We hope you are, like us, boiling your haggises and chopping yer neeps in preparation for tonight’s celebration of Scotland’s wisest bard, Rab C. Nesbitt (that’s right isn’t it?). Afore ye go to the ceilidh at St George’s Hall (a tenner a pop, with Gallimaufry dance band and buffet. Starts at 7:30) or out on the town, warm yersens up at one of these seven whisky loving bars…
A slither of a bar tucked behind the bustle of Church Street, and usually complete with an impromptu karaoke session, The Richmond’s back bar gleams with old favourites. Go for a smooth and sweet Speyside Knockandu. Cheap prices too.
Its stunning central island bar rattles with more bottles than a cross-channel duty free. They’re serious about their malts here. So don’t ask for a Glenmorangie (the accent’s on the second syllable, by the way, not the third). Try a peaty Ardbeg and watch those chest hairs grow. And if you like what you find, join its Whisky Society.
Get soaking up some salty seamen’s tales and some salty maritime-tanged malts while you’re at it. Try an Oban, or an Old Pulteney – laced with briney spiciness. But beware, it’s an easy drinking dram that’ll have you sobbing/dancing on the tables/proposing to a Russian able seaman on shore leave.
Ship and Mitre
133 Dale Street
Yes, it’s a real ale den, but it knows its way around the Highlands and islands, lowlands and Speyside too. Settle back with a honeyed Balvenie and enjoy a haggis burger from the Burning Kitchen boys.
Philharmonic Dining Rooms
They’re hosting a Burns’ Night supper here, too. From tonight til Sunday you can enjoy cullen skink – smoked haddock in a creamy sauce with potatoes and parsley. Haggis, neeps and tatties, spiced mutton and oatmeal, mashed swede and potatoes – each offered with a dram of fiery Isle of Skye Talisker.
There was a time when hotel bars were antiseptic waiting rooms for the lost and the lonely (us, basically). Not so in the pleasingly eclectic and snug Racquets Club. Order a fine blend of Chivas Regal and pretend you’re the money.
Bar Four, Hard Days Night Hotel (pic above)
North John Street
One of the city’s coolest new hotels is also home to its most old-school hotel bars. And it’s all the better for it. Wood panelled, snug of chair, dim of light, kinda expensive lookin’ y’know? Jewellery rattling central, you could say. Enjoy with a dram or two of aromatic Dalwhinnie 15 or a bold and peaty Jura Superstition.