The Pot Still
My girlfriend at uni made me a CD. When she unceremoniously dumped me 2 months later, I didn’t know what to do with it. I liked a lot of the songs, but I thought listening to the CD made me seem a bit pathetic. I explained the issue to my friend Eric, who was studying Music Theory at UCLA. Eric thoughtfully reviewed the track list and tossed it back to me like a used Kleenex. ‘These songs all suck anyway.’ Thus began my musical education. Eric made me a series of mixed tapes to broaden my musical horizons beyond Gorillaz and Somewhere Over the Rainbow played on a ukulele. One of the songs Eric introduced me to was Maroon 5’s cover of Pure Imagination. The song was reverberating in my head when I stepped on the brass plate that said ‘The Pot Still’.
If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
The Pot Still is unlike any bar we’d ever seen. Rows of whisky bottles were stacked on wood bookshelves. If the library had been like this, we probably would have studied more. There are over 700 whiskies, some of which can only be reached by trained barmen who, sherpa-like, ascend rickety ladders to reach the top bottles.
Come with me
And you'll be
In a world of pure imagination
The Pot Still has a distinctive old man pub feel. Thousands of feet have walked across the carpet, strained by hundreds of spilt beers. But the booths hug you like the arms of a wingback chair and you couldn’t feel more relaxed. Whisky barrels are strategically placed around the bar and vintage whisky memorabilia hangs from the walls and ceiling. The broad bar means that even when it is crowded, you can stand behind the dark wood and admire the bottles that glisten from the shelves.
There is no
Place to go
To compare with your imagination
3/3 – Worth going out of your way for. First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.
The Waterstone family took over the bar in 1981 with over 300 bottles on the gantry. The family owned the bar until the early 1990’s when manager Ken Storrie took over and increased the whisky stock to over 500 bottles. Ken hired a new bar manager called Frank Murphy in 2003 and on 28th November 2011, Frank along with his father and sister were steering the ship which now boasted over 700 whiskies from all over the world. The whisky menu is 15 pages long. The biggest problem, not to be underestimated, is deciding which to order first. Whoever is behind the bar, who will invariably be a member of the Murphy family, will help you select just the kind of whisky you’re looking for. You can’t really go wrong.
What we'll see
3/3 – An exceptional selection that will make you feel bad for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.
In 2013 TripAdvisor had The Pot Still ranked and the best restaurant in Glasgow (out of 1134). Frank Murphy, who has a beard like a flatiron steak, emailed TripAdvisor and said: ‘All of our food is great but we are most emphatically a pub, not a restaurant, and we feel we are unfairly skewing the results for the other fantastic and proper restaurants in Glasgow, who all deserve to be one place higher up than we are allowing them to be. That and we’re starting to get customers phoning to book tables for dinner. I hate disappointing customers when they realise the dessert menu is measured in drams.” It isn’t Michelin star food, but my god they make a good pie.
So go there
To be free
If you truly wish to be
3/3 – This is your new local. Go, even by yourself, it’s a great advantage to not drink among hard drinking people.
Visit The Pot Still next time you're in Glasgow, you can find them here:
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our article about 'whisky for non-whisky drinkers', starring Brian Murphy, the owner of The Pot Still - click below.