I didn’t spend much time in Aberdeen during my Scottish roadtrip but the stormy weather called for some heartwarming drams (not like I need an excuse for drinking whisky but hey, it was pouring out there!)… If you see what I mean! I then took the time (not like it was any sort of constraint… Don’t get me wrong) to visit some great dramming spots… And here they are!
The Casc Bar
Address : Stirling St, Aberdeen, Aberdeen City AB11 6ND, UK
One of Aberdeen’s newest bars. CASC stands for Cigars, Ale, Scotch Coffee. As well as the wide whisky and beer selection they also boast Aberdeen’s only walk in humidor…
Following a (wise) recommendation we got from Denny earlier in the day (your knowledgeable host at The Whisky Lounge – Speyside Centre), while finally reaching Aberdeen after a crazy drive in flooded Speyside, we quickly dropped our luggage in our Airbnb rental flat and made our way straight to the Casc Bar! And the place didn’t disappoint at all – miles away from any sort of whisky snobbery, we enjoyed some amazing drams (including a nice Longrow, Octomore (yeap, the burden of having peat freaks friends…), Glenfarclas 25 and many others I don’t recall…) along with a great selection of craft beers (which you can chose from thanks to a special colour code *Pub owners, you should take notes here!*). If there was ONE spot to recommend in Aberdeen, I would definitely go for the Casc Bar!
(I got many messages advising me to visit The Grill on Union Street, a huge thanks for all your recommendations during this trip by the way, I’ll make sure to pop in next time I find myself in Aberdeenshire!)
The Illicit Still
Address : 22 Netherkirkgate, Aberdeen AB10 1AU, UK
Situated in the heart of Aberdeen city centre, The Illicit Still is famed for its warm and friendly atmosphere with comfortable surroundings. After a revamp in 2011, enhancing the current surroundings, the team at The Illicit Still has introduced a new pool area, HD televisions and dark gothic bespoke seating den, creating a pub venue unlike anything else in Aberdeen!
A bit of history…
The Illicit Stills in Scotland: There is a link drawn between Greenock and Dundee where above exist awesome mountains, silent Lochs and empty glens, but it was not always so…
To avoid payment of the ‘malt tax’ imposed in 1713 by an English parliament, Highlanders took to remote glens and hillsides, to where whisky could be made undetected. Their equipment was rudimentary and easy to dismantle to aid a quick escape from pursuing excise men or ‘gaugers’.
It was reported in 1798 that the ‘industry was in a thousand hands’ and by 1823 there were 14,000 official discoveries of illicit stills. A mere fraction of those that escaped the ‘gauger’.