The best whisky tastings & distillery tours in Edinburgh 2023

When it comes to experiencing the rich and diverse world of whisky, there is no better place to visit than Edinburgh. As the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh is not only famous for its stunning architecture and historical sites, but also for its unparalleled whisky scene. With a multitude of distilleries and whisky bars, the city offers an incredible array of whisky tours that are sure to delight any enthusiast. 

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From delving into the history of the water of life to indulging in tastings of some of the finest single malts, Edinburgh’s whisky tours provide a unique opportunity to learn about and appreciate the craftsmanship behind Scotland’s most cherished spirit. Whether you’re a seasoned whisky connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of whisky, these tours cater to all levels of expertise, ensuring an informative and enjoyable experience. So, grab a dram and embark on a journey of discovery as we take a closer look at some of the best whisky tours the vibrant city of Edinburgh has to offer. 

Best Whisky Tours in Edinburgh: Our top picks

Best whisky distillery visit in Edinburgh:

Discovering Malt Whisky Distillery Day Tour

Best whisky tasting experience in Edinburgh:

The Scotch Whisky Experience: Whisky Masterclass with Expert

1. Whisky Tasting with History and Storytelling

Experience an evening of whisky appreciation on a whisky-tasting adventure along Edinburgh’s renowned Royal Mile. Enjoy the opportunity to taste four different single malt scotch whiskies while being entertained by captivating storytelling from your guide. For those who prefer to abstain from alcohol, there is also the option to join the tour without participating in the whisky tastings.

Begin your journey by meeting your guide at Hot Toddy, located just off the iconic Royal Mile. Over the course of two hours, indulge in the flavors of four exceptional single malt scotch whiskies sourced from the four main whisky-producing regions in Scotland.

Delight your palate with whiskies that range in taste from the refined and understated flavors of the Lowlands to the bold and robust profiles of Islay. To enhance your experience, you will receive tasting cards with detailed descriptions of each whisky that you sample. As you embark on this tour, immerse yourself in traditional storytelling and gain insight into the cultural significance of whisky in the Scottish identity. The entire upper floor of the venue is exclusively reserved for this event, ensuring ample space and privacy to fully enjoy this story-driven evening. 

Price: From £34 per person

Duration: 2 hours

Age restrictions: Over 18s

Hands down the best booked experience we went on throughout our 10 days in Scotland. Angus is an incredibly engaging storyteller, he had us hooked from the start! Excellent historical tales mixed with fantastic whisky and a lovely atmosphere. What could be better?

2. Full-Day Highland Lochs, Glens and Whisky Tour

Discover the rich past, myths, and enchanting stories of the Scottish Highlands during a guided excursion to the lakes and valleys. Take a trip to Dewar’s Whisky Distillery and indulge in a dram of whisky.

You’ll leave from Edinburgh and get driven across the Queensferry Crossing to reach the Kingdom of Fife.  Along the shores of the River Tay, you will discover the stunning town of Dunkeld, which is home to a beautiful cathedral. Here, you will have the opportunity to explore the captivating architecture of the cathedral or wander through the charming streets of this picturesque village. A brief car ride away lies the Hermitage, where you can embark on a short but delightful woodland hike that leads you to the magnificent Black Linn Falls.  

Leaving the Hermitage you follow the wide valley of the River Tay towards the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry. You spend around one hour here, so you can visit the many great shops or have lunch. After lunch, you drive through Highland Perthshire, stopping at Queen’s View overlooking Loch Tummel for a short break. On a clear day the view here is awe-inspiring as it looks over to the unmistakable peak of Schiehallion and beyond to the mountains of Glencoe. From here you travel to the town of Aberfeldy and Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery, where you can discover the secret of how Scotland’s national drink is made. After enjoying a dram of the ‘water of life’, the tour returns you to the Lowlands and back to Edinburgh.

Price: From £79.67 per person

Duration: 9.5 hours

Age restrictions: Over 5s

Driver and tourguide Duncan is a funny man with a world of knowledge. He took us to the most breathtaking spots. And the whisky at Dewar’s was phenomenal. As was the tour inside the distillery.

3. Johnnie Walker Journey of Flavor Whisky Tour

Experience the realm of Johnnie Walker scotch whisky as you step into a captivating exhibit situated on Princes Street in Edinburgh. Delight in dynamic stage acts and savor three handcrafted cocktails personalised to your individual taste.
With top ratings of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Google, as well as being granted the prestigious 5-star Visitor Attraction title by Visit Scotland, this 90-minute guided tour will exceed all your expectations and caters to both whisky enthusiasts and beginners alike.
Participate in the Johnnie Walker flavor questionnaire to discover your unique taste preferences to allow them to tailor the tour according to your palate. Throughout the tour, you will encounter dynamic projections, captivating live performances, and indulge in three delectable cocktails expertly crafted to match your flavor profile. Additionally, non-alcoholic options are readily available, and translation cards are provided in multiple languages upon arrival. 

