A world of whisky — Edzell’s Glenesk Hotel is a dram fine destination bar none

© Paul Reid
Operations manager Samuel Allen with the rare whisky.

An Angus hotel has 1,031 good reasons to toast its success after finding its way into the Guinness Book of World Records as a dram lover’s dream destination.

© Paul Reid
The dizzying selection at the Glenesk Hotel, Edzell.

The Glenesk Hotel just inside the famous stone arch of the village of Edzell has captured the crown of having the greatest number of different varieties of whiskies for sale behind the counter of its magnificent bar, with something for every taste — and pocket — in the spectacular collection.

And the world-beating figure is just part of an array which, boosted by owner Dylan Wren’s own personal stock of rarities, tops 2,500 bottles.

The whiskies include malts from every working distillery in Scotland and many hard-to-find bottlings, including the bar’s most expensive 25-year-old Lagavulin with a not-to-be-sniffed at price tag of £248 a dram.

Mr Wren bought the hotel some five years ago and his collection of a couple of hundred whiskies spiralled.

Hotel operations manager Samuel Allen said: “When he moved in he wanted to install the whisky bar, mostly as an attraction for our own guests but also as a way of showing how hugely important whisky is for the country.

© Paul Reid
The £248 per dram Lagavulin.

“A hotel really should be part of the community and we just wanted to scream and shout about whisky, so the world record happened a bit by accident.”

The grandly-named Millionayr Casino in Ayrshire was the previous holder of the title for having the most commercially available whiskies on offer, and by the time the Glenesk began to think about going for the record the hotel realised it was well past the benchmark of around 800.

“We have just had the world record confirmed in the last few days so we are really pleased,” added Mr Allen.

“It’s a passion for Dylan, but is also very important to everyone here at the hotel.

“The record is specific to the ones on sale in the bar, but with the display collection we have around 2,500 bottles.

“We couldn’t have achieved the record without the help of Robert Flemimg, the distillery director at Glencadam and Tomintoul who spent hours logging all of the collection to satisfy the requirements of the Guinness World Record criteria.”

Connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike can browse the bar’s two huge whisky bibles in which every bottle is logged, along with the tasting notes to enjoy the dram in their hand to the full.


Local heroes

While some whiskies in the Glenesk collection are well travelled, many come from far closer to home.

Brechin’s Glencadam distillery just a few miles away holds a special place and the bar has an array of the company’s malts, including hard to find rarities.

Now the only distillery in Angus, Glencadam first opened in 1825, with its name coming from the tenements of Caldhame, plots originally given to the burghs of the town for food production.

Although it was closed in 2000, production restarted after the distillery was bought by Angus Dundee Distillers in 2003.

A Tomintoul 33-year-old has also proved another favourite at the Glenesk, with the same vintage from the Port Ellen distillery on Islay – of which little over a couple of hundred bottles were produced  – another talking point.