The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, IMG Cred: Chris Osburn

 “I Love Scotch, Scotch, Scotch, Scotch!”


For the uninitiated, a visit to Edinburgh’s Scotch Whisky Experience offers a thorough and well-rounded introduction to Scotland’s most famous export along with plenty of tips on making the most of any wee dram. As explained during the tour, there’s no right or wrong way to drink Scotch whisky. If you like it neat, drink it neat. If you enjoy it with a drop of water or on the rocks, so be it. However, there is a proper method to tasting a Scotch to help imbibers discern its quality, providence and strength. You’ll learn about all that towards the end of the Whisky Experience tour when, after the rather Disney-esque beginning, you may very well feel the need to down a stiff one.
Located within the terribly touristic (if still incredibly scenic and evocative) Royal Mile, mere steps from the entrance to Edinburgh Castle and amidst too many souvenir shops, a gauntlet of street performers and a dense concentration of hotels and restaurants, a bit of inevitable cheese accompanies the “experience.” Upon entry, visitors “take a swirling, bubbling barrel ride through a replica distillery” and “become part of the whisky making process.” It’s more than a little silly, but in fairness does provide a very accessible and memorable trip into the world of whisky production. Quirky facts, historic happenings and the essential points explained in layman’s terms make the tour worth it’s albeit cringe-worthy kitsch.
Such a touristy setting also means the Scotch Whisky Experience couldn’t be more convenient or easier to find. Booking your tour ahead of time is advisable but walk-ins are welcome. A post-castle visit or pre-dinner tipple (some of Edinburgh’s most renowned restos are well within walking distance) might be the best times to check out this attraction.
When you book, go for the gold package (tour and tasting plus four more complimentary single malts to sample and more) or the platinum (add a guided nosing and tasting of two contrasting Single Malt Whiskies followed by an extended viewing of the Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch Whisky Collection and a taste of an exclusive 21 year old Scotch Whisky to finish). There’s a right cozy bar, a well-stocked shop with an informative staff, a cafe and restaurant and the world’s largest collection of Scotch whisky (worth a visit in and of itself really) all on site.
The Scotch Whisky Experience is located at 354 Castlehill, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE. For more details and to book online visit

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photo: Chris Osburn

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