Scotland has a large number of whisky bars that are located in cities across the country. They offer huge ranges of whisky and provide the perfect setting to get a flavor for the drams you love, and learn a little about them in the process.
Here at Whisky Gallery we have put together a list of Scotland’s 8 best whisky bars that we would highly recommend visiting.
Scotch Balmoral Hotel
Situated in the heart of the nation’s capital, this Scotch whisky bar is part of the lavish Balmoral Hotel where they stock as many as 400 different single-malts. Not only will you find a wide range of beautiful whiskies to try, but you also have access to the hotel’s whisky ambassador, who is on hand to provide you with information about the drams you try. If an extensive range of whiskies and an on-site expert aren’t enough to tempt you, then you may also like to know that the bar looks out over Arthur’s Seat and Edinburgh castle, providing fantastic views to be enjoyed while you relax. This is a brilliant bar, in a fantastic location that offers great views and old-school decor that will make you feel like you are part of a classic Sherlock Holmes novel. Exemplary.
Whiski is a stylish but classic bar that stands bang slap in the middle of Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. A huge range of whiskies are available here and the staff are always accommodating in giving you some information about the products on offer. Not only can you get your lips around some fantastic whisky, but you can also order some great Scottish food to complement the dram of your choice. During the day, this bar tends to be moderately busy, with a generally relaxed feel and at night there is live music which helps to liven it up a bit. Fantastic for lunch, dinner or some evening drinks.
Bon Accord has to be classed as a whisky bar considering they stock 350 different bottles for you to choose from, however this bar also has a large variety of ales on offer which makes it quite a unique experience. The bar sports tablet devices that are available for customer use and these let you scroll through the huge variety of drinks on offer, with a little information about each, before deciding on the tipple of your choice. Located within walking distance of the city centre, and right next to Charing Cross train station, Bon Accord is the perfect little bar to have a bite to eat, a whisky and a pint of ale. A must visit.
The Ben Nevis
The Ben Nevis is located in Glasgow’s West End and is surrounded by fantastic restaurants, pubs and cocktail bars. Inside you will find an old fashioned pub that has the rather unique feature of squinty whisky shelves. Somehow the bottles manage to stay balanced and for that we are all very thankful. They have a massive range of single-malts on offer and the local regulars are very friendly and welcoming. This really is a cosy and warming little place that defines “A wee Scottish pub”. The writer’s favorite.
CASC is a relatively new whisky bar that has popped up in Aberdeen. The name is an acronym for Cigars, Ale, Scotch, Coffee and that is exactly what you will find here. This is a great place for those that love their whisky but also have a taste for any of the other products mentioned in their name. CASC has a modern look on the inside and they tend to focus on single cask whiskies. You are certain to find some rare single-malts here, within their range of 500+, that you will not find in many other pubs in the country. On top of that, they also specialize in Cuban cigars which are housed in their very own walk in humidor and this makes CASC the perfect location for those who love a tasty cigar as an accompaniment to their delicious and often rare whisky.
The Grill is probably Aberdeen’s most famous whisky bar and with good reason. It first opened in 1870 and has been popular since day one. They stock an enormous 600 varieties of whisky and the staff are well versed in the history and notes of each and every bottle. They also serve traditional Scottish pub food and this goes fantastically well with any one of their many drams on offer. The Grill is one of the best whisky bars anywhere in the world as far as we are concerned and it is a must visit if you are in Aberdeen or close by.
The Artisan – Wishaw
The Artisan is situated in Wishaw, about 30 miles from Glasgow, and offers one of the biggest ranges of any whisky bar in Scotland with as many as 1300 different bottles to choose from. The staff are polite and knowledgeable and any questions you have are answered in an informative and professional manner. Arguably the best part of this whisky bar is the connected award winning restaurant. They serve traditional Scottish food with a modern twist. The staff are always more than happy to recommend a whisky that goes well with your meal.
The Ardshiel – Campbeltown
The Ardshiel whisky bar sits within the Ardshiel hotel in the Campbeltown region of Scotland. This area was once the busiest whisky region in the country, being home to the largest number of distilleries per square mile out of all of the country’s regions. Sadly the industry in the area collapsed and the vast majority of the distilleries here shut down, leaving only three that still operate today. The bar itself is warm and welcoming. They stock over 700 different expressions of whisky and the staff will aide you in finding one that is just right for your nose and palate. A really cosy little pub in a beautiful region of Scotland.