Out of the Blue

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In my day to day life I don’t go to many really fancy places. It’s not that I don’t want to. I do. It’s not that I won’t make an effort to look good. I will. It’s more to do with the fact that that I’m one of the clumsiest/messiest people you’ll ever encounter. I’m the guy who wears a white shirt out to an Italian restaurant leaves wearing more sauce than I could possibly have consumed. I can’t leave a drink anywhere outside of my eye line or it will be knocked over/kicked half way across the room.  You might have heard of the phrase “a bull in a china shop”. Well that’s small potatoes to the sort of damage I’ve accidently caused over the years. You’d have to coin a new phrase like “an atomic squid monster in an antique crystal vase emporium” to get an idea of situations I’ve created. So when I was asked if I wanted to go to The Gleneagles hotel to see their new and exclusive ‘Blue bar’ I was hesitant at first. Not because I didn’t want to go. I really, really did. I just thought there would be lots of very expensive and nice things for me to knock over and break. The special insurance I have for clumsiness couldn’t take another hit like that.  Luckily, Tiger said he’d come along as well and I thought that if I did break anything I could just blame him and then run away. With my escape plan fully formed, the two of us headed north.

We were invited up to have a good look at their brand new space – The Blue Bar. Why ‘The Blue Bar’? Well as in Johnnie Walker Blue Label is behind the whole idea it only seems fitting. Located at the Dormy Clubhouse by the 18th Green of the Gleneagles Golf course it is an “indoor-outdoor” space created for enjoying fantastic whisky and wonderful cigars. Walking out of a huge glass patio door you’re immediately hypnotised by the roaring fire that is the centre piece. Around this there four L shaped leather sofas (which are heated!) at each corner of a square. On one side there is the bottle keep where individuals much luckier than I have their own bottle of Blue Label reserved for their next visit to the bar. On the other side is a small bar where your own personal barman will create a range of molecular cocktails if you so wish. The one we experienced had a smoked tea influence and really played off the spirit well. Oh yeah and there are the cigars I mentioned before! Some from pre-embargo Cuba! Price of entry to this little exclusive piece of heaven? A dram of Blue Label from the bar. If you’re staying/playing golf at Gleneagles then I don’t think that is too much to ask for an exclusive space like this. As for the indoor-outdoor element, the Blue bar is technically outside but even on a cold November evening Tiger and I managed to sit there and enjoy a dram with a cigar without a shiver in sight. We even mentioned what a space it would be in the summer and the damage that would occur to our bank accounts if we were left here on a mid-summers night.

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We then headed up to the hotel itself and had a look round before grabbing some dinner. WOW! What a place. Tiger commented how the long walk from the front door to the reception desk was quite intimidating and he wasn’t wrong. We were suited and booted and very glad to be. It’s not the sort of place you can get away with wearing a checked shirt and flip-flops, which is what I had originally planned to wear until Tiger said he would not be seen in public with me like that. At dinner the usual geeky whisky chat was had by all. You know the sort of thing I mean so I won’t bore you with the details of that.

Overall it was an incredible experience and if you do have the sort of money to enjoy a trip to Gleneagles then I advise you to try it. Everyone was amazing and professional and I thank them for providing such a memorable evening – especially the bar manager David Sinclair who took some time to talk to us when we went back to the bar with some time to kill before our train arrived. David recently won Glenfiddich’s Malt Mastermind – congratulations to him from all of us here at Edinburgh Whisky Blog Towers! As for me it was a successful visit with nothing being smashed or ruined. That, I feel, is a good result for all!

Turbo

The Dormy Clubhouse Blue Bar

Auchterarder, Perth and Kinross PH3 1NF, UK

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