Many of us put whisky on the Scotland to do list along with a trip to highlands, listening to the bagpipe music, pub quiz victories and Harry Potter moments. Called the water of life (whisky’s meaning in Gaelic) the drink perfectly captures the spirit of Scotland (forgive me the pun!). The drink will let you explore Scotland in a unique way. It comes from the wonderful highlands, picturesque valleys and remote isles, which are the most breathtaking places in the country. And if nature walks and distillery tours do not sound too appealing, you can visit plenty of local pubs instead. Locals there will share their love for the drink and many fantastic stories. However, we cannot guarantee that you will understand them all, especially if these are told in thick Glasgow accent ;).
Unlike many other things in Scotland, whisky can be enjoyed whatever the weather. Hot toddies especially can become your drinks of choice, even at the parties (trust us, we tried it!). One small dram captures the dedication and pride of Scottish people, and will surely make you feel more at home. We know, of course, it is much more fun experiencing these things than reading about them, so check out our top recommendations and start your explorations!
We recommend visiting a distillery. Or at least amuseum dedicated to whisky. Whisky Experience in Edinburgh is a great place to learn about the whisky history and regional differences. If capital city setting doesn’t feel right, you have some 120 distilleries to choose from.Check out Visit Scotland website for distillery guides. Usually, the cheapest tour will last about an hour during which the tour guide will familiarize you with the distillery history, whisky making process and offer to taste local produce. Often you get a nosing glass as a present, too. That way you can continue your tasting at home! For that, you will only need a group of friends and a bottle of whisky – easy.
We found good whisky offers in local supermarkets (especially before Christmas) and also on Amazon. But if you appreciate traditional shopping experience head over to Valhalla’s Goat drinks shop on Great Western Road (Glasgow).
There are also pubs (many of them) and you will find whisky in almost every one of them. For the abundance of choice, we recommend Dram! and the Lismore, for budget-friendly prices check out the Grove. But if you want to impress or be impressed, Òran Mór is your best choice.
Now you are armed with all of our tips, so go on and enjoy your time in Scotland! These are just a few suggestions, and we are sure you will find your own favourite places. If you ever need help, there is Glasgow University Whisky Society on campus. In fact, it is more than likely that various international and postgraduate student organizations will be hosting whisky tasting events throughout the semester, just make sure to check your social media notifications regularly. Of course, we do not imply that you need whisky to enjoy your time in Scotland. But if you do, please enjoy it responsibly. (Cheers)
Are you feeling excited about your new adventure yet? Here are a few quizzes to test your knowledge about whisky:
- How Much Do You Actually Know About Scotch whisky? (
- How Big A Scotch Whisky Fan Are You?
- How Much Do You Actually Know About Whiskey?
Written by Patricija