Tour a Whisky Library in the Scottish Highlands With Hundreds of Bottles

While distilleries may be the main draw to this part of the world, spirits aficionados shouldn't miss this whisky library.

Bertie's Bar at The Fife Arms

Courtesy of The Fife Arms

Through winding hills and past miles of bucolic countryside, a whisky lover’s dream awaits. Housed in an historic hotel in the town of Braemar, Scotland, visitors will find a shrine to all things spirits.

At Fife Arms, a recently renovated hotel that dates back to the 19th century, guests will be fully immersed in the culture and aesthetics of the Highlands of Scotland. The hotel is about a three-hour drive north of Edinburgh, smack in the middle of the beauty that draws so many to this part of the world. And within a 50-mile radius, you’ll find a handful of some of the best whisky distilleries on the planet, from Glen Garioch to ​​Dewar's Aberfeldy Distillery.

In total, there are 140 distilleries that call the Highlands home, so you’ll find yourself with plenty to do. But at the center of the hotel, there’s a hidden surprise that will make you want to stay put. 

Bertie’s Bar is the anchor drinking hole for the hotel and is exactly what you’d want a bar in the Highlands to be. Dark wood bookshelves line the room, centered around a massive stone fireplace. The lights are dimly lit and experts are at the ready to walk you through a tasting with an encyclopedic knowledge of tipples.

The Fife Arms

Courtesy of The Fife Arms

With nearly 400 bottles of whisky, bourbon, Scotch, and rye from all over the world, there’s no need to leave the incredibly comfortable armchair to sample the best spirits of the region and beyond. 

When, or if, you reach your fill of spirits, the hotel is right at the center of the picturesque Cairngorms National Park — made famous by both the stunning views and the Royal family.

Just a 10-minute drive from the hotel, you’ll find yourself right at the front door of Balmoral Castle, the favored spot of Queen Elizabeth and where she spent her final days. And while she may have preferred gin to whisky, being at the center of the most celebrated distilleries in the world couldn’t have been a bad thing. 

The menu from Bertie's Bar at The Fife Arms

Courtesy of The Fife Arms

The hotel offers a range of opportunities beyond Bertie’s, from luxurious dinners at The Clunie Dining Room to foraging excursions in the surrounding fields and forests. If you still fancy a bit of a drink, Elsa’s Bar is the on-site cocktail bar which turns out the best drinks north of London. 

So whether it’s the beautiful views that drew you to the area or the world-renowned spirits, a stop at this secluded whisky bar is a must to add to your list.

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