Price: From £30 per person

Duration: 1.5 hours

Age restrictions: Over 8s

This was an excellent experience. The tour is very well-done -- our guides were terrific -- and includes 3 absolutely delicious cocktails. A really great value and an excellent addition to any trip to Edinburgh!

4. Holyrood Distillery Guided Tour with Tasting

Located in the historical city of Edinburgh, Holyrood Distillery is a contemporary distillery that draws inspiration from its surroundings. They are not afraid to experiment and are committed to shaping the future of spirits.
Their guided tour offers a chance to explore the creation process of gin and whisky, as well as the traditional methods and innovative techniques used in craft distilling. This immersive experience allows you to see the gin and whisky distillery up close, with opportunities for tasting and smelling the products throughout the tour.
At the end of the visit, you have the option to purchase additional spirits and receive a comprehensive introduction from one of the knowledgeable distillery staff members. 

Price: From £20 per person

Duration: 1 hour

Really interesting tour. Very informative guide and some lovely tasting samples. Highly recommend this to anyone.

5. Scottish Highlands & Whisky Full-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Enjoy this incredible day excursion from Edinburgh to witness the stunning rural areas of Scotland. Embark on a journey to the breathtaking Highlands, for the chance to take a pause and savor the country’s iconic beverage.

Departing from Edinburgh, the tour progresses towards the magnificent Kelpies in Falkirk. Continuing deeper into the Scottish Highlands, journey past the sparkling waters of Loch Earn, then take a break for a midday meal at Glenturret, a renowned whisky distillery in Scotland.

After being replenished, savor a glass of Scotch whisky and experience the essence of life in liquid form. Proceed to the Hermitage, located in the central region of Perthshire, for a brief stroll through the forest and witness the awe-inspiring Black Linn Falls on the River Braan. 

On the return journey, visit the quaint village of Dunkeld, an area associated with Macbeth, where the stunning cathedral sits on the banks of the River Tay. Pass the iconic Forth Bridge on the way back into Edinburgh, admiring the fantastic 19th-century feat of engineering.

Price: From £57 per person

Duration: 9 hours

Age restrictions: Over 5s

Duffy, our tour guide, was very personable, had a lot of additional information ready and was very entertaining. The landscape is breathtakingly beautiful and we saw a lot in a short time.

6. History of Whisky Tour and Whisky Tasting

Embark on a guided journey through the city which King James IV, reputedly the first renowned connoisseur of whisky, bestowed an exclusive whiskey production privilege upon. Delve into Edinburgh’s contribution to the global dissemination of whisky and gain insights into the evolution of its manufacturing process.

Afterwards, sample four different types of Scotch whiskies in the dimly lit Megget’s Cellar while being led by a whisky expert. Gain comprehensive knowledge about the elixir of life, ranging from the whisky production methods to the impact of various components on the manufacturing process. Traverse through the various whiskey regions, including Speyside, Highland, Islay, and Lowland distilleries, and initiate your journey towards becoming a whisky aficionado! 

Price: From £35 per person

Duration: 2 hours

Age restrictions: Over 18s

It was a great tour, with delicious whiskey and a very engaging and knowledgeable guide.

7. The Scotch Whisky Experience: Whisky Masterclass with Expert

Experience a truly unparalleled Scotch whisky tasting session in the exquisitely designed glass and marble vault of The Collection Room at The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. Indulge in the flavors of 4 top-quality whiskies accompanied by delightful bite-sized snacks, all while receiving insightful knowledge about each bottle from a knowledgeable expert in the field of Scotch whisky.

Regarded as one of the utmost destinations for Scotch whisky enthusiasts around the globe, The Collection Room houses an astounding collection of 3,384 enchanting bottles of the rarest Scotch whiskies in existence. Immerse yourself in the warm, golden glow of this liquid treasure and the sparkling illumination of crystal lights, all within a truly one-of-a-kind space devoted to Scotland’s iconic national beverage. 

 Prepare yourself for an exclusive and laid-back evening encounter with a small gathering of individuals. Allow a Keeper of the Quaich, an accredited whisky specialist who is globally acknowledged for their expertise and enthusiasm for all things whisky, to guide you on your journey.

Embark on a voyage of discovering the five stages of appreciating Scotch whisky, and then have the pleasure of being introduced to four exceptional, scarce, and well-aged single malts. Each of these whiskies has been carefully chosen to exemplify the distinct characteristics of Scotland’s various whisky regions. To further enhance your experience, every whisky will be accompanied by a delectable canapé that showcases the typical flavors of Scottish cuisine.

Through the magic of flavors and compelling narratives, allow yourself to be transported to the remote and breathtaking regions of Scotland, both in your thoughts and taste buds. Whether you have limited knowledge or are well-versed in whisky, this experience promises to entertain, enlighten, and enrich you, leaving you with a newfound or rekindled appreciation for Scotch whisky. 

