Top 10 Whisky Bars in Edinburgh
07 February 2022
- food and drink
It will surprise no-one that Edinburgh is exceptionally well served by Whisky Bars. The scene has exploded over the last 20 years, with a variety to satisfy the most discerning of aficionados. From the winding streets of the Old Town to the majestic New Town and cosmopolitan Leith, you're never far away from a great bar to enjoy a dram.
So, in no particular order here are a selection of the best whisky bars in Edinburgh.
Amber Restaurant and Whisky Bar @ The Scotch Whisky Experience
[Image Credit: The Scotch Whisky Experience, Facebook]
Situated on the lower-ground floor of The Scotch Whisky Experience, Amber Restaurant and Whisky Bar continues the mission of the must-see Edinburgh attraction to inform and impassion people about Scotch whisky.
The illuminated bar allows for superior visual assessment of the 380 whiskies+ on offer and a wealth of information is offered both by the interactive touch screen distillery guide, and via the more traditional method of chatting with the knowledgeable and friendly bar team. The food offering in this ‘Taste our Best’ accredited Restaurant is a also 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
354 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE (Tel: 0131 477 8477)
The Abbey Bar
Devotees to the The Abbey Bar includes locals, professionals, students and visitors, all of whom find the welcome equally warm, and the selection equally impeccable. The 400+ range of Scotch whiskies is served with pride and knowledge, and there are a few whiskies from further afield.
Complementing the whiskies is a full range of traditional beers, real ales, craft beers and lagers. This can be accompanied by traditional Scottish food, with locally sourced game a particular speciality.
We love: The stone’s throw walk to and from Edinburgh’s famous ‘Meadows’ park.
65 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh EH8 9PP (Tel: 0131 68 4862)
Usquabae Whisky Bar & Larder
[Image credit:Usquabae Whisky Bar & larder]
Pronounced ooh-ska-bay, the name of this popular whisky bar comes from Robert Burn’s poem, Tam O’Shanter, and with over 400 whiskies on offer, guests will be able to have a unique and unforgettable tasting experience. Supported by a local range of craft beers, fine gins and wine, Usquabae Whisky Bar & Larder is definitely a must visit for those who enjoy a tipple.
Not to be overlooked is their excellent food. The kitchen team have created a menu which showcases the finest Scottish seasonal produce with modern twists. However, they don’t keep the two separate! They are passionate in highlighting how well the flavours of different whiskies go with different dishes.
We love: Tutored tasting flights where experienced and passionate bar team sit down and take guests through a range of whisky, from newcomers to those with more experienced palates.
2-4 Hope Street, Edinburgh EH2 4DB (Tel: 0131 290 2284)
Meaning 'Of Scotland' in Gaelic, The Albanach is a modern and welcoming venue on the bustling Royal Mile, serving a range of freshly prepared Scottish dishes, including a delicious breakfast.
More to the point of this article however, is The Albanach’s fantastic selection of 250 malt and blended whiskies includes 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.
197 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1PE (Tel: 0131 220 5277)
The Black Cat
[Image Credit: The Black Cat, Facebook]
A bespoke 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 numbering some 100 fine whiskies is complemented by local and international ales and a menu of Scottish fayre. Traditional Scottish Folk music is performed live on Wednesdays and Sundays, as well as a quiz night on Tuesday.
We love: Late night whiskies til 3am during The Edinburgh Festival –the perfect post-performance nightcap.
168 Rose Street, Edinburgh EH2 4BA (Tel: 0131 225 3349)
[Image Credit: Teuchters Landing]
A former waiting room for the Leith to Aberdeen steamboat ferry, Teuchters Landing offers 90 single malts, 20 international & blended whiskies, as well as 17 beers on tap and 20 wines by the glass.
But the food offering is just as important, with mussels, neeps & 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.
1c Dock Place, Edinburgh EH6 6LU (Tel: 0131 554 7427)
The Bow Bar
[Image: The Bow Bar Twitter]
The Bow Bar’s gantry (rescued from an old church) is stuffed full of 280+ whiskies, all forming a very tempting choice for the whisky connoisseur. Single cask whiskies, 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 free houses, 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 and 2019.
We love: Dog friendly, you can often see a dog curled up in the corner in this warm and welcoming bar.
80 W Bow, Edinburgh EH1 2HH (Tel: 0131 226 7667)
Whiski Bar & Restaurant
[Image Credit: Whiski Bar and Restaurant, Facebook]
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.
119 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SG (Tel: 0131 556 3095)
[Image Credit: Whiski Rooms]
Whiski’s newer sister venue, Whiski Rooms expands on the mission of Whiski by offering a dedicated Whisky Shop and tasting room, all while visitors can enjoy stunning views over The Mound and Princes Street.
Over 300 Scotch whiskies are served here, not to mention a delicious menu of classic Scottish dishes.
Keen to know more about whisky? Whisky tastings run every day and offer an informative and fun way to learn more about Scotland’s national drink.
We love: Enjoying stunning Edinburgh views from one of the Bar’s coveted window tables!
4-7 North Bank Street, Edinburgh EH1 2LP (Tel: 0131 225 7224)
Teuchter’s Bar & Bunker
[Image Credit: Teuchters]
The phrase ‘Teuchter’ is the Scottish version of ‘Country Bumpkin’ - a playful put-down that belies the whisky knowledge and passion displayed by the team at this informal pub.
Situated in Edinburgh’s West End, Teuchters Bar & Bunker combines comfy sofas and a lively atmosphere, and is just 5 minutes’ walk from both Haymarket Station and Princes Street.
The whisky selection takes centre stage – with around 90 single malts and 20 international & blended whiskies on offer. They also have a great range of predominantly Scottish beers, wines, soft drinks, gins, rums and much more.
We love: The traditional chalkboard over the bar bearing the names of all the Distilleries whose output can be sampled here.
26 William Street, Edinburgh EH3 7NH (Tel: 0131 225 2973)
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