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Issue 56 - Phoenix rising

Whisky Magazine Issue 56
June 2006


This article is 12 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Phoenix rising

Anyone who read Issue 53 on Great Whisky Bars of The World will know that Whisky Magazine rates The Highlander Inn in Craigellachie pretty highly. Richard Jones discovers what makes this humble looking bar such a haven for whisky lovers

‘There can be only one!' declared Christopher Lambert in the cult 1986 film Highlander, somewhat misleadingly given the subsequent sequels (three) and television series (two).

Perhaps if you were born in the Scottish Highlands in 1518 and forced to fight other immortals in New York City nearly 500 years later, you could be forgiven a moment of confusion. However when it comes to whisky bars, there's little doubt that the Highlander Inn in Craigellachie is pretty unique.

It helps if you have a great location.

Thanks to its sprawling topography and concentration of distilleries, the whisky region of Speyside lacks a single, undisputed capital. Yet the village of Craigellachie has more claim than most.

‘The heart of Speyside' is a much overused phrase beloved by tourist websites, but if any locality has earned the cliché then this is it.

Situated at the intersection of the A95 and A941, immediately to the west lies The Macallan; to the southwest Dailuaine; to the north / northeast Glen Spey and Glenrothes; and to the south heading towards Dufftown sits Aberlour, The Balvenie and Glenfiddich.

In fact at least 15 distilleries can be considered close to Craigellachie (including the eponymous distillery) with many more only slightly further afield. Which, of course, makes Craigellachie the perfect place for a quality hotel.

“I feel we're very much complimentary to the Craigellachie Hotel and the Quaich Bar rather than competitors,” begins Duncan Elphick, part owner a...

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