10 things to do in Glasgow [Whisky Related]
10 things to do in Glasgow [Whisky Related]
It’s almost the time we were all waiting for, the time to finally go out and have a drink or 2 with our favourite people, enjoy a couple of sunny (and rainy) days in the park and visit those wonderful places that make us feel at home. We are nearly there and we can’t wait to go out and see what’s new and what’s been forgotten in this beautiful city.
The following is a list of 10 things to do in Glasgow post-quarantine. Let us know if there’s any other bar, pub, distillery or shop that must be included on this list.
No. 1 – Lebowskis West
A place where the Big Lebowskis gets alive through a quirky selection of more than 30 White Russians. Before I knew about this place, the idea I had from a white Russian was a simple mix of three ingredients: Vodka, Kalua liquor and cream.
One located in the Finnieston area and the other in the Southside of Glasgow, “the dudes” from Lebowskis offer a wide selection of creative white Russians inspired in the famous film. One of the highlights of their offer is “The Smokey” a well-balanced combination of an Islay single malt whisky, coffee liquor, cinnamon and cream. A good starting point for adventurous whisky drinkers looking for something entirely different.
No. 2 – The Bon Accord
One of the most traditional whisky pubs in Glasgow. A place where you will have the chance to try some of the greatest single malt whiskies available in Scotland. The world-famous bar possesses a selection of more than 500 bottles (mostly single malts). However, you can also find other international whiskies from Australia, the USA, Japan, India, Ireland, among others.
Some honorific whiskies I would like to mention are:
- A 72-year-old Macallan
- A 70-year-old Glenlivet
- A wonderful collection of GlenDronach
- A fantastic single cask selection from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society
- And many more
No. 3 – Chinaskis
Inspired in the life and work of the infamous German-American writer Charles Bukowski, this place is one of the very best cocktail bars in the city. Being myself a whisky lover, Old fashioned is, of course, my go-to cocktail. Chinaskis not only has a great atmosphere inside but also, a wonderful beer garden outside. The music is simply delightful and their summer parties are definitely, one of the best things to do in Glasgow post-quarantine. Last but not least, their selection of whisky is as fantastic as unusual.
Their shelves display a fancy collection of American whiskies. However, their offer is suitable for any budget and taste. At Chinaskis, you will have the chance to discover the world of whisky from a different perspective. Although their focus is mostly bourbon, you will be able to find a decent selection of single malts from the most prestigious distilleries in Scotland plus a wide variety of other drinks such as beer, wine and gin. If you have no idea about American whiskies, I encourage you to visit this place ASAP.
No. 4 – DRAM!
Located just a few steps away from the beautiful Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow’s west end. Dram is a fun bar perfect for sports watching, attend comedy clubs and of course my friends, taste some of the best Scotch whiskies available in town.
Although their selection is not as big as the one at the Bon Accord, it is more than enough to immerse yourself in the wonderful world of single malt whisky. Also, an important aspect to keep in mind when it comes to whisky research. Their prices are pretty much unbeatable, I highly encourage you to visit this place if you are in Glasgow or if you live around the neighbourhood.
As a curious fact, Dram is the Scottish way to refer to a shot of whisky. You can either ask for a shot of whisky or a dram of whisky. I guess the name of this place couldn’t be more appropriate.
No. 5 – The University of Glasgow
I know, not precisely a whisky venue, Glasgow Uni means a lot to me since it was the institution that gave me entry tickets to this beautiful city. When I first came to Scotland (I’m from Colombia), I came with the only purpose of getting a master’s degree in business at Glasgow Uni. Once I finished my degree at this prestigious institution, the outcome was Once Upon a Whisky, my venture, my love and my passion.
Even though I’m not a student anymore, I do miss my University, its mysterious and Gothic architecture, its beautiful gardens, and the wonderful nature around this iconic Glasgow’s spot.
If you visit the city make sure to visit Glasgow Uni. You will also find loads of lovely cafes and restaurants nearby. I recommend Stravaigin as a good starting point. A cosy restaurant with one of the best haggis, neeps and tatties you will ever try. However, if haggis is not your thing, continue reading and lookup for a whisky spot that suits your needs.
