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February 8, 2006                                                                                   Back to Pub Crawling In Glasgow

Our last day in Scotland, and the sun is shining again.  We slept in after a good spree last night, and ventured out at noon.  We headed over to Ingram’s Bar, where we new they had real ales and a good menu.  Jackie had Glasgow tap water, and haggis, neeps and tatties.  Aidan had a pint of Cascade Red Ale, from the Stewart Brewing Co., a real ale, and two Scotch Pies, Chips and Beans.  We then walked down Queen Street, checking out the punk shops; then headed into Debenhams Department Store.  Aidan got a new aftershave, “Brit” by Burberry and a really nice new shirt and Jackie found a great Scotland soccer jersey.      

We were thirsty after all that shopping and headed into a pub called Macsorley’s where Aidan enjoyed a Tennent’s 70/- and Jackie a Bells.  It was a beautiful old Victorian pub, but it was empty.  On the wall “The road of excess leads to the Palace of Wisdom” (William Blake) – we’ll be there soon….

Next was the Quarter Gill, an old man’s bar, very small and smoky, and also very old.  Aidan had a Grouse and Jackie a Bells.  There were lots of old boxing photos on the walls and the track racing on the telly.  Jackie was the only woman in the place; there were 20 men. There was a notice about the Competition Dominoes held every Thursday night.  A few of the old guys were singing at the bar.  It was only about 3 pm.  

McGinns bar is a small bar dedicated to Matt McGinn, a Glaswegian blues singer.  Aidan had a half pint of Guinness and Jackie a Black Bottle.  The bartender was very friendly.  Aidan noticed this was a place where the patrons played the horses.

The Rhoderick Dhju was next.  Aidan surprised Jackie with a Connoisseurs Choice Gordon & McPhail Ledaig, distilled in 1990, £2.40.  Grassy, light nose, not too sweet, apples, a little harsh for a 16 yr old.  Aidan had a pint of McEwan’s 70/-, the best he’s had in Glasgow. “The legend in your local”.  Moving along, we passed a specialty wine and whisky shop.  We nipped in, and after much deliberation, Jackie bought a bottle of 25 yr old Port Ellen and some Glenrothes and Ardbeg minis.   

The next stop was the Toby Jug, quite a bit busier than all the others, younger after work crowd.  Aidan enjoyed a pint of Edinburgh 3 Premium Scotch Ale from Stewart Brewing a hand drawn real ale - excellent.  He also had two pints of Timothy Taylor Landlord, probably the best beer ever made!  They also had Deuchar’s IPA and London Pride real Ales (four in total).  Jackie enjoyed a 12 year old Bunnahabhain. This was followed by a Talisker 12 yr old:  nose was big and peaty, the palate peaty with a slight sherry or bourbon taste, the finish was short, not much there, unless a peaty belch constitutes a finish.  There was cheap food here too - £1.00 for soup, £2.75 for sausage, potato and beans.  

Our last stop before heading back to the hotel was the Still Pot, named the best whisky bar of the year in 2003 by the SLTN.  A magnificent bar - best bar in Glasgow (as named by Dipsophila.com).  Patrons were business men, with over 50% wearing ties, and a few smoking cigars.  There were over 200 whiskies and a number of real ales.  First on the menu was a 1978 Port Ellen sherry finish, deep and rich in colour, about the colour of a Belhaven Best, a bit darker than stewed tea.  It was cask strength, with lots of alcohol in the nose.  It was fruity, pears and peaty on the nose, fresh, peaty and sweet on the palette and a sherry peat finish.  We added a splash of water to bring out more flavours – heather, flowers, spice, Christmas Pudding.  A second splash was added which brought out more citrus notes and it was much smoother.  Good stuff. Aidan also sampled some of the real ales – Thrappredour (Inveralmond Brewery, Perth) 4.3%, a very pleasant and highly drinkable ale.

We tried an Imperial 1990 Port Wood Finish limited bottling by Private Collection at £2.50.  Sweet, grassy, lightly smoked nose, big port finish which seemed to last forever.  Extremely smooth and very drinkable. Next was a 14 year old Inchgower (43%) for £2.60.  Grassy, heathery nose, rich sherry palate, long finish, lots of alcohol and hot on the lips. Aidan had yet another hand drawn Deuchar’s IPA and said “Best beer brewed in the history of man.  It belongs in your body and there is nothing you can do to stop it going in”.