Enjoy Whisky Month With Hilton Aviemore
As part of Homecoming Scotland 2014, this month is Whisky Month. As well as being located in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, one of Scotland’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty, the Hilton Coylumbridge in Aviemore is also located within Scotland’s most prolific whisky-producing region, Speyside. This means that there really is no better place in which to celebrate and enjoy this fantastic month.
How can you sample Speyside’s finest in our Bistro?
We have two local whiskies available in our bistro, Tomatin and Dalwhinnie. In fact, to experience what the distillers themselves describe as Tomatin’s palate-pleasing “balance of apples, pears and malt with a gentle hint of nuttiness introduced by the subtle use of sherry wood”, you don’t even need to order it as a dram. Our chef uses it in the exquisite whisky sauce which accompanies our delicious haggis! Incidentally, if you’re struggling to know how to pronounce Tomatin, then help is at hand with this handy video from Esquire magazine, featuring Brian Cox.
We can also bring you a little bit of extra information on the name Dalwhinnie. It comes from the Gaelic word Dail-coinneeamh, meaning ‘meeting place’ and is a reference to the distillery’s location in a spot which was the meeting point of a number of cattle droving routes through the surrounding mountains.
Which drams are available if you retire to the Woodshed Bar?
Our Woodshed Bar is a friendly and log cabin-style bar offering the cosy pleasures of a log fire and, as you’d expect, a huge selection of whiskies. Many of these are Speyside whiskies, the area which has the largest number of distilleries of any of Scotland’s whisky-producing regions. These regions have traditionally been divided into Speyside, Highland, Lowland, Campbeltown and Islay. In more recent times though, the number of distilleries operating in Campbeltown has declined, while the growing number of distilleries on Scotland’s islands has led to ‘The Islands’ (excluding Islay) becoming a new unofficial region.
Interestingly, the geographical designation of Dalwhinnie whisky is the source of some debate. It’s usually classed as a Highland malt rather than a Speyside malt but the distillery sources its water from a tributary of the Spey. Of course, the most important part of a whisky’s character lies on the palate rather than on a map so we’ll leave the distinction up to you!
Speyside whiskies available in the Woodshed include -
Balvenie Doublewood 12 year-old. This whisky has the extra twist of having been aged in ex-bourbon casks before being finished in sherry casks. This combination brings an added complexity and richness to the whisky.
Glenlivet 18 year-old. Not only is this Glenlivet a classic Speyside dram, it’s also had global recognition. It was a double-gold winner at the International Wine and Spirits competition.
Benromach Peat Smoked. Traditionally, it’s Islay whiskies that are associated with possessing a peaty character but this special Benromach whisky (produced only in small batches) makes for an intriguing Speyside alternative. The distillery themselves suggest that without water the taste conjures elements of strawberry and cracked pepper, while with water it opens up to give hints of slow-cooked apple, pear and grapefruit. We’ll let you be the judges though!
Of course, as proud as we are of Speyside’s finest, we won’t be offended if you wish to try a dram from one of Scotland’s other whisky regions. We have a fine selection of these too, including -
Auchentoshan 12 year-old. Newcomers to whisky may find the smooth and sweet taste of this offering from the lowland Auchentoshan distillery near Glasgow to be a good entry point into the world of Scotland’s national spirit.
Highland Park 12 year-old. Don’t let the name confuse you, Highland Park distillery isn’t actually based in the Highlands...it’s even further north! The distillery is in Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands, with the name ‘Highland Park’ referring to the ‘High Park’ area of town in which the distillery (Scotland’s most northerly) is located.
Lagavulin 16 year-old. A particularly smoky offering from a region (Islay) already known for the smokiness of its whiskies, this is a dram of distinction.
There’s still time to enjoy whisky month with Hilton Aviemore
Hurry and you can still catch our summer sale (ends May 16th) which offers you 20% off short midweek breaks between May and August! The perfect deal for the perfect whisky destination.