The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh

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Join me and my friend the Whisky Ghost on a fantastic journey as we discover the history and science behind every old mans favorite pastime.  It’s touristy, it cheesy, and it’s maybe the best thing I’ve ever done with my life (of course, that could be the scotch talking 😉 )

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

See that look of wonderment on his face?  You can already tell you’re in for a real treat, can’t you?  I’m going to start this story off by saying that I don’t love scotch… at least I didn’t love scotch.  But, “when in Rome” right?  So I did many a scotch tasting, and now it turns out I kind of like scotch.  I did not have a tremendous amount of time in Scotland and when planning the trip I thought I didn’t like scotch, so I did not make it to any of the distilleries.  I’m already in the process of planning a remedy to that, but what I did make it to, was The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh.

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Scotch Whisky Experience called to me from the moment I walked by it’s glorious revolving doors.  I don’t care if it’s the most hokey tourist attraction in the world, it has everything I’ve ever wanted in an attraction.  A Disney World-esque omni-mover,  hosted by the ghost of whiskys past, that culminates in a liquor tasting?  Am I dreaming?

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

As we wait in the queue we meet our Whisky Ghost as he appeared in his corruptible mortal state.  Then it’s time to board your whisky barrel and head into the distillery.

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

Everyone knows that great scotch starts of with great Scottish water (at least everyone that’s been on The Scotch Whisky Experience).  This is where our whisky ghost friend rejoins us.

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

This starts our whirlwind ride of becoming scotch whisky.  Once we are done with the rain, we spend some time in a container of yeast.

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

Look!  I’m yeast!

Then we get put in a barrel and aged for a long, long time.

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

Seriously, we have to wait on the slowest clock ever!

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

Then…. yay! We’re delicious scotch whisky!  I may have skipped a few steps, but in my defense, a ride like this really should have a theme song.  We’ve got to get Richard Sherman on this!

The end of the ride is unfortunately where our ghost friend leaves us, but the fun continues.  Now that we’ve learned how scotch is made, we move on to the real fun, the taste test.

Taste testing at The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

Here we are lead into a room where we learn about the different flavor profiles in the different whisky making regions of Scotland, with the help of a handy scratch and sniff card (yes, scratch and sniff!).  After selecting your favorite smell you are given a hefty sample.  My favorite was the peaty scotch from Islay.  I’ve been informed that it taste like burning band-aids, but I like it, so be nice.

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

After learning about our palates and the different whisky making regions we get to see the largest amount of scotch accumulated by a private collector.  Dream big kids.

The largest private collection of scotch in the world at The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

The largest private collection of scotch in the world at The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

The largest private collection of scotch in the world at The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

Yes, this glorious collection all belonged to one man, Claive Vidiz, and he’s not even Scottish, he’s Brazilian (I smell a challenge, Scots).

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

Watch out Claive, I’m on your heels.

The largest private collection of scotch in the world at The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

The collection took Claive over 35 years and boasts an impressive 3384 bottles.  As impressive as the Mini-Bottle Gallery in Oslo is, (it was my first bottle museum after all, you never forget your first!) these bottles are mostly full sized, so I think they win by a hair.

After gawking at all of the scotch in the entire world, the official tour is over, but of course it finishes in a bar! (followed by, in true tourist fashion, a gift shop.)

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

Here at the bar you are given your official Scotch Whisky Appreciation cards that entitle you to a flight of four samples of malt whisky, 10% off whiskys at the bar, 2.00GBP off of bottles in the shop, and two for one admittance into The Scotch Whiskey Experience for a year.  Also, it sometimes entitles you to happy hour pricing at your local pub once you get home if you’re really nice to the bartender.

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

As an added bonus, The Scotch Whisky Experience’s central location on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh gives it some of the best views of the city.

View from the window of The Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland

Maybe this is the scotch talking, but one a scale of 1-10, I give The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh an 800!

Cheers!

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

~

I was helped in the planning of this trip by Colin Mairs of Excursion Scotland.  As well as guided tours in 4 languages, Excursion Scotland offers a travel consulting service to help you plan your perfect self-guided tour of Scotland.  Learn more at www.ExcursionScotland.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ExcursionScotland .

