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.
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.
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.
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.
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 booking.com. 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.
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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!