WHISKI ROOMS crowned Scotland’s Whisky Bar of the Year 2013

ImageThursday 7th November saw Scoltand’s top licensed venues crowned at the annual SLTN Awards in Glasgow and Edinburgh’s WHISKI Rooms was honoured as Whisky Bar of the Year. Only two years after opening, the venue was clearly delighted with the accolade

“This award is testament to the hard work put in by all the staff and the unique way we promote whisky with daily whisky tastings and our focus in championing our national drink, whisky. I think it is clear to all that we are absolutely delighted”, said Anne Still, director and co-owner.


Whiski Rooms was created from a gift shop, art gallery and former bank and  is a hybrid concept consisting of a restaurant, bar, and bistro, specialist whisky shop with its own dedicated tasting room. With stunning views over the Edinburgh, it is a great place to enjoy food and have a lovely cocktail or whisky.

Whiski Rooms is the sister venue to Whiski Bar & Restaurant on the Royal Mile who were also awarded Whisky Bar of the Year 2011 at the Dram awards and has also received a string of awards since its inception in 2007.

Karl Lagerfeld & CHANEL @ WHISKI Bar

It’s been a long time since I updated our blog but I thought I would put a few things up…

karl lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld & CHANEL

On 3rd Dec 2012 we were honoured to have been chosen by famous fashion house CHANEL to host their exclusive pre-show party in the WHISKI Bar & Restaurant. The event was strictly confidential and hosted all the main people involved in the Metier d’Art CHANEL show to be held in Linlithgow the next day.  Around 70 people attended including Karl Lagerfeld and his designers and models.

They feasted on our Scottish Tapas menu, enjoyed some great whiskies and listened to a fabulous Scottish band – all in all, they had a fantastic Scottish evening at Whiski – something we do particularly well at here !  The show was by all means fabulous the next day and has truly put Scotland on the map in fashion terms.

WHISKI wins Whisky Bar of the Year 2011

whisky bar

whiski bar

On Monday 20th June 2011, WHISKI bar on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile was awarded Whisky Bar of the Year at the 2011 DRAM awards, the Oscars of the licensed trade industry.  This is the first time that an Edinburgh bar has won this top accolade and the judges commented that “WHISKI goes to exceptional lengths to promote whisky in Scotland, with over 300 whiskies, whisky cocktails and extremely well trained staff”

WHISKI also opened a new venue called WHISKI Rooms on Sunday 19th June 2011 overlooking the iconic Mound in Edinburgh. WHISKI Rooms is a hybrid venue comprises a specialist whisky shop with a dedicated tasting room that will host daily whisky tastings in summer, a bar and an all day dining bistro serving fresh local Scottish produce.

“We are delighted with the DRAM Whisky Bar of the Year award and feel that again the profile of whisky will be raised with this recognition of Whiski in the capital ofScotland and the launch of our new venue WHISKI Rooms” said owner Gary Still.

whiski bar menu

whiski bar menuwhiski barwhisky barWhiski Bar GantryWhiski Bar GantryWhiski Bar Gantrywhisky bar


Whiski Rooms

Whiski Rooms

It’s been a long time coming but our latest venture will open it’s door for business on Saturday 18th June 2011. Well, whats WHISKI Rooms all about? A bit of hybrid and here’s a brief rundown: –

– a whisky shop with a dedicated tasting room hosting daily whisky tastings

– a bar with ~ 300 whiskies, full range of draughts including Edinburgh’s own Innis & Gunn  on draught, extensive list of  cocktails, full range of premium wines and champagne, premium spirits including many Scottish options, a full range of quality soft drinks.  Come and see our Ardbeg Rooms where you will enter Islay time !

– an all day bistro menu  serving fresh local Scottish produce including freshly made cakes & scones, all made on the premises

So we are almost there and hope to see you once we open.

