Tue 24 Nov 2015
The Scotch Whisky Experience recently invited me to do their tour and I brought my husband along. I’m a complete beginner when it comes to whisky tasting and my husband is quite an enthusiast. So we were interested to see how the Scotch Whisky Experience tour would cater to our different interests.
We arrived late afternoon on Saturday and there was a massive queue for tickets. We had pre-booked ours, so we were able to skip the queue. I would highly recommend getting your tickets in advance for that reason.
The tour started with a “swirling, bubbling ride through a virtual distillery”. The Blender’s Ghost guided us along, explaining the whisky making process step by step. I didn’t think the ride was as exciting as it sounded, but it did give a good overview of information.
After the ride, our guide met us and showed us to a room where we could choose a whisky to taste. I found this part interesting as she grouped the distilleries into four regions (Lowland, Highland, Speyside and Islay) and described the different characteristics of whiskies from those regions. She gave us a scratch and sniff card so that we could smell the aromas and pick our favourite one to taste. I chose the Speyside whisky as I liked the banana aroma. Our guide showed us how to taste our whiskies and gave us the tasting glasses as a souvenir.
For the tasting, we went to see the world’s largest collection of Scotch whisky. It was very impressive and looked amazing displayed in large glass cabinets. Then we were the led out to the bar, where the collection continued. This is where the tour ended. We had a Gold Tour ticket, which meant we got a tasting tray of all four whiskies from the earlier session to compare and contrast. After sampling these, I discovered I preferred the Lowland Whisky as it was light and ‘citrussy’ and probably better for beginners than the Speyside one I tried in the first tasting.
We enjoyed our visit to the Scotch Whisky Experience. I learnt a bit about whisky distillation and got an introduction to tasting. My husband already knew most of the information but enjoyed sampling the whiskies from the different regions. I would recommend this tour if you’re interested in whisky but don’t have time to visit a distillery out of town.
Scotch Whisky Experience, 354 Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE