Known in Gaelic as uisge beatha (“water of life”), whisky is the national drink of Scotland and one of the country’s largest exports. The Scotch Whisky Experience at the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre in Edinburgh (located only a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Castle) is a great attraction, whatever your favorite tipple.
Visitors ride in a whisky barrel through a replica of a traditional distillery. They are then regaled with stories charting the development of whisky production in Scotland from a small cottage industry to the multi-million pound industry that it is today.
The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre in Edinburgh — Photo courtesy of Derek Harper
The MacIntyre Whisky Gallery offers further insights into the history of the drink, and there is an interactive sensory room where you can learn more about the different characteristics of single malts from the different areas of Scotland and get a chance to find the perfect whisky for your palate.
At the end of the tour, you can visit the gift shop, which features over 300 varieties of whisky and an interactive whisky map to help visitors choose their perfect dram. There are also numerous other great gifts and souvenirs. Patrons can also enjoy some beautifully presented and locally sourced food and drink in the Amber restaurant.
Tours range from a family-friendly visit lasting around an hour with a free dram (or glass of Irn Bru for under 18’s) to educational excursions that focus more on the social history of whisky and cater to larger groups to in-depth tasting sessions.
There is even a chance to explore the link between whisky and Scottish cuisine; this includes a three-course meal at the Amber restaurant.