This May, Connoisseurs Scotland properties will toast Scotland’s national drink in a month-long, countrywide celebration deemed “Whisky Month.” As part of this initiative of Visit Scotland’s “Homecoming Scotland 2014,” hundreds of events will be held across the country; Connoisseurs Scotland members will proudly showcase their unique whisky offerings as well as their luxury accommodations.
Kicking off the celebration a few days early, The Royal Scotsman train is offering a five-day, four-night Classic Whisky Journey that departs on April 28. In association with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the United Kingdom’s only luxury sleeper train will take 36 guests on a Scotch whisky adventure across Scotland. Roundtrip from Edinburgh Waverly Station, passengers will experience private distillery tours and whisky tastings at both Glen Ord and Tullibardine distilleries. They’ll also visit Glenlivet Distillery, home of the iconic malt that inspired the Speyside region (home to the most distilleries in the country). A special component of this trip is entry to the vaults at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Leith. Rates for this journey start at $6,530 per person.
Whisky aficionados around the globe flock to the Road Hole Bar at The Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews. Boasting a selection of more than 300 whiskies representing every operational distillery in Scotland, the hotel even has its own label malt, “The Old Course Malt Tullibardine Oak Aged.” Bordering the 17th “Road Hole” of the world’s most famous golf course, the 144-bedroom luxury resort also features a tasting room, which plays host to private whisky tastings. As a special touch in the evenings, “whisky turndown” service is available, with a miniature Old Course Hotel whisky, shortbread and chocolate.
Not only does Cameron House on Loch Lomond feature a whisky bar, the Great Scots Bar, but the luxury property also boasts its own whisky ambassador, whose sole job it is to raise appreciation for the malt. The bar has a selection of more than 270 whiskies, including 17 limited editions and one made especially for Cameron House. For a personal touch, visitors may purchase a “whisky locker” at Cameron House, customized with their name. A key to the locker will await guests at check-in so their preferred whisky can be enjoyed as they settle in to their accommodations. Several of the luxury suites at Cameron House are themed after particular Scottish malt whiskies, each bearing the name of a whisky as well as artwork associated with the malt.
Boath House, located in the heart of the Malt Whisky Trail, offers easy access to a selection of some of the finest whisky-producing distilleries in the world. More than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries are located throughout the picturesque Speyside region, making Boath House a central luxury accommodation for visitors. In addition to 20 acres of gardens and Michelin-star dining, the mansion features an intimate area in the library where overnight guests are invited to sample a selection of fine and rare malt whiskies. Boath House and two other Connoisseurs Scotland properties – Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Chez Roux and The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa – are located within an easy drive of Glenmorangie Distillery, which offers tours as well as private tastings with an expert guide.
One of the best – and safest – ways to enjoy a whisky adventure in Scotland is via chauffeur-driven car. With a fleet of the latest luxury vehicles driven by full-time, experienced chauffeurs, Connoisseurs Scotland partner Little’s offers a whisky tour itinerary that covers the five main regions renowned for whisky-making: the Highlands, Speyside, the Lowlands, Islay and Campbeltown. A personal chauffeur will handle all the driving, leaving guests free to indulge and sample the very best that Scotland has to offer. Little’s can also assist in making hotel reservations and other details during the planning stages of a trip to the country.
Connoisseurs Scotland’s collection of 28 luxury accommodations includes country house hotels, golf resorts, city-center properties and exclusive-use properties. Seven of the members boast Michelin-starred restaurants. Information on Connoisseurs Scotland, its member resorts, partners and special offers can be found at http://www.luxuryscotland.co.uk
Article written by Mindy Bianca, Gillies and Zaiser