Dornoch Castle wins best Whisky Bar in Scotland

Fresh from hosting a series of special Dornoch Whisky Festival events at the weekend, Dornoch Castle Hotel is celebrating being named the best Whisky Bar in Scotland.

The hotel, owned by the Thompson family for nearly 20 years – the official anniversary of their ownership is 2020 – has picked up the prestigious accolade from Scottish Field magazine.

Colin Thompson collected the award at an illustrious ceremony in Edinburgh, held aboard luxury yacht, Fingal.

It’s the latest in a series of whisky bar awards for the Castle, which became the first hotel in the UK to have its own on site gin and whisky distillery in 2017.

Over the past few years, the well stocked bar at Dornoch Castle, with its range of rare and premium Malts from all over the world, has been named’s Number One International Whisky Hotel, along with Scottish Licence Trade News Whisky Bar of the Year, in 2014 and 2016.

Colin Thompson said: ‘We’re absolutely delighted with this latest award for our whisky bar, which is an intrinsic part of our overall offering at the Castle, and something which attracts whisky aficionados from far and wide.

‘Whenever you come into Dornoch Castle, we will find the perfect malt for you, whether you are a seasoned malt drinker, or just trying whisky for the first time.

‘We pride ourselves on our wide selection, and most of all our knowledgeable staff which includes Bar Manager, Andy Chui, and my two sons, Philip and Simon, who have really put us on the map as a whisky lovers destination with their years of hard work, expert sourcing, and dedication to the task.

‘Without Philip and Simon first starting use on our whisky journey I really don’t think we could have achieved this level of success.

‘Their passion and enthusiasm for the water of life saw them forge fantastic contacts with pretty much all of the distilleries around us in the Highlands, with their skills as barmen and hosts honed abroad at a series of prestigious pop up whisky bars and events.

‘The distillery, which has been so successful that we are expanding it, was their idea too, adding an important extra income stream to the business.’

This latest recognition for the whisky bar could not have come at a better time, with the family about to celebrate 20 year of ownership of Dornoch Castle next year.

‘We want our customers to be able to join in our celebrations next year, so we have a series of special dinners and events planned, along with unbeatable accommodation and wedding rates,’ added Colin.

‘The weekend’s Dornoch Whisky Festival was one of the best yet. The town was definitely in celebratory mood. We had everything from a Japan versus Ireland whisky tasting, to single cask tastings, to Old & Rare showcases, to elaborate whisky dinners with our local chef Grant Macnicol.

‘I rushed back from this awards ceremony in Edinburgh to make sure I didn’t miss out completely!’

Visit for more details on the 2020 calendar of events.