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5 of the best whisky tastings in Edinburgh

Looking to enjoy a whisky tasting in Edinburgh? Here are five of the best places to go.

Published: August 27, 2018
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Scotch whisky and the capital go hand and hand, and as you'd expect by the sheer numbers of bars and shops dedicated to Scotland's national drink, there are plenty of places to sample a dram or two.

Here are five of our favourites.

The Scotch Whisky Experience

(354 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE)

Picture: The Scotch Whisky Experience

If you are a whisky fan then the first stop on any visit to the capital (other than the always amazing Cadenhead's shop), has to be here.

A truly immersive experience, you'll learn all about the story of whisky and enjoy multiple options for drams.

However should you be looking for something more in depth and have a few extra pals to tag along with, the Experience also offer more advanced tastings for groups of 10.

You can enjoy a tour and an advanced tasting with four special whiskies and an education on how to nose, drink and enjoy them properly for £27.00 per person (min groups of 10).

While the extended Platinum Experience offers an early evening tour, plus a guided nosing and tasting of five "contrasting" single malt whiskies followed by an extended viewing of The World's Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky, for £38 per person.

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For those looking for whisky and food, the matching menu experience "The Taste of Scotland" pairs the Platinum Tasting with a three-course Scottish food experience menu expertly prepared by the talented team from the award-winning Amber Restaurant for just £73 per person (min groups of 10).

Whisky Tastings at Whiski Rooms

(4 - 7 North Bank Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2LP)

Picture: Yelp

The Rooms is well known for its excellent range of whiskies and when it comes to tastings they have a fun array of dramming, food matching and educational experiences.

Choose from an introduction and tasting for £25 per person, or match your drams with either cheese or chocolates in their special food pairing events for just £30 per person.

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For a more luxurious and in-depth perspective, you can pay £50 per person and experience a few more expensive, rarer drams.

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Scotch Malt Whisky Society

(28 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JX)

Picture: SMWS

The excellent Scotch Malt Whisky Society has recently refurbished its Queen Street premises and has now opened to the public.

The wonderful Kaleidoscope Bar offers tutored tastings, with three drams for only £15 - while on a Sunday you can grab a platter to share along with a three dram flight of whisky for just £19.

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If you want something a little more bespoke then the team at the Society will offer a customised tasting based on your tastes or requirements for £29 per person (booking in advance is required).

Jeffrey St. Whisky and Tobacco

(The Old Town: 12-14 Jeffrey St, Edinburgh EH1 1DT)

Specialising in a huge range of odd and obscure independent releases Jeffrey Street Whisky and Tobacco do an amazing range of events.

Enjoy a Whisky Afternoon with a fun blind tasting format and an education in Scotch whisky for £15 or learn all about the regions through the medium of five very different styles of Scotch whisky for £24.

Don't worry if you already know your stuff, JSWAT also offer more advanced tastings such as their Old and Rare for £48 (where you'll find drams ranging from 18 years old to anything up to 43!) or our personal favourite the distillery releases vs Independent bottlers which pits two standard releases against releases from independent bottlers for just £20.

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Whisky Tastings at Cadenhead's

(172 Canongate, Royal Mile, EH8 8BN)

Picture: Cadenhead's

Ideally located on the Canongate, the Cadenhead's whisky shop is a true hidden gem in plain sight.

Not only are the guys in the shop some of the most knowledgeable around, the whisky on offer is both excellent value and great quality.

For tastings, the shop offer their own regional tastings (you need to book in advance) which include six whiskies - five single malts and one blend - and sees each of Scotland's regions, styles and categories covered for just £25 per person. Ideal for the curious beginner.

Should you want something a little more personalised, say you want to learn more about how cask styles or age affect the whisky, or you just really like a particular region, then the staff will gladly tailor a bespoke tasting for you for £35 (and above depending on the whiskies you want) per person, again you will need to book in advance.

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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