Rare Glenlivet 70 Years Old Auctioned to help Japan

Gordon & MacPhail has donated bottle No. 1 of its rare Generations Glenlivet 70 year old to  raise funds to aid the relief effort in Japan.   “We have decided to donate bottle No. 1 of Generations Glenlivet 70 Years Old to a special charity auction to raise money for the relief effort.  All funds will be paid to the Red Cross who will use them to help the Japanese people recover from this devastating natural disaster”. 

Glenlivet 70 year old

“We all feel helpless in the face of a tragedy so we are looking to do something practical”, said David Urqhart from Gordon & MacPhail. 

Bonhams Edinburgh, who are giving their services for free, will deliver the special charity auction on Tuesday 29 March 2011 at 7.00pm GMT.  The auction will be held at Bonhams 22 Queen Street, Edinburgh and online at http://www.bonhams.com/eur/auction/19503/lot/1

 Gordon & MacPhail launched Generations Glenlivet 70 Years Old at a special event at Edinburgh Castle on 8 March 2011.  Distilled in 1940 only 100 full sized decanters have been released for sale in 2011.  Whisky connoisseur Charles Maclean describes the single malt: “The Glenlivet 1940 opens a door into a different time, another country. To smell and taste this exquisite whisky is to experience the past in a unique way – layer upon layer of flavour, profound and evocative.” 

The whisky is beautifully presented in a tear-shaped hand-blown crystal decanter with an elegant British Hallmarked silver stopper. The decanter nestles in a sterling silver base and is framed in a handmade box, crafted in Scotland using Scottish Elm.

 This is a beautifil whisky and very rare so this is your chance to buy it and support the Japan releif effort at the same time.

Online Whisky Shop now live – The Whisky Still

Online Whisky Shop - The Whisky Still

Online Whisky Shop - The Whisky Still


Atlast, our online whisky shop went live in time for the Edinburgh Festival on the 6th August.  The Whisky Still will sell all the malt whiskies that can be sampled in the WHISKI bar and over the coming weeks we will be adding more so the range will exceed the Whiski bar’s malt whisky range.  Unforuntaley we have had to restrict to UK delivery only at the moment due to some information saying we cant export overseas – we are looking into it and aim to resolve this as soon as we possible can  and resume our worldwide delivery programme.

Have a look around our online whisky shop www.thewhiskystill.com and until the end of August, use discount code TWR-0810 for 5% off your total order at the checkout.

My No. 1 Recruitment Tip in Hospitality

Having recently returned from holiday in a beautiful resort, I was so impressed with the staff there and  what I saw reinforced our No. 1 priority for hiring staff in our WHISKI hositality business. The resort we were in was all-inclusive and the service was simply the best I have came across – there was full table service around the pool and beach, basically no need to ever leave your sunbed !    Bliss … 

Every few minutes, lovely, cheery and friendly staff were walking round and collecting empty glasses (plastic ones as near the pool) and asking “would you like another drink?” or “can I get you anything else?” As it was an all-inclusive resort they weren’t getting any tips but still seemed to love their job and had very friendly personalities. After a few days they started to remember what we were having and would ask  “do you want another xxx”. Simply Excellent !

About a week into the holiday I noticed a new member of staff and she was not like the others – didn’t smile, looked dour and grumpy, approached to pick up the empty glasses but never once asked if anyone would like anything else. When anyone asked for drinks, she looked so disappointed and just nodded, no smiling, no chat – just a girl who seemed to thoroughly hate her job !  We never saw her again interacting with customers, apparently on speaking to some of the other staff, she was on trial but not recruited. What more can I say – if I can give any advice to anyone in hospitality it is this:


Good staff can be trained, but you can NEVER change a personality.

The personality is so utterly important that it is key to business success, happy, cheerful staff who want to ensure the customers are having a good time are so important in customer facing roles, dont take the risk with an unhappy, grump who couldn’t care less – they will alienate your customers and give your business a bad reputation – there are loads of happy, friendly and charming people out there, hunt them down and get them to work for your business and leave the unfriendly and bitter ones to sit and think it’s not fair, I should have got that job  !