Situated at the top of the Royal Mile, next to Edinburgh Castle, The Scotch Whisky Experience takes visitors on a sensational journey of discovery into Scotland’s national drink.
I enjoyed the silver tour courtesy of the Scotch Whisky Experience, however I also chose to upgrade to the gold tour to get a full sampling experience of whisky; I’d highly recommend upgrading if possible to really make the most of this experience.
Located in a former Victorian school and following a multimillion pound refurbishment in 2009, the experience consists of a tour, featuring a barrel ride through the whisky making process.
The ride takes less than 10 minutes, before visitors disembark into the waiting area for the next stage of the tour. Whilst in the waiting area, I watched an educational video about the regions of Scotland that produce certain types of whisky.
Visitors are taken to the presentation room for an interactive talk and sensory perception session, exploring the aromas of Scotch Whisky and its influences from various parts of Scotland. I won’t give you all the detail but it’s interesting to learn so much about whisky and then the highlight, having an opportunity to sample the whisky.
The tasting is led by the attraction’s team of whisky experts; all dedicated enthusiasts with a passion for Scotland’s national drink. A number have even found themselves working in the whisky industry full time, after their time working at The Scotch Whisky Experience.
Visitors to the Scotch Whisky Experience are also treated to a viewing of the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whisky; the jewel in the crown of the tour.
Located in a custom-made marble and glass vault, the record-breaking collection comprises 3,384 individual bottles of Scotch Whisky.
It’s easy to understand why this has become one of Edinburgh’s most popular attractions. The vault collection is outstanding, with many of the bottles considered to be priceless. Every single bottle is unique, with some dating more than 100 years old.
On the silver tour visitors get to try just one shot on whisky, the upgrade to the gold tour offers a further few samples at the end of the tour at the bar. I was therefore able to enjoy the additional drinks whilst overlooking the Edinburgh skyline.
The Scotch Whisky Experience is also home to one of the city’s largest specialist whisky shops. The retail space holds over 300 different single malt, grain and blended Scotch Whiskies and whisky-based liqueurs from all over the country.
My one bit of advice: don’t visit on an empty stomach. You’re likely to be sampling and enjoying a range of whiskies and will enjoy it more if you don’t have to worry about feeling drunk!
Whilst it is a very tourist-focused attraction and is a little overpriced to buy bottles of whisky in the actual shop, the cost of the tour is appropriate, offering a fun way to pass some time in Edinburgh with a true, Scotch experience.
Many thanks to the Scotch Whisky Experience for complimentary access to the tour.