Drinking scotch in Scotland is like sipping Champagne in Reims, eating sushi in Tokyo or bungee jumping in Vanuatu. There’s something special about experiencing things at their source. Here are 5 of the best whisky in Glasgow bars for a dram.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Isn’t that the supreme proverb of travel? To have the best understanding of a location, go where locals go, eat what locals eat and drink what locals drink.
We certainly had that in mind as we explored the busy streets of Glasgow on the lookout for a worthy spot for a dram.
Scotland’s biggest city didn’t disappoint. Here are 5 of our favourite whisky bars in Glasgow if you’re in the mood for great scotch.
5 top whisky bars in Glasgow
Ben Nevis Bar
Cosy, simply decorated and full of personality, this bar should be your first port of call on your Glasgow scotch hop.
If the whisky options at the Ben Nevis seem like too big a mountain to climb (sorry), the extremely helpful and friendly bar staff here will guide you through.
The Ben Nevis is an incredibly welcoming, inclusive bar, perfect whether you’re a first-timer looking for dabble in a dram or a seasoned expert after something rare and unusual.
Tell the bartender what you like or – more importantly – what you don’t, and they’ll pick the ideal nip. Perfect example, Springbank Distillery’s lauded Longrow Red, which is aged in Cabernet Franc barrels, matched my tastes perfectly.
This bar’s so good, we made sure we saved space for a repeat visit before we went home.
1147 Argyle Street, Glasgow
The Pot Still
Dressed like an old-school pub, but wielding three walls of floor-to-ceiling whisky shelves, the Pot Still is a bit of quiet achiever.
With over 700 whiskies from all over the world on offer, the Pot Still is an absolute cracker of a whisky haunt.
After a couple of careful questions, we were presented with five different options each to choose from, most of which we hadn’t heard of before.
Bartenders here upend the closed bottle to soak the cork then give it to you to smell, which is a clever way of giving punters an idea of the whisky’s notes.
My drams of The Glenrothes Peated Cask Reserve and Smokehead were peaty and delicious, while both of Christina’s – the GlenDronach 12yo and The Arran Malt Amarone Cask Finish were smooth, clean and refined.
The atmosphere in the Ben Nevis is lively, friendly and relaxed – perfect for a quiet dram… or something a little livelier of course.
154 Hope St, Glasgow
The Wee Pub at the Chip
Down a side street of the popular Ashton Lane, the Wee Pub offers discerning whisky drinkers a respite from the raucous nightlife of Glasgow’s West End.
Friendly, fun staff can guide you thoroughly through their excellent stock of scotch with confidence, matching your tastes with a dram.
From now on I will always be on the lookout for more from Bunnahabhain Distillery. It’s an Islay whisky I’d never heard of, never tried and have no idea how to pronounce – but it’s superb.
Christina’s Aberlour was just as spot on for her tastes.
Part of the popular Ubiquitous Chip, which runs a bigger pub (the Big Pub), a corner bar, a restaurant and a brasserie all out of the same spot on the cobbled Ashton Lane, the Wee Pub is not only the oldest pub on the street but also the smallest in Scotland!
12 Ashton Lane, Glasgow
Within the hallowed walls of what once was the Kelvinside Parish Church, Oran Mor offers a more upbeat version of a whisky bar.
The bar has a more modern, almost club-like feel to it than a whisky haunt, but with almost 300 whiskies to choose from behind the bar (or should that be ‘the alter’), you can’t pass the Oran Mor on a hunt for a good dram.
Top of Byres Road, Glasgow
Up the whisky ante by going straight to the source and hit one of the distilleries around Glasgow.
Our visit to Glengoyne Distillery, which is a short taxi ride north of the city, was absolutely fantastic. You can book tours around the distillery with tastings along the way.
We highly recommend the Gold Medal Parade Tour, which gives you a thorough perspective on the best this unique distillery has to offer.
Dumgoyne near Killearn, Glasgow
Read about our experience at the Glengoyne Distillery here.
There are so many places in Glasgow to enjoy a great dram and soak up the culture. And if you’re not sure where to start, there are some tours that’ll take you around town to show you the best spots.
Do you have a favourite Glasgow whisky bar? Where do you go for your favourite dram? Tell us in the comments below!