The Heerenkamer Whisky Bar
A selection of around 175 whiskies!
De Heerenkamer (The Lords’ Room) is an intimate location, equipped with a well-stocked bar and comfortable armchairs, rounded off by a cosy, log-burning fire and several. It also boasts a classical Chesterfield, a large Single Malt collection, and a pool table and darts board. The interior is very reminiscent of the British colonial era.
De Heerenkamer is open every day. During the day it provides a quiet space for small group meetings, or for anyone who is just looking for some peace. Read a newspaper or a good book, play a game of carom billiards or darts. In the evening De Heerenkamer transforms into a social venue with drinks and snacks, perfect for creating many memorable moments. Alternatively you can dine De Heerenkamer, sample whiskies from our extensive collection, or select a few lighter bites to nibble on.
For connoisseurs of Single Malts, our Nosing & Tasting package is available at any time. We are happy to let you sample any one of our whiskies and will be glad to tell you more about this beautiful product. But, De HeerenkameR is not only for connoisseurs; beginners are also more than welcome! Our extensive collection virtually guarantees that there will be something to suit your taste buds, we just have to find it!
In short, De Heerenkamer is enjoyment with a capital E!
Renowned whisky bar
Best Whisky Bar in the World
The renowned British "Whisky Magazine" holds annual nominations for the best whisky bars in the world. In 2009, De Heerenkamer at the Hotel-Restaurant Veldenbos was awarded the prestigious title of ‘Best Whisky Bar in the World’. We also won “gold for outstanding presentation, promotion and knowledge of great whiskies from around the world”.
This is the first time that such a bar in the Netherlands has received such an accolade. There were even some special features that the jury drew attention to. It is not merely about the amount of whisky available, but the diversity of the collection, the selection of the correct glass and knowledge about the product. These are all key features we can be proud of in De Heerenkamer, especially now they have been given special notice.
The history of whisky
As far back as in 322 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle was writing about a distillation process that involved the heating, evaporation and condensation of alcohol. The art of distillation was carried westwards by the Arabs and introduced to Spain by the Moors. Alcohol distillation was originally used in the preparation of perfumes and medications.
However, it was soon discovered that alcohol could also be distilled from grains. And this is a process that has been taking place in the Scottish Highlands since the late 15th century. In 1644, the first taxes on whisky production were raised. And in 1823 it became legal to heat whisky. The first licensed was The Glenlivet, in 1824. The first Single Malt that was exported – in the late sixties – was Glenfiddich.
Whisky, Gaelic for the water of life
The word whisky comes from uisge beatha, Gaelic for water of life. For over 500 years, water, fire and barley have been the essential ingredients required for the production of whisky, a liquor with at least 40% alcohol. After a minimum maturation of three years in oak barrels (a tradition that goes back around 125 years), the whisky can be bottled and drunk.
How is whisky made?
There are thousands of types and brands of whisky. There are Single Malts, Vatted Malts, Blended Whiskies and Grain Whiskies. The main whisky-producing countries are Scotland, Ireland, the United States (in the latter two, the spelling is with an ‘e’: whiskey), Canada and Japan. The purest form of whisky is Single Malt.
A Single Malt, unlike other varieties, is made solely from malted barley and comes from one single distillery. As is also the case for all other whiskies, good quality water is required to produce a Single Malt. The Scottish countryside has a wealth of pure water sources from which the water is collected for whisky production.
Before the process of fermenting the barley can begin, it must first germinate in water (malting). Then, this germinated barley is dried on a perforated sheet-steel floor and infused with warm air generated by a peat fire. The use of peat is what gives most malt whiskies their distinctive taste and aroma. Once the malted barley has been dried, it is coarsely ground which converts the starch in it into sugar. This is then mixed with hot spring water at a temperature of about 60 degrees Celsius. Yeast is added to this sugary mix and alcohol is produced. At this point, the liquid is transferred to the stills – traditional onion-shaped copper kettles – for the distillation process to begin.
Each distillery has a its own distinct kettle size and shape. This, in addition to factors such as climate, soil, water and preparation processes, has a great influence on the taste and character of the malt.
The five steps of producing a Single Malt Whisky
The ingredients for a Single Malt are simple: water, barley and yeast. The way in which whisky is produced is fairly standard, but each distillery has its own peculiarities.
The barley is soaked in a large bowl, with water, for 2 to 4. Once the barley is moist, it can be malted. Over the course of 7 to 12 days, the barley is turned 3 to 4 times per day. Once germination starts, the barley is then dried over a peat fire or with hot air.
The barley is then dried by machine with four rollers – the mill – and it is ground into grist. In a ‘mash tun’ (a steel kettle), the grist is mixed with water and this process converts the starch to sugars.
This sugary liquid is then transferred into barrel, most often made of wood. By adding yeast into the washback the sugars are converted into about 7% alcohol, which we now call 'wash' or 'bear'.
The 'wash' is transferred to a copper kettle, called the wash till. This distils the alcohol and creates an alcohol content of about 27%. This alcohol is transferred to the spirit still, another copper kettle. In here, the alcohol percentage increases to about 76%. The alcohol from the spirit still ‘walks’ through the spirit safe, a horizontal glass case. The distillery staff then determine which of the alcohols that have been produces are of a high enough quality to be used for the Single Malt. The alcohols that do not meet the mark are reused in the wash till.
The alcohols that have been selected are stored in oak barrels. These vats will have previously been used for maturing sherry or bourbon. They vary in size, between 200 and 800 litres. Single Malt Whisky usually needs at least ten years to mature.
Celebrations & Parties
The many options available at De Heerenkamer
In our whisky bar, you can do more than just taste our whisky; it is an excellent venue for a celebration or party.
- Reception (maximum of 150 people)
- Lunch/dinner (maximum of 50 people)
- Business Drinks (maximum of 150 people)
- Party/wedding celebration with live music (a maximum of 125 people)
- Exclusive use of De Heerenkamer
“Enjoy a unique whisky experience!"
Specifically for whisky lovers, we have created a two-day Whisky Package. This two-day Whisky Package treats you to the ultimate whisky sensation: Taste three quality whiskies with wee drams, a delicious 3-course whisky dinner and extensive background on the tipples you are sampling to better enjoy the experience.
With this package you will enjoy:
- Reception with coffee/tea and a sweet treat
- 1 x overnight stay
- 1 x extensive buffet breakfast
- Whisky Tasting with 3 wee drams
- 3-course whisky menu
- Whisky Information Pack
Book the Whisky Package »
De Heerenkamer is located in our delightful Hotel-Restaurant Veldenbos. This hotel is beautifully situated in the beautiful De Veluwe nature reserve.
De Heerenkamer is easily accessible on public transport. We are located a mere 300 metres from the Nunspeet train station. Our whisky bar can also be reached by ca, and we have a dedicated car park available for your use.
Photos and videos
For an impression of the hotel, view the images and videos below.