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The Fife Arms Hotel opens Bertie's bar - with over 300 whiskies

The luxury hotel in Braemar has opened a new bar - and it's a perfect spot for whisky fans.

Published: June 25, 2021
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The Fife Arms, a former Victorian coaching inn, opened as a 5 star hotel, complete with original artwork and eye-catching interiors in early 2019.

The Royal connection to the small town of Braemar goes back to the 11th century, but was made famous by an affection from Queen Victoria.

Bertie's bar is another nod to this era as the whisky bar is named in honour of Queen Victoria’s eldest son, King Edward VII, also known as ‘Bertie’.

The team at the Fife Arms describe the inspiration behind the bar, saying: "Inspired by the famous Royal bon viveur, known for his notoriously spirited behaviour, our new whisky bar will embrace all of this much-loved monarch’s extravagance, appetite for life and excessive spirit in every sense.

"Bertie’s is a celebration of whisky and this hedonistic heir, a gregarious and larger than life character, who played fast and loose with the rules, had a love of opulence and all the wonders of the world."

Despite being a whisky bar, there is no actual bar - by design. Instead guests are invited to explore the range of whiskies which are arranged like books on a shelf making this more like a whisky library.

With 365 whiskies - one for each day - connoisseurs and whisky beginners can find their way around by following the flavour profiles: fragrant, fruity, rich and smoky.

As with the rest of the hotel, Bertie's has been designed by Russell Sage Studio.

Russell explains that coming into Bertie’s is “like entering an alchemist’s shop, shelves burgeoning with tinctures – with a library of beautifully illuminated whisky bottles which in turn cast an amber glow around the room and its guests.”

Bertie's has already had one famous guest, Outlander star Sam Heughan visited with a bottle of his award-winning Sassenach whisky, which is available to try for a limited time.

Sam tweeted: "So wonderful to visit the new whisky bar @thefifearms and to see our @SassenachSpirit taking pride of place! It looks right at home in that wonderful hotel. Pop by for a dram while it lasts…"

The Sassenach, which won double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Championship for a second time this year, is currently sold out online and not available in bars yet.

More is due to be released for online sales from August.

In late 2020 Sam Heughan joined us on our podcast Scran to chat about his whisky, as well as why he chose a blend over a single malt, how it was almost made in America and his re-discovered love of Scotland through filming Outlander.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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