Rocco Forte creates new whisky bar in Edinburgh


scotch barA new whisky bar, Scotch, has opened at Rocco Forte’s The Balmoral hotel in the heart of Edinburgh, offering around 400 whiskies.

Believed to be the largest collection of purely Scottish whiskies available to the general public in Edinburgh, it covers Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown, the Islands, the Highlands and the Lowlands in a variety of blends, malts and vintages dating back to 1940.

The collection of exclusively Scottish whiskies is overseen by three highly trained “whisky ambassadors” who are on hand to offer guests advice when selecting a dram.

They wear contemporary Highland attire by Kinloch Anderson, kilt makers to The Queen, in cheviot, game keeper and gold tweeds mixed with gold satin trims and whisky-coloured accents.

Whisky enthusiasts can “open up” their whisky with a selection of Uisge Source waters from the three main regions of Scotland – Speyside, Islay and the Highlands. Working exclusively with the bar, Uisge Source offers natural water which complements each whisky region.

Franck Arnold, general manager at the five-star hotel, said: “As Edinburgh’s landmark hotel, we are keen to showcase one of Scotland’s greatest exports: whisky.

“We set about transforming one of the hotel’s most intimate spaces into Scotch, where our young, passionate whisky ambassadors are looking forward to serving the finest of drams to the local community and guests alike for many years to come.”

A glass of whisky in Scotch ranges from £4 to £85 a dram and is served with a selection of bar snacks including smoked almonds, wild boar salami and dark Swiss chocolate, selected to match the whisky flavours.

A menu of contemporary Scottish dishes, designed by the The Balmoral’s executive chef Jeff Bland, offers guests a taste of local produce including home-cured whisky and honey salmon, seared west coast scallops, traditional haggis neeps and tatties and Blairgowrie fillet.

The bar, formerly used as a lounge area called The Drawing Room, has been designed by Olga Polizzi, deputy chairman and director of design at Rocco Forte. The interior features a palate of whisky-coloured tones, creating a warm, intimate ambience.

The centrepiece of the room is a hand-crafted oak-panelled whisky cabinet which is complemented by furnishings in natural fabrics such as wool, cord and leather.

A brushed brass and black granite bar features back-lit artwork by artist Hubertus Hohenlohe, contrasting with golden and chocolate velvet armchairs, neutral tweed sofas and amber-coloured walls.

Scotch is open seven days a week from 10am to 1am.

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