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The Craigellachie Hotel Scotch Doc "Scotch Single Malt Bar of Distinction" with over 150 single malts available to clientele.

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Another view of the Craigellachie bar.

The Scotch Single Malt Whisky Bar of Distinction

Commercial Category
(With purposeful intent, only the Scotch Single Malt Whisky is considered in this document.)

Introduction | Basic Requirements | Services & Certification


There is a veritable "jungle" of Scotch single malt options that confront -- and often confuse and frustrate -- the Scotch single malt novice who dares approach a modern bar for a drink. To further complicate the scene for the novice (but thrill the aficionado), new versions of this "nectar of the Gods" are coming on the market every few weeks. The following is an effort to help define the characteristics of a bar that will address the desires of the most discriminating connoisseur of the Scotch Single Malt Whisky as well as educate the novice. The specific malt recommendations will be based on my personal research, data gleaned from my fellow members of The International Order of Scotch Single Malt Whisky Connoisseurs, input from hundreds of participants who have attended my extensive international tastings and seminars entitled "Scotch Single Malt Whisky:The Taste, History and Mystique" and data gained from professionals in the field. It must be remembered, however, that taste is a purely subjective sense. Opinions will thus vary, not only with the individual, but from time-to-time and place-to-place. They may also be significantly influenced by the tasting environment.

In addition to the variety and quality of beverages in the bar inventory, the knowledge of the individual(s) dispensing these complex beverages and relating to his/her guests is also important. It should be remembered that, in most instances, the Scotch single malt aficionado is an "intellectual." The objective of this imbiber is "more" than to simply "satisfy a thirst" or to "become inebriated." His objective is to "investigate, learn" and "appreciate" the many unique characteristics and nuances that are inherently a part of the character and pedigree of the Scotch single malt. Indeed, not only is he an "intellectual and student," but he is a "gastronome" of the highest order. He does not "drink" the Scotch single malt. To the contrary, he "experiences" this unique and ancient "nectar" with each sip being something akin to an intimate experience.

The objectives of the establishment that is willing to expend the time and allocate the space and financial resources to qualify for, and maintain, a Scotch Doc-certified "Scotch Single Malt Bar of Distinction" award are, indeed, special. Such objectives may include:

  • The basic innate desire to have the "best" bar in the locale.

  • The ability to "impress" the clients and friends of customers who choose this bar for such purposes.

  • The desire to "present an image of distinction" and "exceptional taste."

  • To create a lasting "image" and provide a "service" that will cause the client to return frequently.

  • The desire to have an international listing in an advertising medium that caters, specifically, to the Scotch single malt connoisseur and which is frequently visited by such individuals.
Whatever the motives, more than an "accumulation" of bottles of Scotch Single Malt Whisky is required. In fact, a random "hoard" of alcoholic beverages is not only crude and crass, it is the first indication of a host who is uneducated in the nuances of the alcoholic beverage and the skills of bar management and hosting. It should be remembered that a large, "intelligently-selected" collection of Scotch single malts is not a "hoard." To the contrary, it is a "gastronomic library" of alcoholic beverages selected to represent the broadest range of pedigrees of the most complex and culturally entwined alcoholic spirit of all. With an investment of a few hours of time and study, the other associated investments will pay exceptionally higher dividends.

There are hundreds of Scotch single malts currently available to the consumer. They are most commonly identified by the distillery from which they come, their proof and their age. With the ever-increasing astuteness and interest level of the connoisseur, however, knowledge of several other characteristics of the single malt is required. The well-motivated bar owner may, therefore, desire to address questions pertaining to the "geographical location" in which the Scotch single malt was distilled and have a knowledge of the "types" of casks in which the malt was matured. There may also be an interest in being able to discuss the "size and shape" of the "pot still" in which the malt was distilled. Questions pertaining to the general "flavor characteristics" that are imparted and influenced by the "environment and geographical region" in which the Scotch single malt was distilled, and/or matured, and other such questions may also be of interest. A bar owner of a Scotch Doc "Scotch Single Malt Bar of Distinction" Award is more than an individual who can only "open a bottle, pour a measure and mix a combination of ingredients." He is able to host knowledge-based conversations for friends and clients requesting such information. In short, he will soon be in the category of "the host with the most." The bar proprietor that earns The Scotch Doc's "Scotch Single Malt Bar of Distinction" Award provides clients more than "a drink of whisky." He provides them an exciting and intellectual "experience."

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