Castle Esplanade
Royal Mile




Whisky Experience


The Whisky Experience

Perhaps the first thing you learn as a tourist is to avoid any attraction touted as "an experience", but sometimes you just have to embrace the cheesiness of it all and be a total tourist for the afternoon. And so we ended up riding in whisky barrels on a ride through a big warehouse with smell-o-vision and hammy actors explaining how whisky is made.

part of the enormous collection of whiskys at the 'experience'

Largest Collection of Whisky

A highlight of the tour is the whisky room -- 3500 bottles of scotch. These all came from a private collection (they gave us the name of the person, but I apparently forgot to write it down) who sold teh whole lot to the Whisky powerhouse Diageo. It's fascinating to see the various years and bottles -- some quite old.

We went into this expecting a tour that was a bit cheesy and hokey, and while it was an interesting tour (with a ride), it doesn't come close to a tour of an actual working distillery. It's tremendously popular, being about a minute from Edinburgh Castle, and very crowded.

The "tour" is really a ride in the whisky-barrel through a series of filmed vignettes and flashy lights/effects, followed by a video-led explanation of the whisky regions and a view of the 3500 bottle collection in the vault with a taste of a representative whisky from the region you chose earlier. While the ride sufficiently explains the process for making whisky, at least generally, the rest of the tour content is minimal -- you may be better served to take your nine pounds and taste a few drams at the bar instead of taking the tour.