Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland is home to one of the world’s most amazing castles, and an abundance of the world’s finest whiskys. Scotland has a rich history of quality whisky production, with great distilleries around the country. So not surprisingly, the largest collection of whisky in the world can be found at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh!

Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile

Conveniently located near Edinburgh Castle, the Scotch Whisky Experience is a multi-faceted whisky journey. The tour begins with a whisky barrel ride, with the ghost of a famous distiller guiding you through the process of whisky making. For anybody that ever rode the old Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World, this will remind you a little of that journey- except that this isn’t about a haunted house filled with ghastly ghouls, but about the magic and history of Scotch whisky.

Whisky experience, Scotland - Largest collection of whisky
While I enjoy a good whisky on occasion, Bell never had the same appreciation. Previously, every time she tried a sip of my whisky she would cringe and grab a glass of water. She decided to go along with this tour for me, because she knows how I complain when I get dragged along to things I’d rather not do. But along with teaching both of us about whisky, Bell surprisingly managed to find an appreciation for the taste of a nice Scotch. “The reason I didn’t like whisky before was because I had only tried bad whisky” she said.

Different Types of Scotch Whisky

Scotch whisky is categorized under 6 regions of Scotland- The Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside, Islay, Campbelltown and the islands. Speyside features the most distilleries and a visit there is similar to visiting a popular wine region. All have varying flavors that appeal to different tastes, especially when you factor how long they have aged in various types of casks. We enjoyed learning about the different regions and varieties of Scotch whisky. General admission to the tour (silver tour) includes two samples. You can choose the gold or platinum tour, which includes more tastings.

World’s Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky

The highlight of the tour was being led into a magnificent showroom of whiskys, some dating back a hundred years. The room actually houses the largest whisky collection on record- a staggering 3,384 bottles of whisky purchased by Diageo from a Brazilian man named Claive Vidiz, who amassed his incredible collection over a period of 35 years. Upon selling his collection to Diageo in 2008, Vidiz said “It is also wonderful to see it safely back in Scotland. We have an expression in Brazil, ‘the good son returns home’, and in my view the collection is back with its family now.” Suffice to say, we could not have asked for a more fitting place to enjoy our drinks, as we were truly in a whisky lovers paradise.

Scotch Whisky experience, Edinburgh - Largest collection of whisky
Our tour guide was absolutely lovely and not at all pretentious, making this a tour that everyone can feel comfortable on. After exiting the whiskey showcase room, we were led into the whisky bar that also featured an entire wall filled with an abundance of incredible whiskys. At this point, those that purchase the option to sample whiskys from all of Scotland’s regions can go to the bar and grab a table with a wonderful view of Edinburgh outside the window.

The Scotch Whisky Experience also has a large gift shop with a big selection of whiskys and whisky related memorabilia to purchase. So you can also swing by to purchase a gift.

Amber Restaurant

The Scotch Whisky Experience has a restaurant downstairs called Amber Restaurant. Unfortunately, Bell and I were on a tight schedule and did not have the opportunity to eat at Amber. Amber Restaurant offers modern Scottish cuisine in a stylish casual-dining environment. For a special occasion, you may want to consider booking the Taste of Scotland Tour, which includes a 3 course dinner at Amber.

Verdict: Thumbs Up

If you visit Edinburgh, and have even a remote interest in whisky, we recommend visiting the Scotch Whisky experience. There are no active distilleries in Edinburgh. So over a weekend visit, you may not have time to tour one. Bell and I were only in Edinburgh for three days, so this was perfect for us.

Scotch Whisky experience
Scotch Whisky Experience
Address: 354 Castlehill, Edinburgh
Times: First tour 10:20am, last tour 5:00pm (5:30pm Saturday and Sunday)
(Approximately 1 hour for the Silver Tour)

Cost of Silver Tour: Adult £16, Concession £14, Child (6-17years): £8,
Family (2 adults and 2 children): £39

Gold Tour: £28 for adults

Platinum Tour: £39 for adults

Taste of Scotland: £75 for adults (3 hour experience that includes a 3 course meal at Amber)

Where to Stay in Edinburgh?

Hotel prices in Edinburgh can vary wildly. Weekends in summer months and during holidays will be more expensive. Visit in the offseason to save money. It depends on your budget, but you’ll often find the best hotel deals on Book a room in advance with free cancellation!

Families especially will find the best value on short term apartment rentals. If you’ve never used Airbnb, sign up here and receive $40 credit off your first stay! Be sure to only book places with consistently good reviews.

Want to travel to the United Kingdom for Free?

Play the credit card points game and use bonus point sign ups for free plane tickets! The most popular card among travel hackers is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The card also includes complimentary priority pass lounge access with free food, drinks and wifi. The annual fee seems steep at $450, but it includes $300 in travel credits. The 50,000 bonus point sign up is good for $750 in travel credit, sometimes enough for a free plane ticket to Scotland! They’ll also compensate you $100 for free Global Entry and TSA pre-check to skip airport lines.

If you don’t travel very frequently, the Delta Skymiles American Express Gold Card is free the first year and just $95 each year after. They offer a 30,000 – 60,000 point bonus after the introductory spend. You’ll typically need around 60,000+ miles for a free flight to the UK, but you can earn these miles with everyday purchases. There are other perks to having the Delta SkyMiles AMEX Gold Card, like free checked bags on Delta flights.

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Disclosure: Thanks to VisitScotland, we received free admission to the Scotch Whiskey Experience, among other attractions. We did not receive financial compensation and this is our genuine take on the experience. This article contains some affiliate links. We receive a small commission when you book or sign up through these links and it costs you nothing extra. Thanks for using them!

5 thoughts on “Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh

  1. I went to Edinburgh during the fringe festval-loved it! Sat on the front row to see Tom Green under a small 50 seat stadium tent. Also saw Tom Green later walking down an alley. Shouted to him from the car–nearly gave him a heart attack, he looked like a dear caught in the headlights. To bad I could only look at the whisky, was preggers.

    1. Haha, that’s an awesome story about Tom Green in Edinburgh! Bell bought us tickets to see Tom Green a few years ago when we were visiting Australia at the Melbourne Comedy Festival as I’ve always been a big fan of his (Bell is not btw!). It was his first ever time in Australia and he shared some funny thoughts on that. Afterwards, we waited in line so I could get a fun photo with him…That’s awesome you gave him a scare! “He looked like deer caught in headlights” huh? You mean like he was in that scene in ‘Freddy Got Fingered?’, lol…Sorry you were pregnant and didn’t get to try any whisky. Next time! 🙂

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