The perfect match: Whisky bars in Edinburgh

If you’re out and about exploring the city of Edinburgh, visiting a really good whisky bar needs to be on your list. Our team here at the Scotch Whisky Experience are Edinburgh locals through and through, and if you ask any of them where to go and what to do in the city, they’ll be happy to give you their recommendations. Visitor Experience Manager Ali Baxter has put together a list of his personal favourite whisky bars of Edinburgh: whether you’re looking for quaint old town ambiance and cosy spot by the fire, or somewhere that’s right in the heart of the action as you get ready for a night out, we’ve got the whisky bar for you.

Not only that, but if you’re more partial to a pint, we’ve got a cracking recommendation for a Scottish beer and a dram when you get there.

Amber Bar and Restaurant

Amber Whisky Bar (The Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh)

After enjoying one of the Scotch Whisky Experience tours, you are no doubt wanting to continue your foray into the world of Scotch whisky. Without leaving the building, the Amber Bar has well over 400 different Scotch whiskies to choose from, plus a diverse and contemporary Scottish menu.

Amber is a modern, central spot with touches of tweed and copper, with the folks behind the bar eager to recommend some of the more unusual drams from the length and breadth of the country, as well as some favourites found in bars around the world. Ask the team to create a you a whisky flight based on what you already enjoy, and maybe even match it with some delicious Scottish produce (try the cheese board or the Scottish tapas). You cannot go wrong!

Dram tried…🥃

Ardmore Port Wood Finish, with Williams Brothers’ Fraoch Heather Ale

The Jolly Judge

In an unassuming courtyard just off the Royal Mile, is the Jolly Judge. When thinking of a cosy little Scottish pub, you think of local beers, an open fire, regular pub quizzes, a rich history and outdoor seating to enjoy the long and fruitful Scottish summers… The Jolly Judge ticks all the boxes.

The whiskies on offer cover the length of the bar, but you’ll still find a couple of more exclusive drams if you want to push the boat out. Sitting out in the sunshine, enjoying a dram and listening to one of the many walking history tours going by, could you want anything else?

Go now, and thank me later.

Dram tried…🥃

Bunnahabhain PX with Fallen Brewing’s Chew Chew Stout 

Usquabae Whisky Bar and Larder 

Usquabae Bar, Edinburgh (Credit and copyright: Usquabae)
Usquabae Bar, Edinburgh (Credit and copyright: Usquabae)

On Princes Street’s West End lies a real hidden gem of Edinburgh. As soon as you walk down the stairs you are greeted by bar staff that are enthusiastic, helpful and impeccably dressed. Around the bar are little booths if you wish to have a more private evening or a large table in the middle that plays hosts to more of a communal drink, as well as regular whisky tastings.

The back bar is glistening with Scotch whiskies that sit alongside whiskies from around the globe, not to mention a few Scotch bottlings I never thought I would be able to try again! Great local fayre, fantastic bar staff and cracking whiskies… it’s a must!

Dram tried…🥃

Usquabae’s Single Cask Glen Moray 10 year old (bottled by Berry Bros), with Edinburgh Beer Factory’s Paolozzi lager

The Black Cat

If you are needing a break from shopping on Princes Street or George Street, why not pop into The Black Cat on Rose Street for a bite of lunch and a dram? You’ll find yourself in a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere, with a TV on the corner if you’re partial to relaxing with a dram whilst watching the rugby. Behind the bar you’ll find a great selection of Scotch plus Swedish, Irish and Japanese.

I have personally never seen such an impressive selection of Ardbeg whiskies: on the occasion I went in, it would have been rude of me not to try the new Ardbeg Grooves… I was not disappointed!

Good toastie, great beer and Scotland won the rugby: all in all, a successful trip to the Black Cat!

Dram tried… 🥃

Ardbeg Grooves with Campervan Brewery’s Leith Juice

What are your favourite whisky bars in Edinburgh? Let us know in the comments and we’ll let our team know!

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