We had a chance to make a short visit to Edinburgh this past week, and were thoroughly impressed. The Scottish capital is a must-visit for the whisky enthusiast, and for admirers of Scottish history and culture in general. While Edinburgh contains the Scotch Whisky Experience (a visitors center and shop originally created in the late 1980’s by a consortium of whisky companies), it also contains the largest selection of quality whisky bars we have ever witnessed. While we recently covered the whisky scene in Paris, Edinburgh is far superior in terms of variety, availability, and price. In fact, even the modern bars with fancy cocktails and ludicrous prices contained a decent selection of single malts. However, for real selection and value, one should hit up one of the many quality whisky bars in the city. Rather than duplicate, I refer the reader to Edinburgh Whisky Blog’s map of whisky bars in the city. I’ll merely mention that we thoroughly enjoyed both the Albanach and the Abbotsford.
Our trip began with a Ryanair flight, and with 2 for 1 whisky, we couldn’t resist. It arrived, to our surprise, in bags rather than mini-bottles. Think of ketchup packets at a fast food restaurant, fill them with whisky, and you have the idea. On the Royal Mile (Edinburgh’s primary tourist strip), we encountered numerous shops and bars, with incredible selections and prices relative to our experiences in Canada. We also visited the Scotch Whisky Experience, taking their tour. While a bit disappointed at the tour’s focus at those who know nothing about whisky, we enjoyed the interactions with fellow tour-takers. All in all, a very nice trip. We’ll have more details about specific elements later as we find time to write up our notes. The photos from our visit give a much better picture (excuse the pun) of our experience than words, so I’ll defer details to the photos.