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Safety first approach to whisky tasting

By Matt MacPherson

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Matt MacPherson is looking forward to welcoming customers back to The Malt Room. Picture: Gary Anthony
Matt MacPherson is looking forward to welcoming customers back to The Malt Room. Picture: Gary Anthony

It’s been a challenging time for everyone and earlier this week pubs and cafés with outdoor seating were given the green light to open their doors.

I am delighted to see this but would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about how it’s going to play out. Having spoken to many owners of local businesses, I’ve been extremely impressed in their preparations for reopening, putting the safety of customers and their team at the forefront.

I’m hoping that customers will really enjoy socialising over some drinks and respect the rules the venues have put in place.

What about The Malt Room? At the time of writing, we will be allowed to open our doors on July 15. We’ve put a lot of thought into this decision but we are going to hold off until August 1. We are a very small venue and for the safety of my team and our customers, I would like to give it a little more time to ensure that we can prepare the bar to be as welcoming and safe as possible.

Not to be all doom and gloom, we have some very exciting news to share with you!

We have completed the renovations of our brand new tasting room directly above the bar – yes, we have a second floor! There is a secret door in the bar that will lead you upstairs to our new private space. Our original plan for this was to host tasting sessions, parties and events, but with a lot of these being postponed we’ve decided to offer something different.

It was during my mum's 60th birthday last week (happy birthday mum!) while sitting outside with my gran and a few family members that the idea came to me. One of my favourite things to do to relax is to go out for a lovely meal with my family followed by a few drinks in the bar.

I’m really looking forward to being able to do this again, but I questioned where I would take my gran for drinks where she would be comfortable. So I am going to open up the tasting room to private groups to book for drinks.

The concept is simple, you book the room for a time period, we serve your group drinks upstairs and we clean down when you leave, ready for the next group. Having the whole room to yourself would put me at ease, as there is no risk of the vulnerable members of my family coming into contact with those who may not be adhering to the social distancing rules.

If this is something you would be interested in booking please get in touch with me on matt@themaltroom.co.uk and we will try our best to accommodate your group. We are very excited to welcome back our regulars and welcome new groups into The Malt Room family.


  • Matt MacPherson is the owner and founder of The Malt Room in Inverness.

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