Ales from more than 400 breweries have flowed through the scrupulously clean lines since Jim and Anne Anderson bought the place in 2003 and the Anderson has been a well deserved entry in the Good Beer Guide every year since 2005. This is a Mecca for Real Ale enthusiasts with offerings from Belgium and Jim’s native USA. Over the months you can travel the length and breadth of the UK from your bar stool and enjoy some of the finest “lovingly tended” ales from the natural cellar. Three real ales and one cider are nearly always available.
Jim also holds a couple of “mini festivals” each year and usually themed (IPA, “Extreme”) and the real ales available are boosted to about 20 over a weekend.
Apart from a well stocked wine cellar, the Whisky Bar has one of the most extensive collections available in the Highlands which currently exceeds 250 and ranges in price up to £40 for the rarer and older ones. The bar shelves groan under the weight of more than 100 different bottled Belgium beers. Jim has a near encyclopedic knowledge of ales and regularly writes about them for magazines and newspapers all around the world.
Anne is the creative force in the well run kitchen. The regularly changing menu features exciting dishes from all around the world, where possible these are made with produce sourced from the Black Isle. The restaurant receives “foodie” awards and positive reviews from local and UK press and travel writers. Testimony to this are the framed notices in the entrance lobby and reception area.
There is a separate restaurant area, but you can also dine in the Whisky bar or public bar - at busy times you may have no choice, particularly if you have not booked! Wood burning stoves keep each room warm.
The Anderson has regular weekly quiz nights, music nights and a “knitting circle“ during the winter months. “Gastro” themed nights including a Burns supper and Mexican nights are an annual feature.
Whilst parts of the building date back to 1840’s, the cellars are over 200 years old. However the nine en suite bedrooms have all been tastefully refurbished. During the winter months CAMRA members can stay for one night, and have a second for free.
Locally, there is dolphin watching at Chanonry Point, golf on the local links (and other award winning courses) and for the whisky lovers, touring the local distilleries, or maybe just sample some of the extensive collection in the whisky bar?
The Anderson closes for about a month in November, for family holidays, re-opening just before Christmas.