A wee dram of Scotland
So you’re roaming the streets of Edmonton nursing a very specific gastronomic craving and the hope you have that you’ll one day satisfy it is fading. Fear not, gentle lover of swine intestine: Your haggis dreams have been answered.
The Bothy, at 5482 Calgary Trail, is a first-class wine and whisky bar whose culinary accompaniments to its main-thrust libations include this traditional Scottish staple.
Opened in late 2009 in a strip-mall site just beyond where the original Earl’s with the wagons on the roof used to reside, The Bothy is really more bar than restaurant.
Booze is the main attraction here, with Scotch claiming top billing. Some 130 whiskys, almost all of them Scotches (the famed “wall of whisky” features both single malts and blends), are on offer, making The Bothy an excellent destination for lingering connoisseurs with a taste for variety. And the stash includes some rare gems, like the Bowmore Black—among the world’s most exclusive—the 1964 version of which sells for $280 an ounce. “You’re paying for the experience,” clarifies bar manager Andrew Walls, one of western Canada’s foremost experts on whisky.
On top of that, two dozen or so wines are available by the glass, served up courtesy of the resident Enomatic wine system (among the city’s first!), along with even more available by the bottle.
But for all its excellent libations, The Bothy is equally laudable for its select food menu wherefrom diners can score some serious meat pies—including chicken and leek and steak and mushroom—along with charcuterie and cheese platters, excellent solids for liquid pairings.
And then, of course, we’ve got the Bothy haggis—an extraordinary concoction of sheep heart, liver and lungs mixed with onions, oatmeal, stock, suet and spices, all simmered in the lining of an animal’s stomach—much celebrated for its savoury, slightly nutty flavour. For $18, the dish is served with “mashed tatties and neeps.”
The Bothy is open for lunch from 11:30 am, Tuesday to Sunday, and offers a full Scottish breakfast on the weekends until 3.