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The Scottish Arms

The Scottish ArmsThe Scottish Arms

Taps: 21 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

12 Ratings
Ratings: 12
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.28%
$$ - reasonable


[ Bar, Eatery ]

8 S Sarah St
Saint Louis, Missouri, 63108-2819
United States
phone: (314) 535-0551

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: nogoodreason on 05-23-2005)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12 | Reviews: 11 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Realale:
Photo of Realale
Realale

Missouri

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

Well, well, well, after all of the Irish-inspired, and Welsh pubs in town, there's finally one that aspires to all things Scottish. Being of Scottish ancestry, and active in the local Scottish community, color me excited. After a dozen or more visits in the past year, call me very satisfied and impressed.

Lovely space that manages to look as though its been open for years, without looking contrived. Dark woods, dim lights, used but comfortable furninshings. Shelves of empty containers of single malt that have been drained at the bar twist and turn through the bar and dining area adding a nicely thematic decorative touch. Overall well done.

The beer list is 22 on draft, with another 24 in bottle. Not the most adventurous of selections, but solid mainstream Scottish beers (with Bellhaven Wee Heavy and Twisted Thistle being particularly nice selections), and a smattering of those from south of the border including the always-welcome Fuller's London Pride and London Porter. Local micro Schlafly brews up one special house ale in the tradional Scottish style of 70/-. Sadly, Schlafly-brewed 80/- and 90/- have been dropped due to lack of sales. Two handpumps dispense the Fuller's beers from kegs, not casks.

All beers sampled were served in fine condition. The beer selection has continued to evolve and improve, with the bar taking an approach similar to their Scotch program where empty bottles are replaced with something different, rather than more of the same. They now also have a very reasonably priced "sampler" system - starting with 3 - 5 o.z. samples for $5, and going up to a 5 o.z. sampler of all the draft beers, for a still reasonable price.

Food was classic Scotland done by a very skilled chef. So skilled that the Scottish Arms definitely deserves to stand as a restaurant, and not merely a pub with food. Everything sampled was extremely high quality, and absolutely smacked of authenticity. Recommended appetizers include the Forfar Bridies which brought knowing nods of remembrance from my wife and I of excellent pies served at the Britannia, Kensington, a fine Young's pub, the Kildrummie Cozies, and the Abroath Smokies, not to be missed for fans of smoked fish. Several dinners of Scottish Salmon, with prawn, bacon and an oyster mushroom vinagrette was outstanding. The tangy vinagrette was full of perfectly cooked oyster mushroom, and cut perfectly through the fat of the bacon and the salmon without overwhelming. Same quality in the lamb bugers, and pasties. The cuisine is very beer friendly food as well.

A year into its life, the Scottish Arms really seems to be hitting its stride. Staff are always friendly and accommodating, and the beer (and whisky) knowledge of all seems to be increasing.

For those into distilled beer, the Scottish Arms also has the finest single malt list in St. Louis, which is priced very reasonably. The website does not have the entire list, as there are other rare bottlings, and a dozen or so from independent bottlers, and selection is rotating as bottles are emptied.

04-23-2006 12:44:13 | More by Realale
More User Reviews:
Photo of jaminjohnson
jaminjohnson

Yukon (Canada)

4/5  rDev +0.3%

12-30-2013 18:08:52 | More by jaminjohnson
Photo of phaleslu
phaleslu

Ohio

3.59/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | $$

The Scottish Arms is located just west of SLU, sort of between Midtown and the Central West End. Good thing to have a decent bar in that immediate area. The place is low-lit, woody, and clean, as they try to replicate the feel of a Scottish pub. The service is friendly but it doesn’t seem like they know a ton about beer. I didn’t eat here, but I hear it’s decent food. The tap selection is mostly the English/Irish/Scottish standard lineup, with a few good regional American crafts (e.g. Goose Island Matilda) and two casks: Fullers London Pride and Fullers London Porter. I didn’t get a good sense of the bottle selection. I have a few friends who really like the place, and I hear they show a lot of soccer on the TVs, so I’ll probably be back here. Not essential if you’re in town visiting, but not bad at all.

05-18-2011 21:14:30 | More by phaleslu
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$

Interestingly, despite not being on a corner, the door was placed at an angle to the street. Entering, the antique back bar with a couple of glass display cases, mirrors, and exquisitely carved wood, began just inside the door along the left wall. The dark wood bar was also obviously antique, as was the line of booths along the right wall. The center and the window front were dominated by high tables and chairs. A separate, beautifully appointed dining room was accessible through a doorway on the right. Pressed tin ceiling, ceiling fans, and exposed ducting. Kilts for the waitstaff.

Beers: Twenty-two (22) drafts and you'd best like malty beers! BT: Twenty-six (26), but the Scottish beers included Pine; Elderberry, Heather, Gooseberry.

11-25-2009 01:08:56 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Windigstadt
Windigstadt

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$$

I've never understood why there are so many Irish pubs but so few Scottish pubs, as I find Scottish beer on the whole to be much more interesting than its Irish counterpart. Fortunately, Scottish Arms is here to save the day. I've yet to visit Scotland, but this pub certainly FEELS like Scotland. Hardwood everywhere. Lots of Scottish flags and tartans. Signs for football games which are televised there. A beautiful bar.

