Top Ten Places to enjoy a dram

Where are the best places that the Whisky Comedian has ever enjoyed a dram?

10. The snug of the Roseburn Bar, Murrayfield, Edinburgh. St Patrick’s Day 1990.

Aged 17 I had my first ever whisky in the snug of the Roseburn Bar before a famous Scotland rugby match at Murrayfield. After drinking 3 pints of Guinness with pie chasers, I was told by my chaperones to go to the bar and get 4 lagers… or so I thought. After 30 minutes trying to get served I wandered back to the snug with 4 lagers. I was actually told to get 4 Lagavulins. That’s where it all started and I have no recollection of Tony Stainger’s Grand Slam winning try for Scotland against the Auld Enemy.

9. Loaf, Deansgate Locks, Manchester.

University in Manchester was fun. In 2000 The Hacienda was sadly no more, The Comedy Store opened up at Deansgate Locks and next door was Loaf. Comedian Geoff Boyz was hosting a Johnnie Walker tasting night. It was 10 years since my first dram and this was the first proper whisky tasting I had been to. My eyes were opened… and so was Geoff’s mouth. Boy that man can drink.

8. Uisge Beatha / Dram, Woodlands Rd, Glasgow

Formerly called Uisge Beatha, Dram! is one of Glasgow’s best whisky bars. Home to the old Half Price Comedy Club, I spent every Saturday night for 3 years compering shows here – every week we gave away a bottle of single malt whisky in the audience prize draw. Happy times indeed. Sadly Glasgow’s licensing laws now forbid that sort of thing.

7. The summit of Schiehallion

My favourite Scottish Munro is Schiehallion. Every New Year we go to the family timeshare at Kinloch Rannoch. Every year we climb Scotland’s “Matterhorn”. Three years ago I almost got killed in an avalanche field with neighbours Mark & Suzy. The following year they climbed the mountain again and Mark popped the question.

6. St Bride’s School, East Kilbride.

In the summer of 1991 every Wednesday evening the newly former pupils of Claremont High School went to the quiz night at Hudson’s pub in East Kilbride. A group of between 10 & 20 of us would take part. We won 10 weeks on the bounce. Alternate weeks we would win a bottle of vodka or a bottle of whisky. The unwritten rule was that the bottle must be finished on the walk home. Every other week the bottle went either north towards Stewartfield or east towards St Leonards. Much much merriment was had on those walks home via St Bride’s school.

5. Old & New Dungeon Ghylls, Little Langdale, Lake District.

Every November a large group of former Manchester Uni pals get together for a weekend of hill walking and drinking. Every peak climbed means the opening of a different hip flask filled either with whisky, rum, saki or some unusual spirit purchased on someone’s foreign adventures. In the evening we merrily work our way along the back bar. Always the most fun weekend of the year.

4. Sligachan Hotel, Isle of Skye 

One of the best whisky selections in the world. Over 300 are arranged around the bar. It’s on the Isle of Skye, it has a stunnig view of the Black Cuillin mountain. What more can be said?

3. The Whiski Rooms, Edinburgh

Situated on The Mound, overlooking Princess Street Gardens in Edinburgh, the Whiski Rooms is one of the most comfortable, contemporary whisky bars in the world. It’s definitely the one with the best urban views anywhere. Great food, great selection of whiskies, funky tunes and bloody fun staff.

2. The Abbatoir Private Bar, behind The Udderbelly, Edinburgh

I’ve never seen so many smiles on the faces of so many comedians as I do in this place when I open up a new bottle of whisky. The Abbatoir is the late night hang out for comedians at the Edinburgh Fringe. Over the past 2 years I have educated many many funny folk about the different joys of whiskies from Pub Landlord Al Murray to Police Academy’s Michael Winslow & his wife Sharon.

1. My kitchen

I got given 30 different bottles of whisky for my 30th birthday, since then the Scotch whicky industry has given me lots of different bottles form my audiences to sample. There is always a massive selection to choose from. Nothing gives me more enjoyment than having friends round for a meal and allowing them to taste lots of different drams.

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