Hogmanay blogger round-up

Each year at the Scotch Whisky Experience, we welcome bloggers from all over the world on our award-winning whisky tours. Covering everything from travel to fashion, foodie adventures to living abroad, each blogger we meet has a unique and interesting angle, and we just love hearing what they’ve got to say about their experiences in Edinburgh and Scotland.

As 2018 approaches, our special Hogmanay blog post asks some of the top bloggers we met this year to tell us a bit more about what they loved about Edinburgh, their favourite parts of our tour, and whether we’d managed to convert them into whisky lovers! We even got a few insights into what they like to get up to for their own new year celebrations. You can also find links below to their reviews of our Scotch whisky tour here in Edinburgh.


Home country: USA

Diana Chen and her sister Hope specialise in travelling the world on a budget, and their blog has some great tips on what to do when you’ve got a short amount of time in a country or city. We welcomed Diana on a whisky tour earlier this year.

Read Diana’s Scotch Whisky Experience review

What was your favourite part of your time at the Scotch Whisky Experience? 

It’s really difficult to pick just one favorite part since I truly enjoyed all of it, but seeing the world’s largest collection of whisky was probably the coolest part of the tour for me. I’ve never seen so much whisky in one room, spanning multiple decades.

How do you like your whisky?

I prefer my whisky over ice – ideally over one large ice cube.

Simply Emma

Simply Emma's review of the Scotch Whisky Experience

Home country: Scotland

Scottish blogger Emma Muldoon documents her life and explorations as a wheelchair user with muscular dystrophy, throughout Scotland and across the world. Her insights into accessible travel, shopping, sightseeing and daily life are brilliant for anyone – businesses or individuals – wanting to understand more about accessibility.

Read Emma’s Scotch Whisky Experience review

How do you celebrate New Year?

I enjoy the simple things the most and love nothing more than to celebrate New Year at home with my family and lots of great food in front of the TV.

What was your favourite part of your time at the Scotch Whisky Experience?

It’s hard to pick one thing as the whole experience was unique and fun. Even though I’m not a whisky drinker I still found the tour really enjoyable and loved our tour guide. It was amazing to see the largest whisky collection in the world as well as beginning the tour with a fun accessible Whisky barrel ride explaining the production of Scotch whisky.

Only By Land

Home Country: England

James Smith runs the travel and photography blog Only By Land, which documents his travels around the world on land – with tips and advice on how readers can plan their own overland adventures. James attended a Morning Masterclass with us in the autumn of 2017 as part of a trip to Edinburgh.

Read James’s Scotch Whisky Experience review

What do you remember most about your time in Edinburgh?

From my time in Edinburgh I remember climbing Arthur’s Seat.  I got lucky with the weather and witnessed a beautiful sunset.

How do you like your whisky?

I used to like my whisky with ice but I learnt on the Morning Masterclass Tour that to fully appreciate the flavour and aroma it’s best without.

How will you be celebrating New Year?

This new year I’ll be traveling through Eastern Europe and have no idea where I’ll be. One thing guaranteed is that it will be super cold!

The Budget Minded Traveler

Home country: USA

Jackie Nourse is a self-proclaimed ‘adventure addict’ who has been specialising in solo world travel since she was just 18, running The Budget Minded Traveler to document her immersive approach to exploring the world. Jackie visited the Scotch Whisky Experience in the spring as part of a jam-packed Edinburgh itinerary.

Read Jackie’s Scotch Whisky Experience review

What was your favourite part of your time at the Scotch Whisky Experience?

While the tour was entertaining and informative, my favorite part was sitting with my five samples in the tasting room afterwards, overlooking Edinburgh on a beautiful rainy day. I finally got to check off “Drink Scotch Whisky in Scotland” from my bucket list that day, and it meant so much to me to have learned about and be able to appreciate even more what I was drinking.

What will you remember most about Scotland?

The people in Edinburgh! Even though it rained the entire time I was there, the energy of the people amazed me. They were all so proud to live there and so enthusiastic to share stories, and I now know that Edinburgh has a LOT of them. I can’t wait to go back.

Compass and Fork

Compass and Fork - Mark and Elizabeth Rudd

Home country: Australia

Mark and Elizabeth are the team behind Compass and Fork, a foodie travel blog that has seen them travel to all corners of the globe in search of experiences for those wanting to experience a country like a local. They visited us for a Taste of Scotland tour experience back in the summer of 2017.

Read the Compass and Fork Scotch Whisky Experience review

What was your favourite part of your time at the Scotch Whisky Experience? 

There are two things we keep mentioning to people about the Scottish Whisky Experience: the ride at the beginning and the amazing whisky collection! The ride is a great way to “experience” whisky making and the collection helps me to justify adding another bottle to our own whisky collection!

How do you celebrate new year? 

We will spend New Year with some good friends and enjoy a whisky or two. We usually try to find a new whisky we haven’t tried to start the new year.

Nicki and KK

China bloggers

Home country: China

Nicki and KK visited us as part of an itinerary put together by Edinburgh’s China Ready project, aimed at creating a welcoming experience for Chinese visitors to Scotland. They are vloggers based in mainland China, using the country’s main social media channels, WeChat and Weibo, to post about fashion, lifestyle and travel. We hosted them for dinner in Amber Restaurant, followed by a video livestream from our McIntyre Viewing Gallery.