Their beer selection is good (assorted Belhaven ales on tap, Skullsplitter in a bottle, a nice variety of regional microbrews) though I'd like to see more Scottish offerings on tap, and perhaps something on cask. Given the limited number of Scottish beers available in the U.S., however, it's certainly good enough. I also understand that they have an excellent whisky selection, though I'm not a whisky guy so I'll have to trust others on that one.

The food... Aw, man. The food here is AWESOME, particularly considering the Scottish aren't known for their fine cuisine. They have a peat-smoked cornish game hen that's incredible. They also have great sides like bubble and squeak as well as appetizers including deep-fried haggis balls (insert joke here). I did not have dessert there, but I hear the bread pudding is awesome. My perception of Scottish food has radically changed since visiting Scottish Arms.

Overall, a great place to visit for a pint or two and maybe dinner as well. It would be nice if they could grow their tap list a bit, but even if they don't I'll be returning whenever I get a chance.

05-06-2009 15:46:44 | More by Windigstadt
Photo of BelgianBrewFan
BelgianBrewFan

Missouri

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

One of the first pubs I visited when I first got into the beer scene and it will always be one of my favorites. The atmosphere is one of a kind and I've never had a bad experience there. The servers are great and always willing to lend a helping hand to the undecided customers.

Alright... anyone who has read some of my other reviews knows that I am a huge fan of cheese boards, and this place is no exception. It is wonderful as are the bangers & mash (which I order everytime). Haven't worked up enough courage to try the haggis yet. I think I'll need quite a few pints before I attempt something like that.

Sadly, their selction seems to be shrinking a bit due to availability and regulations. However, they still have the goods such as Fullers, Belhaven and quite a few good selections from the U.S. portion of the menu. Personally, I'm a fan of the Scottish section more than others.

Overall, I would definitely recommend a visit. It tends to get pretty packed on weekends. If you want a seat in the bar area... get there early! This place fills up fast and most visitors leave later rather than earlier.

01-30-2009 20:58:37 | More by BelgianBrewFan
Photo of echdk3
echdk3

Missouri

2.68/5  rDev -32.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 1 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | $$

Walking into the bar, it seemed very cozy. Small seating area, but decorated very nicely. The male staff wore kilts and the female staff wore kilt-mini-skirts so it was a bit charming.

The selection was very good, I counted 22 brews on tap, and none of them macro shit beers. There were two, I believe, seasonals among them, and many UK standards.

My only gripe about this place is a huge one - almost every beer I got was served without any head. It didn't seem to be an issue of proper pouring technique, because most had sub-par carbonation. It was clearly a matter of old kegs and/or dirty taps. When my friend mentioned this to the bartender, we got the fake "I'll check it" routine. Yeah right.

Good atmosphere, great selection, horrible quality.

12-06-2008 16:03:28 | More by echdk3
Photo of redbird
redbird

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

I'll start off by saying, I love the Arms. Decent European beer selection, but you come here for the atmosphere and the food, great Scottish food (Haggis!) in a Scottish setting.

Like I said, the beer selection is decent (Fullers, Belhaven, Spaten) but their whisky selection is out of this world. If there was a whiskyadvocate.com, I"m sure they'd rank as one of the best. They do have a Schlafly seasonal tap for some local fare.

Weekends are super busy, so have a backup plan if the wait is too long (Dressel's isn't far away). Oh, and if you're a soccer fan, this is the place to go.

07-02-2008 05:52:34 | More by redbird
Photo of hooliganlife
hooliganlife

Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$

This is my place.

Beer -

Hands down my favorite selection in St. Louis. It may be semi typical but it is also constantly changing. A few that I know will always be available are the Fullers of London and Belhaven. There is always at least one German beer on tap ranging from Spaten Lager to Paulaner Hefe. Carlsberg has made its way into the line up. I was quite bummed when McEwans and John Courage lost distribution. A nice selection from draft to bottle. I was VERY impressed that they had authentic British pint glasses with the pint logo on them. Kudos!

Food -

This is where I am let down. I am vegetarian so there really aren't many options. The chips are the typical "chips" however I am pretty sure these are not authentic. I have been to Ireland and England and their chips are the same as our "steak fries". The curry sauce is ehhh. I would love to see a Bisto curry sauce instead. No cheese and onion sandwich either. The "cheese toasty" is only served at certain hours. So it is hard to snack and drink. The fried mars bar was spot on though.

atmosphere -

100% spot on. I have been to a number of Irish and English pubs and the Arms nailed it. Lots of character here and the folk range in age so it is far from a frat boy bar. Everyone always seems to be having a delighted time. The dining room can be a tad loud when a band is playing. It can be a fight for a seat in the bar area but that is ok. Nice cozy seating, great candles, and excellent charm. They even have soccer and rugby on the tele.

I have checked out all of the other "irish" pubs in town and not one compares.

03-24-2008 14:38:54 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of hobbes2150
hobbes2150

Missouri

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

The Scottish Arms is a great place to sit and have a few brews with your friends. Their beer selection varies just enough that everyone can find something they like whether it's Strongbow cider or something more complex. I personally like it when they have Belhaven Wee Heavy on tap to warm me up as it gets colder outside. If you like scotch, they have an excellent selection on that end as well.
The food is good too, with a nice selection of traditional dishes. They'll even recommend a beer pairing if you feel the need to inquire.
I'll definitely be a repeat customer.

11-14-2007 00:10:37 | More by hobbes2150
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The Scottish Arms in Saint Louis, MO
90 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.