Tatsuya Minagawa was born in Yamagata, Japan in 1969. He began working behind the bar at the age of 18 and learned his craft from various well-respected bar owners in his home country. He was 29 years old when he first travelled to Scotland, living and working in the capital city of Edinburgh for 4 years.
In 2003, he travelled north to the quaint little village of Craigellachie situated in the heart of Scottish Malt Whisky country. This decision came about after he was head hunted by Duncan Elphick who was the General Manager of the Craigellachie Hotel at the time. Mr Elphick and was searching for someone with a strong knowledge and passion for scotch whisky to run the hotel’s world-famous whisky bar, The Quaich bar, and had decided that Tatsuya Minagawa would be the right man for the job.
Tatsuya and Mr Elphick had become good friends after working closely together for 2 years at the Craigellachie Hotel and so when Mr Elphick purchased the Highlander Inn in 2005, he offered Tatsuya the position of co-director and whisky manager. The Highlander Inn in Craigellachie shot to fame within the whisky world through the hard work and dedication of both Tatsuya Minagawa and Mr Elphick and after only one year they received their first award. This was the prestigious, Whisky Bar of the Year Award, which was bestowed upon the Highlander Inn in both 2006 and 2007.
However, after working at the Highlander Inn for 6 years Tatsuya was offered a job which he could not refuse, European Brand Ambassador for Suntory Whisky. This position gave him the opportunity to travel all over Europe educating people on a product which he loved and held a true passion for, Japanese Whisky. He held this position for 3 years, travelling to many beautiful destinations and yet he always returned to his new found home of Craigellachie.
In 2015, Tatsuya left Suntory Whisky and returned to Craigellachie permanently upon purchasing the Highlander Inn himself. He is now continuing the work which he and Mr Elphick started all those years ago and is thoroughly enjoying watching the business flourish under his careful supervision.