Scotland, along with Ireland, is very much the spiritual home of whisky, with the origins dating back roughly 1000 years ago. Travelling monks from Europe brought with them the skills and knowledge required for distillation; however, due to Scotland’s lack of vineyards, the locals fermented grain mash as a substitute. The progress is slow at first, but popularity begins to boom in the 1400s and is noted as ‘aqua vitae’, translating as the ‘water of life’.
Fast forward to the 21st-century and although popularity for the amber liquid has grown exponentially, the core science behind the whisky production has stayed true to its heritage. If you’re planning on taking a sip of aqua vitae in its homeland of Scotland, then Glasgow is a fantastic choice of venue. Here, we take a look at the best whisky bars in the city that are fit for a dram or two.
The Piper Whisky Bar
The award-winning bar located on George Square in the city centre is something of a whisky haven. Stocking whiskies from absolutely every Scottish distillery, they will have something for all tastes and preferences. Glasses can range anywhere from £3 up to a slightly more eye-watering £35, depending on the age and quality of the sip. The bar also hosts public and private tasting events for you to sample a range of whiskies and advance your knowledge of the drink.
Coyote Whisky Bar
You’ll find the Coyote Whisky Bar located on Howard Street at the heart of the city. They like to keep things simple with a strong range of whiskies and an ever-rotating malt of the month, along with regular live music and great atmosphere. If you’re looking for a hipster joint with a flashy interior, this one won’t be for you. But if you want a classic pub with a homely feel, then we’d definitely suggest popping in and giving them a try!
The Pot Still
Boasting a wild collection of over 700 different whiskies, if you’ve got a taste for variety, then this is the place to go! Not only do they offer a fine range of Scotch, but also whiskies from every corner of the globe. Despite being in Scotland, you may fancy a drop of Japanese whisky UK, in which case, the bar staff will happily oblige. You can also grab one of their amazing homemade pies to help soak up the drink, meaning you can stay a little while longer.
The Bon Accord
Looking for a homely pub that offers comfy surroundings? Then look no further than the Bon Accord. Their constant rotation of drinks sees them sell over 800 different ales a year, mostly sourced from the excellent breweries across the UK. They also support a 400-strong whisky collection, ranging from Scottish sourced sips to more exotic drams. The food they offer is traditional, home-cooked classic pub food, with a reasonably priced menu covering most bases.
The Ben Nevis
Having recently hit its 20th birthday, the Ben Nevis is considered one of Glasgow’s best-kept secrets. The Ben Nevis has all the makings of a great and classic pub, with a regular calendar of live music, great selection of beers and ales, and most importantly, plenty of whisky. The bar is located at 1147 Argyle Street and is conveniently located close to the Exhibition Centre train station and the SSE Hydro.
Jack of all trades Oran Mor, this is not just a bar, but a restaurant and live entertainment venue housed under one roof. Their ever more exciting calendar of live events is underpinned by a well-stocked bar and delightful restaurant. The main whisky bar has a tempting selection of over 280 malts to choose from. You can also pop into the restaurant for a bite to eat, or if you’re happy in your surroundings, choose to have your food in the bar.
The clue is really in the name with this one, Dram! is a beautifully kitted out bar with wood panelling and a certain rustic charm. You can find it located towards the west end of Glasgow and the shelves are always stacked with whiskies from Scottish distilleries. Roughly 70 malts are available here alongside a tasty range of locally sourced craft beers. Their main menu is packed with reasonably priced pub food, perfect for making an evening of it.
Which of these will you be visiting during your time in Glasgow? Maybe you discover a hidden gem that we need to know about! Either way, let us know on Facebook and Twitter! In the meantime, why not check out our blog for more tips and articles on whisky!