What’s the first thing you’re going to do when restrictions ease? Meeting family and friends is top of the list of course, but for many people a trip to a bar, pub or restaurant is right up there! And when you walk into a Scottish whisky bar and see the glittering shelves, you’ll know you are somewhere special. Let us inspire you with some of Scotland’s favourite whisky bars on Instagram.
The majority of Scotland is now under a temporary lockdown, though some island communities are under level 3 restrictions. Please follow any current restrictions – you might need to save these ideas for a future trip.
Find out what level each area is under and read more about the 5-level Covid-19 restrictions to plan and book ahead when considering a future trip. You can search for businesses that are open, and Good to Go, where they have a Covid-19 risk assessment.
1. The Pot Still, Glasgow
With over 700 different whiskies to try, The Pot Still is a Glasgow institution. Since the latter half of the 19th century – with a few name changes along the way – people have been enjoying a whisky here. You can support this wonderful whisky bar just now by visiting their online shop!
2. The Piper Whisky Bar, Glasgow
With a stock of whisky that includes something from every Scottish distillery, The Piper Whisky Bar would be a fine place to take a tour of Scotland’s drams. Take a look at their online shop to buy some merch and support this great bar.
3. The Highlander Inn, Craigellachie
You’ll find the world-renowned Highlander Inn in the heart of Speyside, proper malt whisky country. A warm and friendly atmosphere is guaranteed in the future as well as an impressive selection of malts – including one of the largest collections of Japanese whisky!
4. The Dowans Hotel, Aberlour
Rare whiskies and familiar names fill the stylish shelves of The Still Bar inside The Dowans Hotel in Aberlour. This is another fabulous place to visit when we can for whisky pilgrims on a trip to Speyside. You’ll find drams to suit the newcomer and seasoned connoisseur alike.
5. Ballygrant Inn, Islay
Dreaming of a trip to Scotland’s whisky island? Let the bar staff at the Ballygrant Inn pour you a dram when restrictions are lifted while you look out over the Paps of Jura. A log burning stove and dart board add to the atmosphere.
6. SMWS Queen Street, Edinburgh
Queen Street in Edinburgh is home to a branch of the excellent Scotch Malt Whisky Society. You can still enjoy a little bit of the society at home with virtual tastings, and if you live in Edinburgh you can order dinner for delivery.
7. The Black Cat, Edinburgh
Edinburgh’s Rose Street is famous for its many bars and pubs but if you are a whisky aficionado then The Black Cat is the place for you. With pub staples like a quiz and traditional Scottish folk music this is one you’ll want to visit when you can!
8. Whiski Rooms, Edinburgh
A whisky bar with an adjoining whisky shop, you’ll be able to enjoy a dram and pick up a gift in the same visit. There are over 300 whiskies to choose from! Check out their online shop as the bar is currently closed.
9. The Bow Bar, Edinburgh
This classic bar on Edinburgh’s iconic Victoria Street has a large collection of whisky as well as fantastic real ales. A cosy environment for a dram, you’ll get the true Scottish pub experience at The Bow Bar!
10. Dornoch Castle Hotel, Dornoch
The award-winning Dornoch Castle Whisky Bar inside the Dornoch Castle Hotel is one of the finest whisky bars in the country. This Highland hotel is the perfect place for a luxury break if you are a whisky lover. Plan now for your future visit.
11. The Torridon Hotel, Wester Ross
The whisky bar at The Torridon Hotel offers hundreds of whiskies for the discerning drinker. The hotel itself is set within stunning countryside for those yearning for an outdoor escape. Enjoy a dram at a future date by a crackling fire after a day in Scotland’s spectacular north west.
12. The Cave Bar at Meldrum House Hotel, Old Meldrum
Dating back to 1236, The Cave Bar at Meldrum House Hotel is rich with history and the perfect place to enjoy your favourite whisky – or perhaps one you’ve never tried before. On warm days you will be able to head out to a sunlit terrace where there are seats and tables with views across the gorgeous estate.
13. The Ardshiel Hotel, Campeltown
With over 700 malts to choose from, many of which are rare and exclusive, The Ardshiel Hotel bar has attracted visitors from far and wide and will do so again soon. When that time comes a visit to Campbeltown is certainly a must for any whisky devotee, as it was once the heartland of whisky production in Scotland during the 19th century. For a bit more on the history of Scotch whisky take a look at our Whisky: Explained video.
Feeling inspired to learn more about whisky? Check out our whisky page or learn more about the connections between whisky and ancestry. And if you need a good walk with a pub at the end of it, look no further than these 13 stunning pub walks in Scotland!