10 of the best bars in Edinburgh for whisky lovers
Sponsored feature: You haven’t ‘done’ Edinburgh, or indeed Scotland, if you haven’t taken time out to sample the national drink. Luckily, the home of the Fringe and numerous other festivals is also home to a number of great whisky bars.
Here, in association with WOW247 partner Auchentoshan, we give you the lowdown on 10 of Edinburgh’s best bars to sample Scotch Whisky in the Scottish capital.
15-16 Market St, Old Town,0131 225 1084
The Doric is Edinburgh’s oldest gastro-pub, built in the 17th Century, and its central location near Waverley Station makes it a great first and last stop in Auld Reekie. Their traditional (but recently refurbished) bar on the ground floor offers the choice of 50 single malts and four cask conditioned ales, and their restaurant and wine bar upstairs is very well regarded.
119 High Street, Royal Mile, 0131 556 3095
The winner of the DRAM Awards Whisky Bar of the Year in 2011, this traditional whisky bar and restaurant on the Royal Mile offers plenty for tourists and natives alike. Their list has been described as “magnificent”, with over 300 malt whiskies on offer, as well as a decent selection of local beers, wine and cocktails. As well as traditional Scottish fare such as haggis and cullen skink, Whiski also has music seven nights a week.
4 North Bank street, 0131 225 7224
Not content with their award-winning Royal Mile location, Whiski has now expanded its Edinburgh presence, opening a companion bar/restaurant as well as a specialist whisky shop and tasting room at the Mound. The shop offers over 500 whiskies, with vintages ranging from 1950 – 2000. Standards are equally high in their second location, judging by the plaudits the new venue has already earned, such as being highly commended at the SLTN Whisky Bar of the Year in 2012.
The Bow Bar
80 West Bow,0131 226 7667
Nestled in one of the Old Town’s most picturesque streets, in the close vicinity of both the Castle and the Grassmarket, The Bow Bar is a class above many of the drinking establishments nearby. It tends to attract whisky aficionados rather than stag and hen parties, thanks to its simple, traditional layout and an absolute commitment to the art of drinking, with close to 200 malt whiskies and a great choice of ales and gins.
The Queen’s Arms
49 Frederick Street, 0131 225 1045
Another gem that’s easy to miss, The Queen’s Arms is a basement bar on Frederick Street with a cosy, upmarket feel, thanks to its bookshelves, leather chairs and an impressive food menu. The bar itself is the undoubted centrepiece of the room and offers a great selection of whisky, ales and cocktails.
19a West Register Street,0131 556 7060
With six large rooms and four bars including a restaurant and ballroom, the Voodoo Rooms offers a lively mixture of entertainment throughout the week including live music and cabaret, in a luxurious setting behind the East End of Princes Street. Their drinks menu is also second to none with whisky, speciality rums, tequilas and cocktails on offer until late.
The Black Cat
168 Rose Street, 0131 2253349
Running parallel with Princes Street, Rose Street’s seemingly endless run of drinking dens plays host to many a pub crawl, but there are still a few treasures to be found, including The Black Cat bar. They have a hand-picked selection of Scotland’s finest whiskies on offer, plus beer, food and coffee. With entertainment on during the week including live music and a weekly pub quiz, the bar can get busy, especially during the festival when it is open until 3am for those whisky lovers wanting to relax and unwind after a show.
61 High street, 0131 557 0330
Observant visitors to Edinburgh’s Old Town will be rewarded with the discovery of this hidden gem, found in one of the many nooks and crannies (or closes) off the Royal Mile. The restaurant serves a high standard of Scottish cuisine, and, as well as whisky, the bar has a great selection of cocktails and wine, and is a romantic, timeless place to while away the hours.
Inn on the Mile
82 High Street, 0131 556 9940
A centrally located hotel as well as pub and restaurant, The Inn on the Mile prides itself on its hearty cooking and a very strong selection of Scotch whiskies, as well as Scottish craft beers, wines, and cocktails, including their’drams with a twist’.
125 George Street, 0131 225 5005
Another central Edinburgh hotel with a buzzing bar and restaurant attached, Tigerlily is one of the places to be seen by the George Street party crowd. At weekends especially the atmosphere is electric, thanks to its salubrious surroundings, inventive cocktail list, and solid selection of Scotch and other spirits as well as beers and wine.
Find these bars on our Edinburgh map:
Established in 1823, Auchentoshan is a smooth, Triple Distilled Single Malt whisky that challenges perceptions by doing things differently. You can order an Auchentoshan in any of the bars mentioned in this feature.