Bagpipes, Braveheart and the Loch Ness Monster. If you think that’s everything there is to know about Scotland’s history, you are sadly mistaken. Every section of Scotland is full of twists and surprises around every corner. The bars in Scotland are amazing, but watch out, as their beer is stronger than most American kinds and their pints are bigger! The happening scene is relaxed as late licensing hours mean most city bars are open until 1am, and some stay open until 3am! It’s a country of pub crawls, all-night parties, overindulgence and late nights wandering home through cobbled streets at dawn.
WHERE WE WENT
- Glenfiddich Distillery — Located in the north part of Scotland in Speyside (a popular scotch-making region), the distillery is a good place to get whiskey at the source. Try the Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch, which is aged in a combination of former bourbon barrels, traditional casks and sherry barrels which together give it a multi-layered effect. If you’ve got the cash, you can purchase the $10k bottle of Glenfiddich 50 Year Old Scotch.
- Quaich Bar at Craigellachie Hotel — Also located in Speyside, this place is home to possibly the most types of Scotch that you’ll find anywhere. Mention Zane’s name (or “Three Sheets”) and you can take a dram off his bottle of Glenfiddich 18 (assuming there is still some left!). With almost 700 different types of scotch on hand, you can do a taste test of scotch from the different regions of Scotland to see if you can tell the differences.
- Whiski Bar & Restaurant – Head back to Edinburgh for some gourmet haggis and a dram of the 21 Year Old Glenfiddich Scotch, which is aged in Scottish barrels but finished in Cuban rum barrels, making it illegal in the US. For a different experience, try missing your whiskey with a splash of luke warm water. Its said to hold back the shock of the booze and make it more effective to experience the flavors.
- Cafe Piccante — After all that whiskey, your stomach might be in need of something a little greasy. For your inevitable hangover try the infamous deep fried Mars bar. They also make a deep fried hamburger, pizza and just about anything you can think of.
Scotland Fun Facts
- Sean Connery has been leading a campaign to separate Scotland from the UK.
- Even though they don’t exist, the unicorn is the official animal of Scotland.
- The name “Scotland” derives from the Scoti, a Celtic tribe who migrated to Scotland from Ireland during the fifth and sixth centuries.
- The most famous icon of Scottish traditional culture is the Highland bagpipe, which achieved the height of its popularity during Queen Victoria’s reign because she liked to be awakened by one playing outside her window.
- Scotland is about half the size of England and comparable in size to Maine.
- In the 11th century Queen Margaret introduced the custom of allowing a girl to ask a boy to marry her on February 29th in a leap year. It evolved later that if the boy refused, he had to buy her a dress and kid gloves instead!
- A Quaich is a silver bowl used for sharing scotch.
- “Dram” lingo is Scottish lingo for a pour of Scotch Whiskey.
- In Scotland they say Slainte Mhath! meaning “good health” to cheers.
How to Toast in Scotland
Greasy fried foods!
Please Sir, I Want Some More
Learn more about traveling to Scotland here.