8 Places to Drink Whisky in Scotland
While in Scotland, take some time to sample some of the wonderful brands of whisky. But with so many distilleries out there, it’s tough to decide where to go. We’ve listed eight of the best places for you to fill your glass during your Scotland adventure.
In Scotland, drinking whisky-never “whiskey” if it’s Scotch-is serious business. From the highlands to the lowlands, there are dozens of distilleries producing their own unique single malts and blends. Here are some of the best places to raise a glass of the “Usige Beathe” (whisky in Gaelic, pronounced “whishkeyba” and meaning “the breath of life”) and say, “Slainte” (pronounced “schlan-jer, depending on the region, and meaning “Cheers”) in Scotland.
1. The Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh
Learn the story of whisky on a multimedia theme-park-style ride, before heading to a class on deciphering the notes in your glass. Then sip on your tasting glass as you marvel at the world’s largest collection of Scotch whiskies (almost 3,500 bottles).
2. The Auchentoshan Distillery, Clydebank
Get up close and personal with Scotland’s only triple distilled whisky on a tour of the Auchentoshan Distillery. You’ll learn every step of the whisky-making process from grain to glass-then you’ll try a nip or two in the bar at the end of the tour.
3. Hotel du Vin, Glasgow
After choosing from one of the hundred or so whiskies on offer in the snug at this luxe hotel, rest yourself in an overstuffed chair by the roaring fire and savour the notes in your drink. For the ultimate extravagance, go for “The Last Drop,” which sells for £120 a measure-about $184 Canadian. In this photograph, it’s carefully held by Ian Petrie, the hotel’s resident whisky expert.
4. The Horse Shoe Bar, Glasgow
This very traditional pub has the longest continuous bar in Britain-it’s horseshoe shaped-and has an impressive whisky list at ridiculously cheap prices. Full of local colour, this is as authentic as British pubs get.
5. The Griffin Bar, Edinburgh
This no-frills locals’ favourite serves 30 different whiskies, with no pretensions. With a spit-and-sawdust-type traditional bar at the front and a lounge at the back, this is an honest place to knock one back.
6. The Bar at the Malmaison Hotel, Glasgow
A posh whisky cocktail makes a perfect nightcap in this sumptuous hotel bar. Go for the house special, “Glasfarclas,” made with Glenfarclas whisky, crème de banane, triple sec, fresh ginger, milk and almond syrup, and you’ll be sure to sleep tight.
7. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Edinburgh
This members-only club caters to the true whisky connoisseur, who wishes to taste “character and perfection in a glass.” Here you can take private tasting sessions of unique and rare whiskies that you just won’t find anywhere else, or relax in the lounge bars among fellow lovers of fine Scotch.
8. The Dome, Edinburgh
Once the head office of the Commercial Bank of Scotland, this ornate and sophisticated venue has the best whisky cocktails in town. Go for an Old Fashioned, which takes barman Ian MacDonald 15 minutes to make as he mashes sugar, whisky and bitters into orange peel. It’s absolutely worth the wait.