So once we finished our wee little snack and dram over at The Pot Still, it was time for us to hit the bus and find our hotel. If you find yourself in Glasgow, use the bus! It brought us almost everywhere and in combination with Uber it was pretty easy and comfy to get from A to B without putting to much thoughts and/or money on it.
For the first two nights we stayed at the Glasgow Pond Hotel which I choose because it was in the West End and it had a good price via Booking when I looked for hotels. The rooms were absolutely OK and the breakfast was great.
Even though it is on Great Western Road, it is a bit off the track as it is quite up the road, but there is a bus station as well as a subway within 3 minutes walking distance.
Oran Mor (aka Party Church) is about 5 miles down the road, just to give you an idea.
Again, Uber and be happy. I think we walked one night from party church and then decided to Uber. Yes, there was alcohol involved.
/u/gregbenson314 and /u/sonofcroesus gave us good inside knowledge about Glasgow beforehand which we planned to follow closely. We also met with Greg and he was kind enough to show us around in his beautiful city. I’ll pass on the knowledge the two gave us along with my posts.
Glasgow alone was a nice stay and Greg went out of his way to make it extra special for us, so thanks again for your time and tips – btw. the Warehouse Laga tasting with Iain was mindblowing!
Hotel/Location tips: Staying close to Charing Cross and in the West End, check!
Even though we weren’t that close to Charing Cross, busses, Subway and Uber took us everywhere without problems! Next time, I’d be looking for something closer to Charing Cross though.
Like said above, on our pre-Islay Glasgow stay, we stayed in the Pond Hotel and on our way out we stayed at the Argyll Western Hotel, which is also on Great Western Road and just across the Oran Mor. I wouldn’t mind staying in either of them again, but probably would look for something closer to Charing Cross though. Use booking.com or something similar to find the best rates as everything is within reaching distance in the West End, so look for prizes first and location second.
After we checked in, had a shower and changed for the night, we took the subway to get to another of Greg’s recommendations: Akbar – I love Indian food! It’s my favorite food, so when Greg declared Akbar the best Indian food in town, there was no holding back. We had Onion and potato Bhaji and Ghosht Shami Kebab for starters and Chicken Tikka & Keema Balti as well as (I think) Chicken and Prawn special Balti. Highly recommend a visit if you ever find yourself in Glasgow!
After a superb meal, we walked over to the Bon Accord. Which is incredible. Just in case you didn’t know. Insane selection of whisky and Ale! Cosy atmosphere with lots of space. Knowledgeable and friendly stuff. Nice mixture of customers from Scottish grannies to Rockers to Japanese businessmen drinking Ardbeg 30 to lots of average pub goers and some whisky tourists. We also missed Ralfy by a day. If you have just one night in Glasgow, eat at Akbar and then spend the rest of the night at the Bon Accord.
It was quite crowded that night, so decided to sit down at the bar and “clean” our palates with coffee and beer before we preceded to whisky. We started the night whisky-wise with the Bon Accord House Malt, which is a small live cask which Paul fills with his secret mixture of (I guess leftover) single malts.
Afterwards, I had to try this year’s Feis Ile Release of Kilchoman. I spotted at the bar with a dangerously low fill level. Since I feared somebody else could finish it right before my eyes, I went straight for it. There wasn’t enough left for a full pour, so Thomas didn’t charge me for the dram. There were about one or two ml missing at most but who am I to complain? I’ll post the review with the other Kilchos within the next days.
We chatted a bit with Thomas and by his recommendation tried the Port Charlotte bottled for Ralfy. Which blew Private away and was his favorite dram of the whole trip! Alas, of course the 233 bottles sold out within hours upon its release, so no chance to get a bottle at all. Luckily, the Ballygrant Inn and other Pubs we’ve been too had a bottle as well, so we came back to this one quite a few times. It’s a twelve year old Port Charlotte from a Sherry Hogshead (Cask Nr 0941), bottled at 56.2% and released this year. And without giving away too much, it’s pretty awesome.
While we had some Longrow Red Malbec, two Asian-looking men sat down next to us and had some Ardbeg 30 as well as some rare – or at least expensive, excuse my ignorance towards ‘fiddich’s special releases – Glenfiddichs. The one ordering the Ardbeg was happy as a kid on Christmas about it, which was pretty cool. It would have been a pretty downer to see someone casually order a malt like that…I didn’t quite overhear their conversation with Thomas, but from what I’ve gotten, the older one seem to have written a book about Glenfiddich. I took advantage of the situation by holding and nosing the Ardbeg 30 which is probably the closest I’ll ever come to that malt.
As the Bon Accord was about to close down, we asked about a place to go and Thomas recommended the Oran Mor, which was perfect as it was on our way home! Even better on our way to Party Church, we spotted the Ubiquitous Chip in a side alley and since /u/sonofcroesus recommended that one, we had to stop! And so we had a beer and a dram in the Wee Pub – which was also pretty cool and had a very nice selection of malts. Since we both we’re a wee bit tipsy at that point, we did not invest in any of the big names but stuck to some nice ever faithful Talisker 10 and decided to come back the next evening for some Haggis and Balvenie 21 Port Wood, which I always wanted to try.
After that we headed onwards to Party Church, which was still pretty crowded when we got there, again very cool place and highly recommended. I spotted some HP 25 as well 30 behind the bar, which at that point would’ve been totally wasted on us, so we had some Cider and HP 12 as a night cap before we walked home. Or started to walk home and then took an Uber…