Price: From £85 per person

Duration: 1 hour

Age restrictions: Over 18s

Super evening with quality whiskies and canopies.. An excellent host who had an extensive whisky knowledge accompanied with extremely interesting anecdotes.

8. Discovering Malt Whisky Distillery Day Tour

Become more familiar with Scottish whisky on this van excursion from Edinburgh. Discover the distilleries of Glengoyne and Deanston and take a scenic drive along the picturesque shores of Loch Lomond. 

Set off from Edinburgh in the morning in a comfortable van and enjoy the journey westward, passing by the historic Stirling castle.

Arrive at Glengoyne Distillery and learn about the fascinating process of transforming barley, water, and yeast into whisky. You’ll take a guided tour and sample two different whiskies. 

After, take a picturesque drive to the shores of Loch Lomond. Visit a tavern where you can buy a filling lunch and some local brew. Following lunch, you have the choice to take a brief stroll to the viewpoint that overlooks the loch.

Later, head over to Deanston Distillery where you can participate in a guided tour and indulge in a whisky tasting experience. Explore the characteristics of this distillery that was transformed from a cotton mill located on the banks of the Teith River.

Learn about the distillery’s process of creating distinctive whisky flavors before returning to Edinburgh with the tales and tastes of single malt whisky fresh in your memory. 

Price: From £87 per person

Duration: 9 hours

Age restrictions: Over 18s

Fantastic tours of two very different distilleries who both showcase fantastic Highland Scotch whiskies. 

Edinburgh whisky guide and FAQ

Want to spend more time in the whisky region of Speyside? Read our list of the best places to stay.

How much do whisky tours in Edinburgh cost?

Whisky tours in Edinburgh can range in price depending on various factors. The cost typically varies based on the type of tour and the whisky distilleries included in the itinerary. On average, a basic whisky tour in Edinburgh can cost around £20 to £30 per person. This type of tour usually involves a visit to one or two whisky distilleries, where visitors can learn about the whisky-making process and indulge in tastings. However, for those looking for a more in-depth experience, premium tours are available at a higher price range. These tours often include visits to a larger number of distilleries, expert-led tastings, and even the opportunity to create your own blended whisky. Prices for premium tours can range from £50 to £100 or more per person. It is worth noting that prices may also vary depending on the season and availability, so it is advisable to check with the tour operator for the most accurate pricing information. 

When is the best time for a whisky tour in Edinburgh?

The best time for a whisky tour in Edinburgh is during the spring and summer months, specifically from April to September. This is when the weather is relatively mild and tourist attractions, including whisky distilleries, are more accessible. Edinburgh experiences a surge of visitors during these months, and a whisky tour allows you to immerse yourself in the city’s rich whisky culture without feeling overwhelmed by the crowds. Additionally, the longer days and pleasant temperatures make outdoor activities, such as visiting whisky distilleries in the picturesque surrounding countryside, more enjoyable. During this time, many distilleries offer special events and tastings, providing a unique opportunity to sample a wide range of whiskies and learn about the whisky-making process. Overall, a whisky tour in Edinburgh during the spring and summer months offers the perfect blend of favorable weather, vibrant atmosphere, and exciting whisky experiences. 

What is the no 1 whisky in Scotland?

The Glenfiddich Distillery, located in Dufftown, Scotland, produces the number one whisky in the country. With a history that predates the legal recognition of Scotch whisky, Glenfiddich has been a pioneer in the industry for over 130 years. Known for their exceptional craftsmanship and commitment to traditional methods, the distillery continues to produce world-class single malt whiskies that are highly regarded by connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike. The reputation of Glenfiddich is built on their dedication to quality and consistency. From their signature 12-year-old expression to their limited-edition releases, each whisky showcases the unique flavors and characteristics of the distillery. Their range of whiskies offers a variety of flavor profiles, encompassing fruity and floral notes, hints of oak and spices, and a smooth and lingering finish. As the undisputed leader in Scottish whisky, Glenfiddich remains a benchmark for excellence and a symbol of the country’s rich whisky-making heritage. 

How many whisky distilleries are there in Scotland?

Scotland is famous for its whisky production and is home to a significant number of distilleries. Currently, there are over 120 active whisky distilleries in Scotland, spread across five different regions: the Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside, Islay, and Campbeltown. Each region offers its own unique style and characteristics of whisky, making Scotland a diverse and rich hub for whisky enthusiasts. The distilleries vary in size, ranging from small artisanal operations to large-scale facilities. Some distilleries have been producing whisky for centuries, while others are newer establishments. The whisky industry in Scotland not only contributes to the country’s economy but also attracts tourists from around the world who come to experience the rich heritage and craftsmanship behind Scotch whisky. With its abundance of distilleries, Scotland continues to maintain its reputation as the whisky capital of the world. Whether you prefer a peaty, smoky Islay whisky or a smooth and fruity Speyside dram, there is a distillery in Scotland to cater to every whisky lover’s taste. 

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