The best whisky bars in Edinburgh: 15 to try

Johnnie Walker Princes StreetJohnnie Walker Princes Street

While Speyside or Islay will quite rightly lay claim to being the beating heart of Scotland’s whisky industry, Edinburgh could make a great case for being its soul. Its harbour at Leith once imported the Sherry casks that are so essential to many Scotch whisky labels, and then exported bottle after bottle of Scotland’s national drink to all corners of the globe.

Today, Edinburgh is not only Scotland’s capital city but is also home to the world-famous Fringe, a month-long gathering of actors, comedians and musicians from around the planet. It envelopes every nook and cranny of the city during August. Welcoming that number of visitors is akin to hosting the Olympic Games or World Cup every single year.

Yet there’s so much more to Edinburgh than its summer festivals. Together, its medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town form a World Heritage Site, while the influx of year-round guests supports five Michelin-starred restaurants, belying the city’s small size.
That fusion of curious visitors and discerning locals fuels the vibrant whisky scene in ‘Auld Reekie’. It now encompasses modern bars serving new wave whiskies through to traditional boozers boasting extensive lists. So whether you’re a beginner or an expert, Edinburgh is an essential stop on your whisky journey.

Amber Whisky Bar

Bartender at Amber Whisky Bar

Tucked away in a corner of the Scotch Whisky Experience, next to Amber Restaurant, this bar boasts more than 450 bottles. What’s even more impressive than the selection though is the knowledge and patience of its staff, guiding tourists and locals alike on a journey through Scotland’s whisky regions and localities. The Scotch Whisky Experience itself is a visitors’ centre built in an old school, on the final approach to Edinburgh Castle, and displays what’s reputed to be the world’s largest collection of Scotch whisky.

354 Castlehill, EH1 2NE
+44 (0)131 220 0441

Holyrood Distillery

Hollyrood Distillery

For a taste of whiskies from Scotland’s newer distilleries – including Nc’Nean, Kilchoman, and Kingsbarns – head to Holyrood Distillery, based in a converted railway engine shed in the shadow of Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat. While Holyrood’s own Scotch continues to slumber in its casks, you can sample the distillery’s gin, along with mother’s ruin from Electric Spirit Co and Port of Leith Distillery. The distillery’s bar also offers a little-seen view into the picturesque slopes of neighbouring Holyrood Park.

19 St Leonard’s Lane, EH8 9SH
+44 (0)131 285 8977

Johnnie Walker Princes Street 

Johnnie Walker Princes Street

Johnnie Walker has turned a former department store on Princes Street into the flagship visitors centre for the world’s biggest Scotch whisky brand. Think the Guinness brewery in Dublin, but with less stout and more visual clout, plus panoramic views of Edinburgh Castle and the city’s skyline from the 1820 Rooftop Bar, and classy brushed metal and amber lighting in the Explorers’ Bothy, which boasts everything from big brands to single casks. Once the new kid on the whisky block, it’s now an established part of Edinburgh’s drinks scene.

145 Princes Street, EH2 4BL
+44 (0)131 376 9494

Panda & Sons

Panda and Sons pub red front

Scotch is about so much more than a simple dram in isolation. Whisky cocktails are an essential part of Edinburgh’s bar scene, and aficionados are spoiled for choice for venues. Enter Panda & Sons through a barber’s shop on Queen Street and descend the stairs to find a 1930s speakeasy. Equally thrilling libations are also served at Mothership’s trio of bars, with Bramble and Lucky Liquor in the city centre and The Last Word Cocktail Saloon down the hill in Stockbridge.

79 Queen Street, EH2 4NF
+44 (0)131 220 0443

Port of Leith Distillery

Port of Leith Distillery Bar

Perched at the top of the UK’s first vertical distillery, Port of Leith’s bar offers jaw-dropping views up and down the Firth of Forth, and back into Edinburgh. Owners Ian Stirling and Paddy Fletcher scoured the globe to assemble what they…

Source : https://www.decanter.com/spirits/the-best-whisky-bars-in-edinburgh-12-to-try-465146/