Let’s venture to the heart of whisky country. The city of Aberdeen or the lovely towns and villages of Aberdeenshire are the perfect spots to base yourself as the glorious Speyside region of whisky is just next door. 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.
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!
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?
3. St Machar Bar
With over 140 whiskies on offer, St Machar Bar 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!
4. Tippling 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 a must-visit. Book a whisky tasting session from the bar’s Tasting Academy.
5. Garden Arms Hotel
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.
6. The Cave Bar, Meldrum House Hotel
The Cave Bar is part of the original manor house which dates back to 1236 and their Whisky Club is housed within the larder and store room. You can feel the history of exquisite VisitScotland 4-star Meldrum House all around – you might find yourself wondering what drams the Laird might have enjoyed in this beautiful manor in his day. The bar serves classic cocktails, including a whisky sour and an old fashioned, with a Scottish twist.
7. The Ship Inn, Stonehaven
This harbour-front pub in the lovely seaside town of Stonehaven is always an absolute treat. Eat the freshest seafood at the Captain’s Table and mull over the extensive whisky collection in the Lounge Bar. With a cosy fire for the chillier nights and a terrace for when the sun shines, there’s never a bad time to visit this nautical gem.
8. The Flying Stag at the Fife Arms, Braemar
Last but certainly not least, prepare to be amazed by this beautifully restored Victorian coaching inn with incredible décor, elaborate ceilings and an impressive collection of art and design. A trip to the Flying Stag public bar offers a fabulous selection of drams. And, don’t miss Elsa’s Bar if you’re looking for beautifully crafted cocktails.
If you’re looking to extend your whisky experiences in the area, don’t miss the fantastic Secrets Malts of Aberdeenshire – Ardmore, Fettercairn, GlenDronach, the aforementioned Glen Garioch, Glenglassaugh, Knockdhu and Royal Lochnagar all offer visitor experiences.
Looking to try more whisky experiences?
- Discover more whisky bars in Edinburgh & Glasgow
- Learn more about Scotland’s whisky distilleries
- Find out more about whisky