The following guest post has been written by Gavin and Penny. Both are hoteliers and Whisky experts, Penny being the Director of Speyside Whisky Festival…
It was a damp Tuesday in November a couple of years ago and we stumbled into the bar of the Wild Boar Inn at Crook.
It was warm, had a welcoming log fire, a good range of real Ales and an impressive collection of Malt Whisky. On that basis alone it was considered the place to stay that night!
We settled in and made our way back to the bar only to discover that Tuesday night was Malt Whisky night!
This was going to be interesting, on so many fronts!
We live in Speyside, the home of Whisky! I was travelling with my wife Penny (known as the Dram Queen by some) and she is also a Director of the Speyside Whisky Festival and the Author of Distinguished Distilleries. We are both Innkeepers of Knockomie Hotel, located in Forres, Moray on the western Gateway to the Malt Whisky Trail.
Well, we were not going anywhere now. An evening tasting the Balvenie and The Laphroig Quarter cask was too good an opportunity to miss!
But could we not appear too enthusiastic? No!
Discussion and debate enthused as to taste and composition of the different expressions of Whisky, the aromas and flavours of each. With guests, locals and members of English Lakes, the atmosphere was entertaining and informative.
Penny even managed to get a die-hard “No water in my Whisky” character to start experimenting and appreciating the Benefits of “releasing the Spirit” and savouring the complexities of the whisky once diluted with a drop of water.
Anthony of The Wild Boar quickly engaged us in conversation and we decided to blow our cover and admit some of who we were. This led to one of the most memorable evenings we had had away from home in a while.
To be honest neither of us had ever tasted the ¼ cask from Laphroig, being from Speyside, and we really enjoyed the discovery. Since that terrific evening two years ago, Penny has hosted whisky tastings at The Wild Boar and is due to return in November 2014 for another evening of whisky.
The following morning Andy and Anthony showed us around the Inn’s grounds and enthused about the biomass boiler, smoke-house and the brewery, at the time yet to be built.
Penny was then invited to return and give her own tasting evening, which we have now delivered on two occasions. These have focused on Whiskies from Speyside. They have been fun occasions with Penny now adding stories about distilling in the Glens around Speyside.
The Wild Boar carries an extensive collection of Malt Whisky that would be the envy of many.
Creating a collection of 100 Malt whiskies takes some real commitment and dedication; to achieve this outside Scotland is very impressive and deserves to be celebrated! But which Malt will you celebrate with? You choose … but remember to tell us.
A new Destination for whisky lovers has been created!
We look forward to returning,
Gavin and Penny
Knockomie Hotel (A Great Little Inn)
Grantown Road, Forres, Moray, IV36 2SG 01309 673146