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One of Scotland’s best-known exports has to be whisky. Not to fall on stereotypes but I think as a country, we’re known for three things, red hair, kilts and whisky. Or whiskey to those from afar!
Well, I’m sorry to say that red hair may not be as commonly seen as you might hope, unfortunately, the same could be said for kilts but when visiting the capital, you can be sure to find plenty of opportunities to sample some top-notch whisky.
And I recommend that you do because there are some fantastic tales to hear, some great history and if nothing else, it will light a fire in your belly, which is perhaps the perfect way to combat the fourth thing that we’re most commonly known for the weather.
Whisky may be referred to as the nectar of the Gods to some, but in Scottish Gaelic, it is called ‘uisge beatha’ which translates to mean ‘water of life’ (make sure to watch my easy Scottish Gaelic pronunciation videos here), which feels very apt considering our reputation for enjoying a dram, don’t you think?
Find some of Edinburgh’s top scotch whisky experiences below! Was I, a bit punny there?
Underground Vaults Evening Ghost Tour with Whisky
You cannot tell me this doesn’t sound like great fun! Underground vaults, ghosts and booze? Ok, technically I guess you can, but I wouldn’t believe you.
This one is right up my street and it’s no wonder that it’s always quick to sell out!
Hear all about Edinburgh’s past, including some of its bloody crimes and famous hauntings with a visit to the Blair Street underground vaults, and top it off with a visit to a local tavern where you can listen to and share in some storytelling whilst enjoying local whisky!
The duration of this tour is approximately 2 hours. It is not suitable for children under 5 or for those with mobility difficulties.
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Edinburgh: History of Whisky Tour and Whisky Tasting
Slightly different to the ghost tour above, but storytelling is still involved.
This tour focuses on the history of the Edinburgh of times passed, the Old Town and the people that really played a part and influenced the production and creation of some of the whiskies that we know now.
After the walking element of the tour, you will head to a candlelit Megget’s Cellar where you will sample 4 Scotch whiskies, learning more about the manufacturing process and how certain flavours and elements create different tastes in production.
Samples will be from different regions of Scotland such as Speyside, Highland, Islay and Lowland distilleries.
This tour runs for approximately 2 hours.
Holyrood Distillery Gin And Whisky Guided Tour
It’s not all about whisky, Scotland is also well known for some fantastic gins so if we can double up with a tour of both, why wouldn’t we?
I appreciate that time may be limited so this could be a fantastic option to learn a little about both, or, frankly, it’s a great compromise if you have a whisky lover and a gin lover!
Rather than a walking tour, this is in a distillery and is suitable for those with mobility needs as it is indoors and accommodations can be made for that.
Obviously, as the tour is around alcohol, it is for those over 18, but the great thing about the Holyrood Distillery is that they have a cafe/bar area where you can order food, it’s an area where other members of your party could wait and you could potentially order a flight of gin or whisky to enjoy after the tour whilst also enjoying the views over Arthurs Seat.
This is a hands-on, sensory experience where you will learn about the ingredients and methods used to create both gin and whisky. There will be plenty of stories surrounding the area and the influences that helped curate these drinks and plenty of opportunities to sample some of the drinks during processing.
The Holyrood Distillery does also hold a whisky-specific tour should the gin be a total no-no for you, but sometimes it’s nice to have options!
This tour is for a duration of 1 hour.
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Edinburgh: History of Whisky with Tasting and Storytelling
Described as a whisky and folklore evening, this is another tour that is sure to sell out quickly, so do make sure to book ahead if you are interested in taking part!
Whisky appreciation and whisky-tasting on the infamous Royal Mile in the heart of Edinburgh city, it just sounds cosy and heartwarming and lovely, don’t you think?
You will have the opportunity to sample 4 single-malt Scotch whiskies from 4 different regions in Scotland and learn about the notes and flavours used to create them.
These will vary from delicate and subtle to those more bold and fiery tastes.
This tour lasts for a duration of 2 hours and takes place within a private venue and will not require any walking to take part.
These are just a few of our favourite tours on offer, if you have more time available, make sure to take a look at the full-day tours on offer where you will have the opportunity to travel a little bit of Scotland and stop at some of the distilleries themselves.
If you’re in Edinburgh and need somewhere to store your luggage, then check out the best luggage storage options in Edinburgh city centre.