Oh, For the Love of Whisky! Taste the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh

One of the first things I learned upon arriving in Scotland is the people love their whisky. Well, even that might be an understatement. I mean, they really, really looooove their whisky! Think I’m overstating it? Then head over to the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh for a comprehensive introduction of Scottish Whisky. You’ll find that crafting the finest whisky is an art form, a proud tradition, and a big part of the country’s identity. (Also, in Scotland, they spell it “whisky” and it’s a big deal to distinguish this from the “whiskey” spelling used elsewhere.)

Whisky not your thing? Be sure to check out where you can catch the best views of Edinburgh instead!

Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Scotch Whisky Experience is located towards the end of the “Royal Mile” in Old Town, Edinburgh, just before reaching the Edinburgh Castle. There are several tour packages available, starting from the basic Silver Tour and upwards to Gold, Platinum tours and the Taste of Scotland experience for Scottish Cuisine. My brother and I opted for the Silver Tour at £15.00 per adult, which included an interactive ride about how whisky is made, a presentation of different whisky, a taste test for a single whisky, and a visit to the world’s largest Scottish whisky collection.

The tour starts with starts with the 10-15 minute barrel ride (yes, you are riding in a barrel casket) that shows and explains the basic process of whisky production. At the end of it, you are whisked (not really that quickly, but just wanted to use the word) into a room with other tourists for a presentation of the different elements and types of whisky in the country. At the end of the presentation, you get to taste a whisky of your choosing, while the other tour packages will offer at least 4 single malt Scotch whiskies.

Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, Scotland Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, Scotland

When the taste test concludes, you are then taken to view the most impressive part of the tour, The World’s Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky, and it is glorious! I’m not a whisky enthusiast but even I could appreciate the splendor of this beautiful display.

This collection was actually started by Claive Vidiz, a whisky connoisseur from Brazil, in the 1970s and took him 35 years to amass his collection before landing in its new home in Edinburgh in 2009. The bottles are now housed and perfectly lined up in a display room with another part of the collection in the bar area. In all, there are 3,384 bottles of whisky. Though I haven’t seen many whisky collections, I will venture to guess that it is the greatest display of whisky in the world. Some bottles are even over 100 years old! I’m sure many grown men and women have shed a tear and basked in its glory.

Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, Scotland Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, ScotlandScotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, Scotland Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, Scotland Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, Scotland

The tour ends once you finish going through the collection but you can hang around the bar area to sample more whisky, which is exactly what we decided to do. Behind the bar is a pretty impressive selection of whiskies to try from and we asked the bartender to create us a sampler of his choosing. He was really knowledgeable in explaining each of the brands he poured us what I’d expect to taste and aromas I should detect, which is far more than I learned than any other time drinking whisky.

After enjoying our sampler, we finished up our visit by checking out the store. You’ll find a large selection of just about any whisky to purchase and just ask any of the sales associates for help on the brand recommendations to curb towards your tastes. If anything, you can at least see what incredibly expensive whisky looks like! On display (and for purchase) are several bottles of whisky with VERY high price tags, including a 1966 Dalmore for £18,500 and a 50-year Balvenie being sold for an astounding £27,500!!

WHAAAAT??? 27,500 POUNDS???

Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, Scotland So if you want to taste a bit of the heart of Scotland, try out a whisky tour at the Scotch Whisky Experience. You can find more information on their website: https://www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk/

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Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, Scotland

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  1. Whisky Tango Foxtrot that’s a lot of Whisky. When in Scotland, do as the scotch.

    When ever we visit wineries, they offer great food pairings. I follow a sports blogger who speaks of the situational where he pairs the right Whisky (or Whisky drink) to an occasion. Is this a thing? Do they talk about whisky pairings there?

    1. Yes, they do it in the dinner packages, where they pair Scottish dishes with matching whiskies. I’m sure they do it elsewhere but we’re not sure where.

    1. You should totally make it happen! But you can also go to any bar and all the bartenders we talked to were very happy to talk about different whiskies and how to taste them. The tour just explains the entire process. We’re also going to post distillery tours and I’m sure your husband will love that too!

  2. 3,384 bottles of whisky!??!! Whaaat?! That room is TO DIE FOR. Literally one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen… I want to live in it and I don’t even like whisky. Seriously amazing. I wouldn’t want to taste whisky but I might just to see this! Thanks for sharing – really cool stuff.

  3. Oh MY! I’m not a whiskey drinker as such, but this is so tempting. Loved your photos too, they came out so awesome even in indoor lighting. The world’s largest collection, I can’t even imagine. Great that you stuck around to taste more and it’s always nice when the bartenders actually inform and talk about the different drinks.

  4. Oh wow – that’s a massive collection! I haven’t been to Edinburgh yet, but I’m hoping to go sometime this autumn (a friend and I wanted to go last year, but didn’t have any more holiday days left at work!), so I’ll make sure to include this in our itinerary. Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. I never knew there was a whiskey tour in Edinburgh, something else to do there! The largest collection of whiskey in the world is an amazing thing to see and your photos of it are very impressive, you show how big it really is! The sampling looked fun, you’d need to sample a lot more before justifying the 27,500 GBP price tag, I guess if David Beckham visited he could afford to buy it though!!

    1. The 27,500 GBP was definitely impressive, but somehow it still wasn’t the most amazing bit of whisky we saw! We visited a distillery that had a 100-year-old whisky. That price tag would’ve been absurd!

  6. After reading this, I am bummed that I missed this experience while in Edinburgh. I had passed it several times and never thought to go inside. The ride sounds very informative and I just love the glass displays of all the different bottles. Looks like I’m going to have to return soon to see this.

  7. I know absolutely nothing about Scotch except it tastes pretty good so this is really interesting. I’m absolutely shocked that there is a 27500GBP bottle because that’s wild! I can’t even imagine drinking it.

    1. You’ll learn a lot about scotch in the tour! The 27,500 GBP bottle is pretty amazing but we did see even more expensive/more valuable whisky. Pretty amazing

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