The Scotch Whisky Experience, sited on Castlehill, at the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, is a five star visitor attraction. It’s only a short stroll from Edinburgh Castle, St Giles’ Cathedral and many of the other most popular tourist sites.
To get the most from their ‘experience’ most visitors will join one of the tours – Gold, Silver or Platinum. For the real whisky aficionados there are also a number of masterclasses and tasting sessions run by expert members of staff.
The company has its own training school and courses are recognised by the Scotch Whisky industry. They are not just for staff but also for those who just want to increase their knowledge and understanding of the product.
Scotch Whisky tours
The Scotch Whisky Experience works hard to help their visitors to understand the history and heritage behind Scotland’s national drink with an audio commentary available in 20 languages and a number of multi-lingual staff on hand to help.
For example, the Silver Tour includes:
- A whisky barrel ride through the production of Scotch Whisky
- An introduction to the aromas in whisky
- A dram of Scotch malt whisky (Irn Bru for under 18s)
- Viewing of the world’s largest collection of Scotch whisky
- A gift of a crystal whisky tasting glass (adults and concessions)
Diageo Claive Vidiz collection
Every tour includes an inspection of the remarkable Diageo Claive Vidiz Collection which comprises an impressive 3,384 bottles of Scotch whisky.
Lovingly assembled over many years by Brazilian Claive Vidiz, it was purchased by distiller Diageo and brought, with Vidiz’s blessing, to Edinburgh. For many, an inspection of this vast collection is the highlight of their visit.
Whisky Advocate said, “This public display of nearly 4,000 bottles makes your head spin when first encountered – one of the 7 wonders of the Scotch whisky world.”
The earliest reference to whisky
According to J Marshall Robb, in his book Scotch Whisky, “The oldest reference to whisky occurs in the Scottish Exchequer Rolls for 1494, where there is an entry of eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aquavitae”. A boll was an old Scottish measure of not more than six bushels. (One bushel is equivalent to 25.4 kilograms)
Also, on site is the Amber Restaurant which offers visitors traditional cuisine. Often on the menu are haggis, cullen skink, lamb and the humble Scottish raspberry. “It’s Scottish food at its best.”
The Scotch Whisky Experience is fully accessible which means that wheelchair users can access every level of the building. Children are welcomed and can enjoy the taste of Irn Bru, Scotland’s ‘other national drink’ rather than whisky.