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9 Unbeatable Whisky Experiences in Aberdeenshire

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Castlegate, Aberdeen

Let’s venture to the heart of whisky country. With the glorious Speyside region just next door, the city of Aberdeen and the lovely towns and villages of Aberdeenshire are perfect spots to base yourself in if you’re a fan of the globally-adored spirit. Stay in the city and discover some fabulous whisky bars, or venture out a little further to Aberdeenshire and book a room at an amazing traditional pub or hotel.


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Read on to discover some of the best Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire whisky experiences.


1. Carmelite Hotel 

What’s the dram of choice at the Carmelite Hotel? Tricky to choose as their whisky selection and menu is massive, but it might be something from Glen Garioch, one of the closest distilleries to Aberdeen. Keep an eye out for regular tasting events hosted in this chic city-centre hotel by whisky ambassador Ros Wardley-Smith or be sure to catch live piano or jazz in the bar, the perfect accompaniment to your whisky!

Visit The Carmelite

 2. CASC 

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Whisky anyone…

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Cigars, Ale, Scotch, Coffee – what’s not to love about this amazing bar? Just opposite the Carmelite Hotel, there are over 500 delectable drams to choose from. Stirling Street pub crawl, anyone?

Visit CASC

3. Illicit Still 

This bar is located near impressive Marischal College, offering an excellent choice of single malts, local gins, craft beers and a special ‘illicit’ brew! Whisky was made here back in the days when it needed to be created on the down low. But it is no secret now that this pub is a perfect spot for relaxing after a day admiring the unique architecture of this sparkling city.

Visit Illicit Still

 4. St Machar Bar

With over 140 whiskies on offer, the St Machar is a cosy traditional pub on the edge of the Aberdeen’s Old Town. Serving up delicious food and drink, including stovies served in flower pots and scrummy skinny fries, this wee bar is ideal for a cosy drink and a bite to eat. You can bring your dog too!

Visit the St Machar

5Tippling House

The cocktails in this Belmont Street tavern will tempt you away from the shops on Union Street. With a speakeasy feel and bartenders who pride themselves on their creative flavour combinations, this hidden haunt is one to bookmark. Book a whisky tasting session from the bar’s Tasting Academy.

Visit the Tippling House


6. Garden Arms Hotel 

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One town over from tiny little Gardenstown (seen from the harbor in the first pic) is the even teensier tiny little fishing village of Crovie. It has only one single-track road that ends at one end of the village. The rest of the cottages are only accessible by walking along the sea wall, all the way down to where the town dead ends against a cliff (recognizable by the helpfully labelled bench). A cliff path connects Gardenstown and Crovie, but only at low tide. At high tide, you’re staying wherever you are. Best to keep your eye on the tide if you pop over to the pub in Gardenstown. This place is so unbelievably quaint and beautiful. It fills my heart with tranquility every time I come here. My summer is now complete. #summer #summertravel #longlivesummer #travel #traveling #travelling #traveler #traveller #scotland #aberdeenshire #instascotland #instatravel #scottish #northsea #seaviews #seaside #scottishtourism #scotlandtourism #visitscotland

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Pootle down some winding roads and find yourself at the beautiful coastal town of Gardenstown near Banff. Discover this smashing wee pub, combining 18th century charm with lots of whisky choices. Book a room here and spend time exploring the quiet fishing villages of the Banffshire Coast, admiring seascapes and relaxing in this peaceful part of Aberdeenshire.

Visit the Garden Arms Hotel

7. The Cave Bar, Meldrum House Hotel