Late 19th century distillery designed by Charles Doig, now owned by John Dewar & Sons.
The Highlander Inn Profile
The Highlander Inn is nestled in the heart of Speyside’s Craigellachie village, in the midst of Scotland’s Malt Whisky Trail. The main building boasts eight en-suite bedrooms, with an additional house located 35 metres from the main site, as well as The Highlander Inn whisky bar, ‘club room’, lounge and patio space. The bar has been selling whiskies under its own label since 2005, most recently under the Oishii Wisuki (‘delicious whisky’) label.
The Highlander Inn History
One of Speyside’s well-known hotels, The Highlander Inn’s history can be traced back to the 1880s. The building started out as a private house, but was later transformed into a bank, before becoming a bar in the 1960s.
The inn was acquired by Duncan Elphick, the general manager of the Craigellachie Hotel (opposite The Highlander) in 2005. For two years prior, Elphick had worked with Tatsuya Minagawa, bar manager of The Quaich (located inside the Craigellachie Hotel). Upon purchasing the inn, Elphick offered Minagawa the position of co-director and whisky manager of The Highlander Inn.
Since 2005, The Highlander Inn has been bottling its own Scotch whiskies on an annual basis, starting with the 32-year-old Highlander Inn 2005 Glenfarclas Single Cask. Only 234 bottles were filled from cask number 4796, distilled on 21 May 1973. Subsequent bottlings have followed on an annual basis, including casks sourced from Glen Grant, Highland Park, Bowmore, Bunnahabhain and BenRiach.
After six years at the inn, Minagawa was offered the job of European brand ambassador for Japanese whisky producer Suntory, which saw him spend the next three years travelling around Europe educating people about Japanese whisky.
In 2015, after leaving his post with Suntory, Minagawa returned to the village of Craigellachie and bought the inn from Elphick.