James Robertson visits the Malt Vault at the Karma Lake of Menteith hotel.
AS SPRING emerges on the horizon, many distilleries start to gear up for an increase in whisky tourists. Nestled at the foot of the Trossachs is the Karma Lake of Menteith, a hotel that is now part of a collection of worldwide luxury resorts established by British entrepreneur John Spence.
The hotel was originally the local manse and dates back to 1854 but was converted to an inn in 1888. There are wonderful views onto the Lake of Menteith, which was known previously as Loch Inchmahome. In the middle of the lake is Inchmahome island, rumoured to be one of the places that Mary Queen of Scots sort refuge from her enemies.
Over the past 60 years, there have been extensive alterations to the hotel and one of these has been the addition of its “Malt Vault”. There is a great array of wonderful whiskies from all over the country, some of the big well-known brands but also a selection of the new independent and family-owned distilleries. A great opportunity to taste and compare different whiskies.
“Whisky is particularly apt for Karma Lake of Menteith as we have our own whisky ‘Malt Vault’ here in the hotel,” said general manager Chris Diplock. “This cosy nook, just off the main bar, offers a top-notch selection of quality single malt whiskies from all over Scotland, including rarer varieties, Campbeltown whiskies, and bottles from the local distillery, Deanston, which is just along the road.
“Making sure our guests have access to exceptional wines and spirits of all types is all part and parcel of the Karma Group experience. We want them to feel special the whole time they are with us. Many of our products are unique to us and certainly inspire conversation and debate.”
If traveling north or coming south, whisky tourists and enthusiasts should search out this little gem, ideally located near the distilleries of the central Highlands.
Read more of James’ reviews on his drinks blog, The Grape & The Grain.