Ardshiel continues to dram up support

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Flora Grant and Marion MacKinnon have worked dram hard to build up their business over the past 12 years.

And this week the owners of the Ardshiel Hotel were rewarded for their labour of love when they were shortlisted in the G and M Connoisseurs Choice Whisky Bar of the Year category for the 2019 Scottish Bar and Pub Awards in association with DRAM magazine.

The whisky collection can be viewed in all public areas.

Boasting one of the finest collections of whisky in the country, the Kilkerran Road venue earned its place in the final through a public voting process during which happy customers and clients from near and far gave their endorsements.

‘We were really blown away when we were told we had made the final four,’ said Flora.

‘These awards are often dominated by bars in Glasgow and Edinburgh, so for a small hotel from Campbeltown to even be shortlisted is an amazing achievement. We are delighted.’

Since purchasing the hotel in 2008 Flora and Marion have overseen a massive refurbishment project in the premises which has gone from stocking around 200 bottles of whisky to having more than 700 on display.

And the ladies have an in-depth knowledge of each and everyone.

‘If you are going to claim to be an expert on whisky you definitely have to be one,’ added Marion.

‘It has been a huge learning curve for us but we have worked hard at it and now make sure our staff have the knowledge and experience that they need also.

‘People come from far and wide to try our vast range and, whether they are paying four or £400 for a nip, they are all most welcome and hopefully leave having had a great whisky experience.’

Now in their 24th year, the awards take place on August 20 in the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, with the theme The Greatest Showman.

The objective of the awards is to recognise and celebrate excellent quality in the industry. The awards offer the opportunity for a range of people from the industry, the sponsors, the sales reps and the consumers, to vote and reward the quality they recognise.

DRAM publisher and award judge Susan Young says: ‘It’s hard to believe that it has been 24 years since we first started the licensed trade pub awards – we were the first magazine to celebrate all that’s good and great about Scotland’s licensed trade

‘The latest industry data shows that pubs in Scotland directly employ 52,000 people and support another 15,000. Financially it contributes more than £1.5billion to the Scottish economy overall.

‘The industry is very much at the heart of the Scottish economy and those that are embracing excellence and service deserve to be applauded.’

The Ardshiel is up against Ensign Ewart, Edinburgh, The Piper Whisky Bar, Glasgow and The Station Hotel, Rothes in the G and M Connoisseurs Choice Whisky Bar of the Year category.

The Ardshiel reception area.