Charlie and I are self-professed whisky connoisseurs and there is no place we love more to sample different varieties than the award-winning whisky bar at The Torridon (also one of our favorite hotels in Scotland). There’s something here for all tastes, with 365 malt whiskies, including old standbys and rare bottles for a special occasion – the bar is quickly becoming a destination highlight for guests of the hotel.
In addition to receiving the 2016 Scotland Independent Hotel of the Year award, The Torridon was one of the first 50 establishments to be awarded “Best Whisky Bar in the World” by Whisky Magazine – no small feat! On each visit, when we first arrive, Dan Rose-Bristow, the charming owner of the hotel, arranges a whisky nosing and sample tasting for us – with the Bronze level starting at just GBP 30 per person, this is a lovely and informative introduction to whisky from the trained staff, and it acts as a nice refresher course for seasoned tasters. (True connoisseurs may want to opt for the Silver or Gold level tasting.)
We asked Dan and the bar staff about their five favorite whiskies – perhaps a good starting point for your own tasting:
Bruichladdich Octomore: A golden-colored whisky with sea spray, seawood and oily iodine tones and a lime, apple and pear finish. Best served neat, this is the world’s most heavily peated whisky.
Scapa Skiren: Served neat, with a splash of water, this golden whisky has a sweet and long oaky finish and tones of honey, fresh cream, apple and anise.
Aberlour A’Bunadh: This is the 54th series of the Aberlour A’Bunadh, known for its orange finish with a spicy cinnamon kick. It’s dark sherry in color, with tones of raisin, dark chocolate and black cherry.
Jura Tastival: This whisky is aged in wine casks in the Loire Valley and only 3,970 bottles have ever been produced. It’s served neat with a little water, is amber in color and offers tones of orchard fruit and seaside fudge.
Glen Scotia: Glen Scotia is the gold medal winner of the 2015 Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits. It’s beloved for its citrus and toasted sugar tones and orchard fruit/dark chocolate finish.