It’s no secret that Scotland is the home of whisky (or Scotch as it’s often better known) and where better to enjoy a dram or two than in the capital city. The immense popularity of whisky has meant specialist bars, pubs and shops have sprung up all over Edinburgh dedicated purely to the enjoyment of fine malts and blended whiskies.
We’re here to guide you through some of the best places to go if you’re visiting our beautiful city and want to try this purely Scottish drink.
First stop on our whisky tour of the city has to be of course the Scotch Whisky Experience on the High Street. The five-star visitor attraction will introduce you to the history and process of making whisky, while experts are on hand to guide you every sip of the way towards a perfect glass of malt.
Check out their promo video to get a flavour (pardon the pun) of what to expect:
Once you’ve brushed up on your whisky tasting skills then the next stop is to try out some unique malts and blended whiskies at some of the city’s pubs and bars. We’ve put together some recommendations of the best tried and tested water holes.
The Bow Bar, Victoria Street. This cosy, traditional pub stocks over 200 malt whiskies and the expert bar staff will give you some tips on the best ones to try. Even better, the prices are reasonable and if that wasn’t enough they were awarded the Good Pub Guide’s UK Whisky Bar of the Year 2012.
Whiski Bar and Restaurant, High Street. This little gem of a place was awarded Whisky Bar of the Year 2011/12 at the Dram Awards. It has over 300 whiskies and live Scottish music every night. Its sister bar/restaurant, the Whiski Rooms, is round the corner on North Bank Street and is also worth checking out; both also boast a menu filled with fresh local Scottish produce.
To be honest you wouldn’t be hard pushed to find a good pub serving high quality malts in most parts of the city so if you’re going somewhere specific then check out the Scotland Whisky website which will point you in the right direction.
Of course there are plenty of specialist whisky shops in the city centre where you can pick a good bottle of malt. For the best and most extensive ranges, head to one of the speciality shops in the Old Town, such as Royal Mile Whiskies (379 High Street) or Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop (172 Canongate).
Royal Mile Whiskies has been specialising in single malts since 1991, and you won’t find more helpful or enthusiastic staff anywhere in the capital; they are allowed to sample most of the whiskies so they can give customers the benefit of their knowledge.
Just a short walk away is WM Cadenhead which sells a range of whisky from different distillers. They run whisky tastings in a local pub, enabling customers to sample the Cadenhead range and other interesting beverages. Established in 1842, this shop has stood the test of time and is well worth checking out if you’re in the area.
And to finish, if you’re coming to Edinburgh to try Scotland’s national drink, why not pair it with our offering? We have a range of apartments within Edinburgh’s Old Town so you can be within walking distance of the outlets above, and we impart more information on what you can do while here in the literature we leave as part of your welcome pack. We’re also happy to discuss your plans when we meet you upon arrival so you can make the most of your stay.