8 of the best whisky bars in Edinburgh

We've picked out some of the best bars and pubs to grab a dram (or two) in the capital.

Published 25th Apr 2017
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Scotland's capital deserves to have some of the country's best whisky bars and thankfully, there are more than a few candidates.

Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar @ Scottish Malt Whisky Society, Queen Street

(28 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JX)

Whisky bars Edinburgh

The Kaleidoscope Bar. Picture: SMWS

The newly renovated Queen Street premises of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society has finally opened its new whisky bar to the public and we couldn't be happier.

Explore its ever-changing spectrum of whisky flavours, with more than 200 rare single malt whiskies and other spirits are available at the Kaleidoscope bar each month.

Offering a unique experience unlike any other on this list, the Kaleidoscope, in conjunction with the Society, focuses on flavour profiles, instead of distillery or region, with staff on hand to guide you through the various styles offering advice on each dram and where to go next.

Be warned though, the majority of their whiskies come in at cask strength, meaning a wee glass of water on the side shouldn't be shrugged at.


(119 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SG)

Picture: Whiski

Situated smack bang in the middle of the Royal Mile, this traditional bar is an easy find for any tourist (or local) looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the hoards of shoppers outside.

The perfect place to enjoy a dram, Whiski's gantry is always well stocked and filled with a range that would make any whisky collector jealous (there’s over 300).

The provides all day dining which means no matter the time of day, you can grab a bite to eat while you take a seat and decide on which whisky to enjoy next.

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Whiski Rooms

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

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Taking the baton from its stablemate and cranking it up a notch or two, the Whiski Rooms, which is also situated near the Royal Mile, offer a brilliant selection of drams in a far grander setting.

Perched on the Mound, the bar offers dramatic views over Princes Street and offers daily tutored tastings, a dedicated whisky shop and it just so happens to also be home to one of only four Ardbeg embassies in Scotland.

Bow Bar

(80 West Bow Edinburgh EH1 2HH)

Picture: Contributed

Located on Victoria Street (also known as West Bow), one of the most spectacular streets in the Old Town, and situated close to both the Castle and the Grassmarket, the Bow Bar is one for fans of truly traditional pubs.

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Hidden behind its unassuming frontage of blue paint and plain glass windows, you’ll find a classic gantry filled to the brim with whisky – over 250 – and a traditional bar that offers more than its fair share of real ales.

With friendly staff and a cosy atmosphere, this is a real hidden gem in the heart of Edinburgh.

Amber Restaurant & Whisky Bar

(354 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE)

Picture: Amber Restaurant & Whisky Bar

For award-winning food as well as a great location and over 440 whiskies, you can’t go wrong with the Amber Restaurant and its accompanying whisky bar.

The restaurant, which is part of the Scotch Whisky Experience, offers whisky and food pairings as well as fantastic Scottish Tapas.

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Also on offer are a selection of regional tasting trays for those of you who want to get the most out of your whisky tasting experience.

We also recommend you take a look at the McIntyre Whisky Gallery, a beautifully lit bar which offers direct access to the Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch Whisky Collection (described as one of the 7 wonders of the Scotch whisky world).

Usquabae Whisky Bar & Larder

(2-4 Hope St, Edinburgh EH2 4DB)

Picture: Usquabae

If you’re looking to enjoy your dram in historical surroundings of the Edinburgh Vaults then Usquabae is the place for you.

With over 400 whiskies on offer, you’ll be able to try anything from blends to single cask single malts from the sixties and everything in between.

Run by some of the most knowledgeable whisky geeks the capital has to offer, there’s always a tour guide on hand to take you through the world of Scotch whisky be you a beginner or a seasoned veteran. Too much choice?

Well why not take away the hassle of having to choose by checking out their excellent tailored tastings that include some cracking themes; the Closed Distillery flight comprises of drams like 1977 Port Ellen and a 1981 Brora while the Through the Decades flight gives a vertical tasting through the decades.

Canny Man's

( 237 Morningside Rd, Edinburgh EH10 4QU)

Picture: Canny Man's

They don't make bars like the Canny Man's anymore and if they did it would probably be a pale imitation of the real thing.

The first thing you'll notice is the gantry with its bright red paint job and the hundreds of bottles that rest there.

There's over 250 whiskies on offer here and the staff are deadly serious about helping you to enjoy them, so pull up a pew, ask for some advice and let the people behind the bar regale you with tales of the pub's rich history as you take in the eclectic decor that's been gathered by the patrons of the pub since it first opened in 1871.

Aslo we hear they run a free of charge buffet Monday to Thursday between the hours of 5 and 6pm.

Teuchter's Landing

(1c Dock Pl, Edinburgh EH6 6LU)

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Located on the popular Shores of Leith, the Teuchter's Landing is a great place to grab a pint, head to their beer garden and soak in the sunshine during Scotland's two weeks of Summer (usually spread across individual days in May and August) but should you decide to stay inside, and there's good reason to, you'll find an excellent array of over 100 whiskies, including single malts, blends and international whiskies.

Best of all they have the Hoop of Destiny, a kind of adult carnival game that sees the prize being a dram of whisky instead of a stuffed toy, and the kind of fun that all whisky bars should engage in.

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