Whisky Magazine Issue 32
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The Road Hole Bar in the Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, carries a bottle of single malt from every Scottish distillery, as Brigid James discovered
The Old Course Hotel is home to world-renowned golf courses, such as the eponymous Old Course, and accommodates high-profile guests, from Tiger Woods to Hugh Grant. The Road Hole Bar is located within the hotel, overlooking the 17th hole. It has been a specialist whisky bar since 1990, and is open to both hotel guests and the public alike.
The bar boasts a superb range of more than 200 single malt bottlings, covering the entire range of all 126 Scottish distilleries, whether operating or silent, including many rare gems.
This is thanks to the efforts of legendary French barman Régis Lemaître, bars manager at the Old Course for more than nine years, who built up the collection – though now moved on to Gleneagles.
Lemaître's efforts secured the Glenmorangie Hotel Malt Bar of the Year title for the bar in 1997. The judges were looking for a hotel bar with a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere, but, more importantly, one with well-trained, knowledgeable staff, which certainly tallies with my experience. It was also, of course, recognised for its efforts to represent every Scottish distillery in its single malt collection.
Some of the whisky golden oldies include Linkwood 1939, The Glenlivet 1946, Strathisla 1949, and Ladyburn 1973, as Road Hole barman of two years, student and inveterate whisky enthusiast Paul Lederer proudly informed me. His passion for and knowledge of single malt whisky is impressive and infectious, and a great boon to any whisky fans visiting the bar.