A new whisky shop has joined the bustling food and drink scene in Inverness’ city centre.
The Highland Whisky Shop, founded by Ferit Gur, is situated on Castle Street and offers single malt Scotch whiskies, predominantly from the Highlands region, and Scottish gins.
Ferit, 39, wanted to shine a light on whisky distilleries local to the area, including Old Pulteney, Tomatin, Benromach and anCnoc.
Opening to the public last month, the shop’s fitting took three months to complete, a process that Ferit expected “to take much longer due to the pandemic and Brexit.”
Including the whisky stock that was purchased, a five-figure investment was made to bring the store to life.
A love for the Highlands
Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Ferit relocated to Fife in the summer of 2018 working as an international business consultant for Scotch whisky companies.
He moved to Inverness in February 2019, right before the pandemic hit, to be closer to whisky distilleries in the Highlands.
“I have spent the past 18 months here in the Highlands and feel so lucky for it,” said Ferit. “I absolutely love the town, the people and the culture.
“I decided to open my own whisky shop to become more a part of the local community.
“Plus, since moving here, I always thought that the town needed more new shops, restaurants, bars and hotels for meeting the high demand from both local and international visitors.
“I found the right place in Inverness, waited for the right time and Highland Whisky Shop was eventually born.”
Scottish whisky and gin
Ferit’s whisky expertise has been growing since 2011 after he left his role at a marketing consultancy to launch his own business which involved importing Scotch whisky to Turkey.
With this knowledge, he knew what brands he wanted to stock at the store, including Dalmore, Nc’nean and Ardnamurchan.
Ferit said: “Highland Whisky Shop currently offers only single malt Scotch whiskies, mostly from the Highlands region, and Scottish gins. We will leave it this way for a while as they are great products loved by both visitors and locals.
“We also sell whisky-related items such as whisky glasses, whisky stones, hip flasks, quaichs, whisky infused fudge, whisky books, and so on.
“In time we will have a much larger range of Scotch whiskies including rare and hard-to-find bottles. And we also always aim to give a great service to all our customers by sharing our knowledge and experience in Scotch whisky.”
Despite opening less than a month ago, Ferit has received a positive response from customers on the diverse range of products, quality service and the store itself, which took three months to kit out.
Ferit hopes to introduce whisky tastings by the end of the month, which will take place at the shop’s tasting bar.
“We already have a tasting bar at the shop and it will be ready to serve to our customers soon,” Ferit continued.
“We will also organise thematic whisky tasting events at some point later on this year, and are planning to make collaborations with local experts for these kinds of events.
“There is currently a limited range of Scottish gins, but the range will definitely extend very soon.
“I always thought that the future of Inverness and the Highlands, in general, was bright. It will make me so proud to contribute to this growth in the upcoming years.”