Edinburgh and whisky heritage go hand in hand. From the port of Leith becoming the city's whisky district in the 1820s, to the grand Usher Hall - gifted to the city by Andrew Usher, a 19th century whisky blender.
So, it’s no surprise that the city is exceptionally well served by whisky bars. From the winding streets of the Old Town to cosmopolitan Leith, you're never far away from a great bar to enjoy a dram.
In no particular order, here are a selection of the best whisky bars in Edinburgh.
1. The Canny Man’s
Quoted as ‘The Best Pub in the World’ by chef Rick Stein
Located in Edinburgh’s leafy Morningside, The Canny Man’s has a delightfully eclectic décor – and the same can be said for their whisky selection, which includes 250 whiskies.
If you’re unsure what to sample, the friendly staff are happy to help – and regale you with stories of the bar’s history, which dates back to 1871! If whisky isn’t your tipple of choice then fear not, they have a formidable reputation for their Bloody Mary.
We love: Spotting the quirky items which decorate the bar’s ancient walls.
Taking its name from an old Scottish word for whisky
Pronounced ooh-ska-bay, the name of this popular whisky bar comes from Robert Burn’s poem, Tam O’Shanter. The shelves of Usquabae are crammed with 400+ whiskies – all hand-picked for their special quality and unique flavour.
A must for those who enjoy a tipple, they also run an exciting monthly collaboration with leading whisky brands, which include an enticing selection of whisky flights, cocktails and delicious food pairings.
If you’re interested in sampling a range of flavours, why not book yourself on a Whisky Tasting session and enjoy either a three dram introduction to Scotch whisky or a five dram masterclass of old and rare whisky matched with food.
We love: The Monthly Takeover Menu, which matches top-notch whisky with delicious dishes.
3. Amber Restaurant & Whisky Bar
Rare and limited edition drams
Situated on the lower-ground floor of The Scotch Whisky Experience, Amber Restaurant & Whisky Bar continues the mission of the 5-star visitor attraction to inform and inspire people about Scotch whisky.
The illuminated bar allows for superior visual assessment of the 450 whiskies+ on offer and a wealth of information is available by the knowledgeable and friendly bar team. Unsure what to have? Their Whisky Flights not only contain a variety of whiskies, but often include rare or limited drams.
The food offering in award-winning restaurant is also a highlight – from delicious Scottish tapas to a full three course meal.
We love: The taste sensation of matching whisky with food under the expert guidance of Amber’s Whisky Advisors.
4. The Albanach
Meaning ‘of Scotland’ in Gaelic
The Albanach is a welcoming venue on the bustling Royal Mile, serving a range of freshly prepared Scottish dishes, including a delicious steak and ale pie.
More to the point of this article, however, is their fantastic selection of 220+ malt and blended whiskies including several single cask bottlings and a large selection of rare malts. There is also a huge range of other beverages including cask ales.
We love: Sitting outside watching the buzz of The Royal Mile go by on a balmy summer evening.
5. The Devil’s Advocate
Housed in an old Victorian pump house
Tucked away down a classic Edinburgh close off the Royal Mile, The Devil’s Advocate has one of the most beautiful bars in the city.
The back bar is a sight to behold with an enormous array of rare spirits, including more than 300 whiskies.
We love: Watching the world go by while enjoying a tasty sharing platter up on the mezzanine dining floor.
6. 1820 Rooftop Bar
Awe-inspiring views of the city
One of Edinburgh’s newest whisky additions is Johnnie Walker Princes Street. Eight floors take visitors through an immersive exploration of the 200 year old history behind the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky.
Enjoy hand-crafted cocktails, blended and single whiskies, all of which can be perfectly accompanied by a range of seasonal dishes at the 1820 Rooftop Bar.
For the ultimate whisky tasting experience, The Makers Cellar Experience takes customers to an underground cellar for a taste of exceptional whiskies straight from the cask.
We love: Watching the sunset over the city, which a delicious whisky cocktail.
7. The Black Cat
Wet your whistle at their lively folk music nights
A small bar in the heart of the city, The Black Cat is a cosy bolt hole, with a great outdoor seating area on Edinburgh’s atmospheric Rose Street.
A hand-picked selection of whiskies is complemented by local and international ales and a menu of Scottish fayre. Lively folk music performances make this a fun place to enjoy a dram while listening to toe-tapping tunes.
We love: Late night whiskies during The Edinburgh Festival – the perfect post-performance nightcap.
8. Teuchter’s Landing
Waterside views on a sunny day
A former waiting room for the Leith to Aberdeen steamboat ferry, Teuchters Landing offers an excellent variety of over 100 whiskies, including single malts, blends and international drams.
But the food offering is just as important, with mussels, neeps and tatties, and haggis stovies alongside bar staples like burgers and hot dogs.
We love: Enjoying a cold drink on a hot summer’s day in their large beer garden.
9. The Bow Bar
A new featured whisky each week
The Bow Bar’s gantry (rescued from an old church) is stuffed full of 300+ whiskies, all forming a very tempting choice for the whisky connoisseur. Single cask, whiskies with a variety of finishes and newly released whiskies are frequently featured, but old favourites are always available.
In the tradition of great Scottish bars, the ambience is cosy and informal, and it’s not hard to see why the Bow Bar has a host of accolades under its belt, including ‘Best Bar in Scotland’ at the Scottish Hospitality Awards 2018, 2019 and 2022.
We love: Being dog-friendly, you can often see a dog curled up in the corner of this warm and welcoming bar.
10. Whiski Bar & Restaurant
Crowd pleasing dishes to accompany your dram
With 300 whiskies to add to its selection of wine, cocktails, and local beers, Whiski Bar & Restaurant is a bar for the true whisky devotee.
Situated on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, Whiski has a unique ambience, with shabby chic décor and mood lighting creating the perfect environment to sample a ‘wee dram’. The excellent food offering concentrates on the Scottish classics, using the very best local seasonal produce.
We love: The fantastic live music that brings Whiski Bar to life 7 nights a week.
Food and Drink in Edinburgh
Eating and drinking in Edinburgh is a culinary delight, with something for all tastes.