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The Scotch Whisky Experience

Whisky is as ubiquitous to Scotland as wooden shoes are to the Netherlands and the baguette is to France. The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh will take you on a tour to discover the secrets of Scotch whisky. Board a whisky barrel that will take you through the replica of a distillery and learn what is involved in making this liquid gold.

The Scotch Whisky Experience is located on the Royal Mile close to Edinburgh Castle. It was founded in 1987 by 19 Scotch whisky companies under the name The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre. The goal was to create a permanent attraction where visitors can learn about the history and the development of Scotch whisky. Later, the name was changed to the Scotch Whisky Experience, a place that now draws tens of thousands of visitors a year.

The largest Scotch whisky collection
The largest Scotch whisky collection


Riding in a whisky barrel

The tour begins with a ride in a whisky barrel, making this attraction enjoyable for children as well as whisky die-hards. The barrel will take you through the various parts of the whisky making process. Along the way, a projected interactive guide explains all about the yeast and fermentation and how long the whisky has to remain in the barrels to transform from a translucent liquid into the golden brown nectar. Sound effects and smell sensations stimulate all of the senses on this ride. The second part of the tour is on foot. Admire the largest Scotch whisky collection in the world: the Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch Whisky Collection. This collection of almost 3,500 bottles is securely stored in a safe.

“The largest Scotch whisky collection of nearly 3,500 bottles is kept securely in a safe”

Sample the liquid gold

Of course the tour concludes with a whisky tasting. Depending on the tour that you have booked, you can sample up to 4 different single malt whiskies. For children there is a taste of Irn Bru (pronounced 'iron brew'), an orange-coloured Scottish soft drink. Visitors may choose from 4 different tours: Silver, Gold, Platinum and the Taste of Scotland tour. The latter also includes a 3-course dinner served in the attraction’s Amber Restaurant and must be booked in advance. For those who are interested in taking the Platinum tour, we also recommend reserving in advance as this tour is only offered once a day.

Snacks at the Taste of Scotland tour
Whisky tasting

A master class for whisky enthusiasts

Real whisky lovers will opt for the master class that starts at 10:00 am (business days only). This tour includes a more extensive visit to the Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch Whisky Collection, which has some of the world's most exclusive whiskies. You will also be able to taste and compare different whiskies, such as a blended grain whisky, a single malt and a single grain whisky. And if it feels a little early in the day to drink spirits, you may also conclude the tour with a cup of tea or coffee.

Photo credits

  • Snacks at the Taste of Scotland tour: The Scotch Whisky Experience
  • Whisky tasting: The Scotch Whisky Experience