Can't believe I'm writing a review of a whisky shop -- after all, you don't exactly come to Inverness for whisky, and probably not to shop. That being said, the shop on Bridge Street was full of very helpful and unbelievably knowledgable folk who spent easily two hours with my wife and me talking about the different kinds of whiskeys, the different flavors and aromas, and then helping us (of course) pick out gifts. But it all started because we signed up for one of the tastings on a Friday evening (7pm, I think). Wasn't too late, wasn't too early, and the cost wasn't too bad, given that we were going to have at least some tastes of half a dozen whiskeys. Easily worth the price of admission just to get to talk with the Whisky Shop employees -- the (surprisingly) young man who helped us had a degree in chemistry and had worked in distilleries and obviously knew his way around. Exceptional ability to discuss the different brands and the subtle differences in product.
It should be acknowledged that the Whisky Shop does seem to have a preference to "push" their own "Old Malt Cask" -- I am not sure of the reason (the shop and the distiller are linked by ownership, I believe). That being said, the OMC that we purchased has been some of the finest whisky I have ever tasted and has been a huge hit with our guests.
Which is all to say that if you want to pick up some very good knowledge and a little "experience" before heading to the Highlands or Speyside, stop in this shop and get a no-pressure feel for what a whisky tasting can be. Unless the employee turnover is high, chances are you will talk with some fantastically friendly and knowledgable staff.
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