What was your favourite part of your visit to Scotland?

Nicki: There are quite a few unforgettable memories during my visit in Scotland. First, I was surprised about that the weather on that day was way much better than I expected.  Under the beautiful whole purple sky, we had a great time enjoying the stunning sunset on Calton Hill. Overlooking the city from Calton Hill, I have been deeply touched by the fresh vitality of those magnificent historical buildings. Besides, I was shocked by the stunning view of the Highlands. The road trip along A82 was the best I’ve ever had, the sight outside of the window making me feel I live in a movie.

KK: The most impressive part during my time in Scotland was the way to the Highlands. That day the weather was great, with an open view and comfortably cool temperature. I felt I was totally free. Another one is the scene that I could not forget after I saw it when I visited the Farmer’s Market in the city town. I found the fruit there was really fresh and tasty. A guitar singer was singing under the shadow of trees, a young couple with their cute doggie were drinking coffee nearby listening to the singer. It was really casual and relaxing.

The French Kilt


Home country: France, but living in Scotland

Sarah originates from France but is an Edinburgh local, working from one of the Old Town’s many busy hostels. We met her at VisitScotland’s annual Expo, and invited her for a tour so she could give a local’s perspective on exploring the city of Edinburgh.

Read Sarah’s Scotch Whisky Experience review

What was your favourite part of your time at the Scotch Whisky Experience?

Really, I think my favourite moment at the Scotch Whisky Experience was the wee movie about all the different regions that produce whisky in Scotland. Usually I’m not such a fan of films in museum but this one really got me in, thanks to the massive round screen. I really felt so happy to be living in Scotland when I watched it. It really puts you in the mindset of being on a “voyage” accross Scotland and its marvellous whiskies.

How do you say ‘happy new year’ where you are from?

I am from France, where we say “Bonne année” ! This means “good year”, basically. Some people also say “Meilleurs voeux”, which means best wishes. However, you cannot say anything before the new year actually started, otherwise it’s bad luck. In my region, Alsace, some people still speak the Alsacian dialect and they have a funny word for the new year wishes. They say “Gueta Rutch”, it means “happy slip” in the New Year… Awkward.

The Time of Our Lives

J&N - Brecon May 2015

Home country: England

Nigel and Jane are UK-based travel bloggers using their experience in broadcasting to create engaging blog and video posts about their adventures around the world. They visited us on a rainy day in May 2017 for a whisky tour as part of a weekend trip to Edinburgh.

Read/watch Nigel and Jane’s Scotch Whisky Experience review

How do you celebrate New Year?

The key ingredients to our New Year are family and dancing … oh, and raising a glass to Jane’s late, Scottish father.

How do you like your whisky?

We really liked the SWE’s approach of ‘it doesn’t matter how you like to drink it, as long as you do’! So we’re happy to admit to liking whisky neat with two ice cubes!

Travel Colorfully

Home country: USA

Taylor runs Travel Colorfully, a blog dedicated to her life of globetrotting. When Taylor got in touch to tell us she was a serious bourbon drinker, we knew we had to send her on a Morning Masterclass to see if we could bring her over to the Scotch side! We think we did a pretty good job.

Read Taylor’s Scotch Whisky Experience review

What was your favourite part of your time at the Scotch Whisky Experience?

I’m more of a bourbon drinker so I really enjoyed delving into something new, and not just tasting Scotch whisky, but actually learning about it.

What will you remember most about Scotland?

I am a huge Harry Potter fan so I loved wandering around Edinburgh and putting together a little Harry Potter tour by myself!

How do you like your whisky?

I’m a whisky ginger kind of girl!

Mad About Travel

Mad About Travel

Home country: Spain, but living in Edinburgh

Patricia Cuni is based in Scotland and runs Mad About Travel, a Spanish blog about exploring both Scotland and further afield. We invited Patricia on tour when we realised that she’d lived in Edinburgh for a number of years and hadn’t visited us yet, and she gave us a great write-up.

Read Patricia’s Scotch Whisky Experience review

What was your favourite part of your time at the Scotch Whisky Experience?

To be fair, I loved the whole Scotch Whisky Experience. But if I have to pick just one part as my favourite, I would go with the Sense of Scotland video. The images, the music, the explanations… it definitely gave me wanderlust and made me want to go explore every single one of the whisky regions in Scotland.

How do you like to celebrate new year?

This is a funny one. I usually celebrate New Year in Barcelona, where I am originally from, because my birthday is on the 1st of January and I want to spend that moment with my parents, sister and uncles. In Spain, we do something a bit funny for New Year’s Eve. Basically we all get together to watch the 12 bells signalling the end of the year and the beginning of the new one… And we eat 1 grape with each toll of a bell. That means, having to eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds, which is a bit of a fun challenge! They say if you manage to, then you’ll have good luck in the New Year.

Happy Hogmanay and sláinte mhath to all of our friends, followers and visitors! We look forward to welcoming you back to the Scotch Whisky Experience some day soon.

Explore our Scotch whisky tour experiences here for next time you visit Edinburgh. The Scotch Whisky Experience is open every single day, including New Year’s Day and Boxing Day. The only day we close is Christmas Day.

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