2016 is coming to a close, and what better way to celebrate a successful year than to treat yourself? For all you whiskey lovers out there, there are some incredible destinations to see. Plus, the good thing about going to one of these places? Not only do they offer up incredible whiskey opportunities, but they’re also incredible in their own right. From Edinburgh to Dublin to Japan, it’s time to make sure your passport is up to date! Without further adieu, pack your bags, book your ticket, and get ready to hit the road! Sight-see and sip in one of these three spectacular locales!
The beautiful Scottish city of Edinburgh isn’t just one of the best places to try authentic Scotch, but it’s also a mecca for history nerds! The city is crawling with literature history (just take a jaunt down Poet’s walk to see all the famous scribes who have walked the cobblestones), royal history (anyone heard of Mary Queen of Scots?), and a good ghost story or two! 23 miles outside the city is the Glenkinchie Distillery. Stop by during the day to see the incredible production process. At night, head back to Edinburgh and check out the local scene.
If the name doesn’t give it away, Whiski Bar & Restaurant is one of the best places in Edinburgh to grab a glass of whiskey! The bar has over 300 (!!) different types of whiskeys on their menu. The adorable interior feels like you’re in an old-school Scottish home. Plus, the food is some of the most authentic Scottish classics you can try! For a more rowdy night out, check out the Abbey Bar. It’s frequented by locals, students, professionals, and whoever else blows by the door. In addition to a wicked whiskey list, they also offer a range of traditional beers. For the full experience, stop by during a rugby game.
How could we make a list of best places to visit for whiskey lovers and not include Dublin? The infamous party city is jam-packed with the best whiskey you’ll ever taste. Pick a hotel within walking distance of Temple Bar – trust us, you’ll thank us when your after-dinner (or after many drinks) commute is short!
First stop – one of the most famous distilleries in the world! The Old Jameson Distillery is located in a beautiful cobblestone area of the city, right by the river Liffey. Do a historical tour of the distillery, hit up their tasting room to try several different ages of Jameson, and pickup a personalized bottle to send back home! While you’re there, you might as well stop by the Guinness Storehouse. Just a hop skip and a jump across the river, the storehouse is full of fun interactive activities about the historic beer. Plus, the rooftop bar has one of the best views of Dublin you can find.
After your tours, head to the Brazen Head Pub for a bite. The bangers and mash are to die for! The Brazen Head is the oldest pub in Europe, and that’s saying something! The adorably dated decor and the delicious grub will have you visiting every night of your trip.
Japan may not be high on your list of whiskey capitals but trust us, it’s not worth missing! Japanese distillers make the best single-malt whiskey in the world (and they have the awards to prove it!), possibly because they distil their whiskey in casks that used to contain the Umeshu liquor. Head to the city of Kyoto for a jam-packed few days of everything whiskey-related. Just a fifteen-minute train ride outside the city is the Yamazaki distillery. This is Japan’s first whiskey distillery, founded in 1923. The coolest part of this distillery? They have an incredible whiskey library. In the library is 7,000 meticulously cataloged bottles. Hit the tasting room and try the World’s Best Single Malt Whisky on your way out!
After you hit Yamazaki, hit up Bar Cordon Noir for a glass of whiskey. This tiny little bar is dark and intimate, and the bartenders are reason enough to go! They also pour one of the most exclusive whiskey lists in the world – you will never be able to find some of these whiskeys in the United States!
Kyoto also has an incredible food scene. For dinner, check out Tiger Gyoza. The laid-back food hall specializes in handmade dumplings and local beers. They do offer an English menu, but it tends to be outdated, which makes ordering an adventure! Try the lamb gyoza or the black gyoza for the full experience!
If you’re feeling adventurous, walk down the stalls of the Nishiki Market. The market has hundreds of food stalls, from strange local delicacies to the freshest sushi you will ever taste! To finish off your trip, even though you may be in Kyoto for the whiskey, be sure to try a good glass of Sake before you hop on the plane!Can’t make the trip? Why not invite your friends over and host your own world whiskey night right in your own home? Pick up a few bottles from different locales, call the boys, put on some tunes, and sit back and enjoy the night! All you need for the perfect guys’ night in is right here on SIPDark.com. From flight glasses to a simple rocks glass from a bartender’s dream cocktail making kit, there’s no shortage of things to make the perfect whiskey night. Slainte! (that’s cheers in Irish!)