 

 

 

22 thoughts on “The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh

  1. Why are you given only one sample during the tour but four later on? It seems it would be better the other way round – to try more and hear some explanations or something?

  2. Insanely jealous now!!! I love whiskey tastings and where else to do them but in Edinburgh!! What an impressive collection.

  3. haha, this sounds like a fun day! The closest thing i have done to this visit, is the tour of the Jameson distillery in Dublin: there is no ghost here but it is really interesting to see how the whiskey is made and at the end the tasting bar is just fabulous! Of course, the first thing the guide asks you on the tour is: do you know the difference between Irish and Scotch whisky? By the end of the tour, you do! The do not give you a discount at your local though 😉

  4. We did the Scotch Whisky Experience Tasting too when we were there. We’ve been to a lot of tastings like that, but it was definitely one of the best. That room you start in, the Whisky museum, is really incredible. So many bottles!

  5. I’m Scottish and I am not a fan of Whisky either! When will Edinburgh get a vodka tour – sign me up! If you do develop a taste for our national drink to make sure you make it to Islay, beautiful spot with lots of distilleries. Did you try our other national drink – Irn Bru?!

  6. I’ve never really had scotch, so never would think to do this. It looks like a lot of fun, and a great view while having a few drinks is always fun! I’m looking at getting to Edinburgh in the next year, so thank you for sharing!

  7. Rob

    Wow looks like a great place to have a tasting! I must admit I am not a fan of Scotch, but I think I should be, I will often have a taste just to see if my tastes have changed but sadly they have not. When we were in Ireland we did a tasting at Bushmills lovey place, highly recommend it if you make it over the straight.

  8. Well, I absolutely love Scotch! This sound fabulous. It’s great that you were give four samples of malt whisky! 4 samples! That’s enough to have the whisky talking for you 😉

  9. Even though I am not an whisky fan when i first visited Edinburgh I went to the whisky experience and loved it. Learning things about the art of making whisky and its history is fascinating!

  10. Thats an impressive collection! This looks exactly like something I would do haha. I’m a big fan of Scotch 😀

  11. I have done many wine tastings and a few whiskey tastings. This looks like such a great experience and delicious tasting! Thanks for sharing, cheers!

  12. Mar

    Though I also don’t like scotch this is a great experience because I always like learning about new things even if I don’t like them it’s always knowledge and lots of history behind – I would definitively do a tasting (in case I change my mind)

  13. I always love learning how things are made–it would be fun to visit, this spot even if it is a bit cheesy! 🙂 I’ve recently started to like scotch, so this sounds like a fun experience. Plus, you can’t beat a generous tasting! And, it’s fun that you now kind of enjoy scotch–love when experiences like this can change my perception!

  14. This sounds like my sort of tour. I love a good scotch on the rock and even a cheap scotch mixed with coke lol. I have never been on a whisky tour been to plenty of breweries, I would love to get into that glass cabinet full of bottles happy days

    • Mags

      Right?! Unfortunately they we’re very pretty clear on their no sampling policy in the fancy bottle room.

  15. Oh my gosh … I would be in Heaven! I absolutely love good Scotch. Though I’ve never been to Scotland, Edinburgh is now on my Bucket List.

    • Mags

      I fell absolutely in love with it! You must go if you get the chance.

  16. Oh Edinburgh… how I miss you! I fell in love with this beautiful city, although I did not love the whiskey. I tried it because, like you said, when in Rome… but I didn’t care for it. I’ll stick to my rum 😉

    • Mags

      Don’t get me wrong, I love me some rum. The whisky did grow on me though.

  17. I’m jealous. It looks like a amazing place to visit. It would be in my mind when I have a chance to visit sometimes. Glad you had fun.

    • Mags

      Scotland is one of the most amazing places I’ve visited. If you get a chance you should definitely go!

  18. This looks like a fun experience. I love it that they introduced you to the characteristics of the different whisky types before the tasting. Sometimes, I feel a bit lost during a tasting and don’t know what I am supposed to be looking for.

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