crinan Hotel (Crinan by Lochgilphead), renowned for its world-class seafood restaurant; or enjoy open-walled fires, 270 malt whiskies, rich red velvet and a snug bar at Cameron House (Loch Lomond) which boasts its very own whisky blended by Auchantoshan Distillery, as well as some exciting cocktails. Go for a Cameron House Kilt Lifter (crushed ice, whisky, ginger beer, squeeze lime juice, half-shot of Drambuie) or a Whisky Blazer (whisky, orange peel, cinnamon stick... orange peel is lit prior to serving). Cameron House will also organise whisky tastings for guests, as well as ‘journeys with taste’ - whisky and chocolate tasting, or cheese and whisky tasting. 


The Scots Bar

Scotch Whisky Experience

Edinburgh has its own treat in store for whisky enthusiasts too where tour guides and whisky advisors will stick with you every sip of the way. At the Scotch Whisky Experience (The Royal Mile) aromas and flavours will be matched to your palate and lead you to your perfect Single Malt Whisky. Spend time in the whisky shop, an Aladdin’s Cave; take a fully-guided private whisky tour or enrol on a fun, entertaining, and informative Scotch whisky course.


The Sheraton Grand

With a number of luxury hotels in Edinburgh near the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre you can enjoy your whisky ‘experience’ to the very last drop: stay at Restaurant with Rooms 21212, Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa. To check out a winter whisky festival in full swing, stay at One Devonshire Gardens at Hotel du Vin in Glasgow and visit the Glasgow Malt Whisky Festival on 13th November 2010.

If the sky’s your limit, head for The Gleneagles Hotel (Perthshire) where you can savour a range of intoxicating whisky flights. Choose from hand-picked whiskies from exclusive distilleries at £35 per 50 ml, or the special edition blend from whiskies at least 45 years old and predominantly from distilleries that no longer exist... at £500 per 50 ml.

Alternatively, sink into a huge leather sofa in the Road Hole Bar at The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa (St Andrews) and choose from 206 whiskies including the hotel’s own label malt, Tullibardine, and a rare Ben Wyvis, Highland Malt 1972. (On the merit of this iconic bar the Old Course Hotel achieved ‘Whisky Hotel of the World Supreme’ status in the 2008 ‘Icons of Whisky’ awards by Whisky Magazine.) The Tasting Room, a warm and inviting nook across from the Road Hole Bar, plays host to private whisky tastings.


Old Course Hotel Whisky

The Old Course Hotel also offers a lovely night-time warming touch, the Whisky Turndown: a unique evening turndown service which includes a miniature Old Course Hotel whisky, two pieces of tablet, two pieces of shortbread and a Lindt chocolate golf ball per person. What a nice way to warm the heart before crawling into those luxurious cotton sheets. Goodnight!

Editor's Note: Don't miss this wonderful article on our New & Offers page: Luxury Scotland Hotels - Innovative Ways to Enjoy Whisky

 

 

 


WHISKY LINKS

The Scotch Whisky Experience - www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk

The Spirit of Scotland - www.visitscottishheartlands.com/whisky

Whisky Magazine (whisky articles and tasting notes) - www.whiskymag.com

 

Luxury Scotland
Tel: +44(0)1383 825 800 
Fax: +44 (0)1383 825 700
E: jeremy@luxscot.co.uk

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