Whisky Magazine Issue 87
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Jonny McCormick explores a monster of a Highland bar on the shores of Loch Ness.
Round a bend from Urquhart Castle lies a little piece of heaven. You know when you walk into a bar and instantly feel the stresses of the world lifting from your shoulders? Let me give you a steer towards an award-winning bar in the Highlands of Scotland which is quietly building its reputation around the breadth and depth of its whisky selection. Fiddler's is a family-owned bar, restaurant, café and guesthouse run by Jon and Karen Beach offering sanctuary to the weary traveller on the Great Glen Way and situated at the heart of the community of Drumnadrochit, 14 miles south of Inverness.
When the couple took charge, there were only around a dozen malts behind the bar.
Now hundreds of bottles are racked on every vertical surface alongside Ian Gray's distillery artworks.
“Essentially, this is my personal whisky collection, built up over many years and everyone's invited along” gestures Jon welcoming me into the bar.
Here, there are entire shelves dedicated to Ardbeg, Bruichladdich, The Balvenie and Japanese whiskies but Jon's true passion is reserved for Port Ellen. All nine of the Diageo annual releases are on sale and he has amassed a substantial number of independent Port Ellens which make for a rewarding detour if you're visiting nearby distilleries such as Glen Ord. You don't need to spend long in the company of Jon Beach to realise what makes him tick. He's thinking about malt whisky every waking moment.
The bar's success is testament to his zeal for whisky as ...