eat & drink :: The Bothy Whisky and Wine Bar

Where Jasper Avenue meanders North and turns into the trendy 124 Street district lies The Bothy. A "bothy" is a simple shelter often found in the Scottish Highlands left open for the weary traveler; an appropriate name for the whisky serving establishment welcoming cold Edmontonians wandering in from the snow.

The Bothy is trying to dispel the myth that whisky is an old man’s drink while staying true to their roots. They offer anywhere between 185 to 200 varieties of scotch and whisky as well as an extensive wine list served by the glass or bottle. We were lucky enough to sample a variety of whiskies, the most interesting of which was the Ardbeg Galileo; an experimental whisky that was sent into outer space (!!!) and was crowned the 2013 World’s Best Single Malt Whisky by Whisky Magazine. Drink your heart out Commander Chris Hadfield. 

The Bothy is warm and approachable and this is represented in their food menu. Charcuterie and cheese plates, full crusted pies, and even haggis can accompany your whisky or wine (they happily provide pairing ideas). Whether you’re coming in for your first glass of whisky, your thousandth, or maybe you just prefer somewhere warm to get a glass of wine with some killer cheese, The Bothy would love to give you shelter.

Here are a couple interesting tidbits we learned at our tasting:

  • Scotch is whisky that comes from one of five regions in Scotland, each with distinct flavours: The Highlands (full-bodied, peat and smoke), Lowland (light-bodied), Islay (very strong and smoky), Speyside (most intricate flavours - sweet, elegant), and Campbeltown (peaty, slightly salty).
  • Rule of thumb: the age of the scotch dictates how many minutes to drink. Enjoy a 25 year old scotch over a minimum of 25 minutes.
  • Water is typically added to scotch that is over 40% alcohol by volume.
  • The scotch that evaporates from barrels in the aging process is referred to as "the angel's share."
  • Scotch can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, diluted, or mixed. The Bothy won't judge - they just want to help you find a way to love it as much as they do.

Celebrate Robbie Burns Day at The Bothy!

Robbie Burns via Wikimedia Commons

Robbie Burns
via Wikimedia Commons

Robbie Burns is highly regarded as Scotland's favourite poet and lyricist. His range of romantic, spirited, political, hilarious and outspoken work is celebrated on his birthday each year (January 25). The Bothy will be hosting a full 5 course meal with whisky pairings and entertainment from the incomparable Andrew Walls. Their Saturday night event is already sold out, but they still have spots available for Wednesday, Jan. 23rd. Tickets are $125/person - call 780.760.8060 for tickets!

The Bothy (Southside: 5482 Calgary Trail,
owntown: 10124-124 Street,
 thebothy.ca)