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The 13 top whisky bars to visit in Scotland

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If you’re looking for a fine dram or two, make sure to put these great whisky bars, found across Scotland, on your whisky bucket list.

As restrictions continue to ease we see more and more people looking to travel throughout the country to places they have wanted to visit for some time.

And some of those places include the country’s best whisky bars.

The best whisky bars in Scotland

With World Whisky Day taking place today (May 15) we thought it was about time we shone a light on the bars, hotels and venues offering whisky experiences and collections like no other.

From Orkney to Perthshire, we’ve uncovered some of the best whisky bars from the north, north-east, Tayside and Fife for you to explore.


The Quaich Bar at Craigellachie Hotel – Craigellachie

One of the most stunning whisky bars in the country, the Quaich Bar at The Craigellachie Hotel is legendary within the drinks industry.

Boasting one of Scotland’s largest selections of single malts, The Quaich boasts more than 800 bottles of whisky to pick from, as well as a menu packed full of cocktails and craft beer.

Celebrities including Noel Gallagher and Kate Moss have partied at the hotel which is said to be Scotland’s oldest whisky hotel.

It is also home to the Copper Dog Pub which is where you’ll find plenty of Copper Dog Scotch whisky.


The Highlander Inn – Craigellachie

Just across the road from The Craigellachie Hotel you’ll find The Highlander Inn. Another must-visit when frequenting Speyside, the whisky bar boasts more than 400 plus different whiskies including one of the largest range of Japanese whiskies in the UK, too.

This bar is usually incredibly busy throughout the year.


The Still at the Dowans Hotel – Aberlour

With more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries situated in Speyside it is no surprise that The Dowans Hotel in Aberlour offers up 500 plus whiskies to try out.

From well-known brands to lesser-known ones including Speyburn and Glenfarclas, you’ll find everything from smoky malts from Orkney and Islay to lighter whiskies from Campbeltown.


The Mash Tun – Aberlour

The Mash Tun is home to a wide portfolio of whiskies from all across Scotland and is home to the largest collection of Glenfarclas family casks with 52 different whiskies available to try.

Formerly known as The Station Bar, the venue was constructed in 1896 by a sea captain called James Campbell who instructed a marine architect to design the building in the shape of a small ship.

With a wide range of whiskies available to suit all tastes and budgets, prices range from £3.50 to £1,500 per 35ml dram.


Dornoch Castle Hotel – Dornach

Dornoch Castle’s whisky bar is situated in the heart of the castle and has won numerous awards and critical international acclaim for its impeccable selection.

There is also a distillery on-site, situated at the rear of the castle’s gardens. The micro-distillery is the home of The Thompsons Brothers organic gin, and is available to try out in the whisky bar.

It is one of the country’s most prestigious watering holes and boasts a vast collection of drams for tourists and locals alike to enjoy.


The Station Hotel – Moray

Based in Rothes, Moray, this four-star hotel is home to one of the most luxurious whisky bars you will visit.

With its history dating back to 1901, it boasts 500 whiskies, all from a collection of around 60 different distilleries, all of which are within a 50-mile radius of the hotel.

In the bar you’ll find a locally hand-crafted, copper sink which is perfect for those looking to add water to their whisky.

For those who love the “water of life” be sure to put The Station Hotel on your whisky bucket list.


The Torridon Hotel – Wester Ross

This enchanting hotel is not only surrounded by rolling hills and stunning backdrops of Wester Ross, but it is steeped in history and luxury.

Like many of the other whisky bars, expect to find drams galore in the hundreds at The Torridon Hotel, with 365 whiskies (and counting) available to try out.

Not only that there’s more than 120 gins on offer to sample and the hotel’s very own spirit, Arcturus gin, too, to enjoy.


The Grill – Aberdeen

Celebrating 150 years last October, The Grill is a long-standing establishment based on Aberdeen’s Union Street.

Part of one of Aberdeen’s largest hospitality groups, The McGinty’s Group, the bar, which was established in 1870 as a restaurant, has an internationally renowned whisky selection that showcases a wide variety of casks and styles.

The bar is a must-visit for those coming to the area.


CASC  – Aberdeen

If you like whisky and you like cigars, CASC in Aberdeen is the place for you. Situated near The Green on Stirling Street, this basement venue specialises in offering whisky, cigars, coffee and ales to its punters.

In CASC you’ll find more than 500 different bottles of golden nectar to sample and if you are interested, there will no doubt be a cigar you can pair it to as well.

From drams from independent bottlers to limited releases, not to mention singe cask delicacies, you’ll find something unique and unusual here to sample.


1236 Cave Bar at Meldrum House Country Hotel – Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire

Meldum House Country Hotel’s the Cave Bar is part of the original manor house’s rich history. Dating back to 1236, which the bar is now named after, it is the heart of the hotel and was originally the larder and storeroom.

Members of the hotel’s whisky club can enjoy having their own whisky locker, where they can keep their prized bottles on show for hotel guests to admire. They can also keep them stored away at the hotel for the next time they visit, so their favourite dram is to hand.

For those members of the public passing through, 1236 also offers a great cocktail menu and also boasts a range of local spirits to try out as well.


The Blue Bar at Gleneagles – Auchterarder

Steeped in luxury, the Blue Bar is the place to go at Gleneagles if you love a dram. Beautifully decorated, this elegant space is comfortable and is just where you want to be relaxing after a filling meal.

Enjoy a nip in front of the roaring fire on the heated sofas in this indoor/outdoor space in partnership with Johnnie Walker Blue Label.


Ballygrant Inn – Isle of Islay

Pull up a chair at the family-owned and run Ballygrant Inn on the Isle of Islay.

Their award-winning whisky bar boasts stunning views out across the Paps of Jura and boasts a collection of whiskies that could rival any of the best whisky bars in Scotland.

The whisky library is worth exploring with hundreds of drams of “the water of life” to choose from. With a number of accolades under its belt, this community hub is well worth checking out.


The Orkney Hotel – Orkney

Located in Kirkwall, the largest town in Orkney, the hotel boasts one of the largest collections in this round-up with more than 1,000 whiskies to try.

While you won’t get through all the whiskies in one evening, you can try a range of different drams from distilleries based all over the world.

From local distilleries like Highland Park and Scapa, to other favourites like Dalmore and Macallan, there’s plenty for those trying whisky for the first time or the seasoned golden nectar drinkers at The Orkney Hotel.

What are your favourite whisky bars in Scotland? Let us know.


For more on whisky…

Caskshare to ‘democratise’ the cask whisky market with new sharing ethos which will diversify collections

‘We sold out in eight minutes!’: Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky’s Octave proves a winner after Sunday Brunch slot

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