The Pot Still: Good Whiskey, Good People!
My friend Matt and I landed in Glasgow for Spring Break in 2006 and really had no idea what we were doing. He had hardly been out of the state of Michigan, let alone the US, and I generally fly by the seat of my pants and allow adventures to come to me. Our first night turned out to be the perfect initiation into the part of Scottish culture we most easily identified with: Scotch Whiskey!
Some how, out of sheer dumb luck, we left our hostel and stumbled into a pub on Hope Street around 4pm looking for hard drink and the beginnings of our Scotland adventure. Upon first steps into the place my jaw dropped. The walls behind the bar were lined with whiskey bottles from floor to ceiling. Little did we know that we had just popped into the world famous Pot Still pub that boasts the finest collection of malt whiskies in all of Scotland! We saddled up to the bar, unsure where to start, and each ordered a glass of something familiar, Glenfiddich I believe, and a pint of ale.
Next thing I know we're sitting at a table full of middle to later-aged Scotsmen, singing drinking songs I had no idea the words to, raising glasses and downing shot after shot after shot. Old Putney. Bowmore. Glenmorangie. "Slainte!" "Here's tae ye!" Don't ask me what years on the whiskies because I could barely understand a single word our fine hosts spoke. Then all of a sudden a man joins us and he has coveted Cuban cigars for what equaled out to about $5 American per cigar. One dozen please!
After that first round, Matt and I did not spend a single pound on drinks in the place. Everyone wanted to get the Americans smashed, including us! We shambled our way back to the hostel just after midnight and I was done for. Completely useless. Just a ticking time bomb of a hangover. But I fell asleep still singing those drinking songs in my own unintelligible dialect and woke up with the miraculous ability to remember a portion of the night.
I never could have imagined we would run into such nice people, or such an amazing place. I tell friends back in Michigan all about it and hope somehow someday I can return the hospitality I received at the Pot Still on Hope Street in Glasgow. [more ]