No. 6 – Tabac
Hidden on Mitchell Lane right in the heart of one the busiest streets in Glasgow (Buchanan St) and right across The Lighthouse (another Glasgow’s spot you should visit). This bar is one of our favourite choices to start engines before a night out in the city.
Nice atmosphere, fantastic location and a great selection of drinks make this place a winning choice to visit in Glasgow. Moreover, they have recently launched a wine bar full of quirky labels such as organic, vegan, biodynamic and a few others from countries you never heard before such as Hungary and Rumania.
Give it a try if you find yourself near George Square or Central station.
No. 7 – The Ben Nevis Bar
One of my very favourite whisky venues on this list. Named after the tallest mountain in the UK and a Highland whisky distillery with the same name. The Ben Nevis is a very accurate representation of the Scottish culture.
Located in the Finnieston area in Glasgow. A neighbourhood that is famous for its great offer of Scottish cuisine and drinks. The Ben Nevis possess a selection of 250 single malt whiskies from all over Scotland.
It is also one of the friendliest venues in town. Whether with the owner, one of the bartenders or even random people sitting at the bar drinking a “half and half” (a half-pint of beer and a dram of whisky). You can be sure you will end up making a friend or two. For the full experience, visit them on Thursdays and Sundays after 9 pm to enjoy a wonderful performance of Scottish folk music.
No. 8 – Red Bus Bistro
Not exactly a whisky venue, but something much cooler than that. A vintage London’s public transport bus adapted with a kitchen and a bar. Red Bus Bistro will take you around Glasgow showing you some of the highlights of this exciting city while enjoying a whisky and food pairing experience.
Their tour is full of storytelling, amazing Scottish tapas and some of the best single malt whiskies from Glasgow. The Red Bus Bistro whisky tour is something not to be missed if you want to experience the city from a different perspective. Let these lovely people show you the city while pairing your whisky with delightful Scottish tapas.
You can check more details and book their whisky experience right here.
No. 9 – The Clydeside Distillery
Located also in the Finnieston area, The Clydeside is one of the newest distilleries in the city. A combination of history, architecture and storytelling. A mandatory stop if you want to learn about whisky directly from the source.
Unlike many other distilleries in Scotland, their whisky experience includes a self-guided tour that takes you through Glasgow’s whisky culture and its historical connection with the Queen’s dock. From its very beginnings back in the 1400s to the modern days of whisky-making. One of the highlights of the tour is the exact location of the distillery next to the River Clyde. The same location where the whisky barons of Glasgow transformed the Scotch whisky industry into the global phenomenon, we all know today.
Learn more about the Clydeside Distillery, the Queen’s Dock and Finnieston at distillery’s website.
No. 10 – The Wee Pub
And last but not least, The Wee Pub. A tiny little bar right in the heart of Ashton Lane famous for serving more whiskies per square foot than any other bar in Scotland. A wonderful place for food and drink lovers alike. Although The Wee Pub is for sure one of the smallest bars in Scotland, their whisky selection will make you feel small. From peaty monsters from Islay to very delicate and easy drinking whiskies from the Lowland region, The Wee Pub’s got you covered.
We recommend visiting this place right after a nice dinner at Ubiquitous Chip, a five stars restaurant right next to The Wee Pub. Which btw, both venues are located in the same building and connected through a hallway in between. There’s no way to get lost.
So, in short, this is the plan: have an early dinner (and dessert) at the Chip on Ashton Lane, then go straight to the Wee Pub and enjoy a whisky or two, we recommend Auchentoshan Three Wood and Port Charlotte Heavily-Peated. Two very different whiskies but both with great stories to tell. After the whisky, you are ready for a party at Jinty McGuinty’s, an Irish Bar across the street with live music every night!
Now I’d like to hear from you:
What other Glasgow highlights do you think it must be included on this list?
Do you think is there any other whisky bar/attraction that should be listed here?
Either way, if you want to learn more about whisky tours, distilleries and other ways to enjoy whisky. Come and join us to one of our daily whisky tours across the city.
We promise good fun, education, loads of curious facts, valuable information you would love to learn, and of course my friends, fantastic whisky you need to try at least once.