Best Whisky Tours in Edinburgh: Distilleries, Experiences & Tastings

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Immerse yourself in educational yet entertaining whisky tours in Edinbugrh that teach visitors about the scotch production process, from malting and fermentation to distillation and ageing. Use all five senses, taking in flavours, aromas, and textures that bring Scotland’s water of life alive during the following distilleries, fun experiences, and whisky-tasting sessions!

Note: In Scotland, whisky is without the “e”. Whiskey is the Ireland and US spelling.

You may also enjoy our guide to gin tours in Edinburgh and whisky excursions in Scotland.

Whisky Distillery Tours in Edinburgh

Holyrood Distillery For a Local Single Malt

Holyrood Distillery (19 St Leonard’s Ln) first opened the doors to its century-old Engine Shed in 2017, making it the first distillery in Edinburgh to produce single malt since 1925!

Learn about the vision of the founders, Rob and Kelly Carpenter and former Macallan master distiller David Robertson, and the process of making whisky during this 1-hour tour.

Visitors can also try four different drams, from new age to mature, the latter being launched in October 2023!

Holyrood Whisky Distillery is located close to the Royal Mile in the Old Town, perfect for those who don’t want to travel too far from the City Centre.

Reserve your spot here.

Note: Most of the tours in our Edinburgh whisky experience guide require proof of age, as drinking participants are required by law to be over the age of 18.

  • Duration 1 hour
  • Drinks included: Yes

Pory of Leith Distillery For a Unique Take

Port of Leith Distillery (11 Whisky Quay) is the UK’s first vertical distillery located in the lively neighbourhood of Leith, which can be reached by foot, bus, and tram.

Leith is steeped in whisky heritage, dating back to 1822 when it received one of only six licences to store whisky.

Today, visitors can join this 1.5-hour tour, which includes visiting the copper stills on the ground floor, a tasting session, and the opportunity to fill your own 10ml bottle of the Port of Leith Distillery spirit.

Be sure to make time for a drink and snacks at the rooftop bar on floors eight and nine, which has floor-to-ceiling windows to the Firth of Forth and Leith skyline – an Ev Ed favourite!

This Edinburgh whisky distillery tour stipulates no high-heeled shoes.

Reserve your spot here.

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Drinks included: Yes

Whisky Experiences in Edinburgh

The Scotch Whisky Experience – The City’s First Whisky Attraction

The original whisky museum operating since 1988, The Scotch Whisky Experience (354 Castlehill), knows how to educate while entertaining visitors on the Royal Mile.

There are two tour options.

The 50-minute tour is ideal for those looking for a quick introduction to the nation’s drink and features a guided tour with one dram.

The 75-minute tour provides the same tour but with four single-malt whiskies.

The tour includes a ride in a barrel, beautifully shot movies with footage from the five whisky-producing regions, a lesson in the Blenders’ Sample Room, and the cherry on top is a walk through one of the world’s largest collections of Scotch whisky, which has nearly 3,500 individual bottles.

Tour guests also receive a crystal glass to take home; we still use ours!

Reserve your spot here.

  • Duration: 50 mins or 75 mins
  • Drinks included: Yes

Johnnie Walker Princes Street For a Multi-Sensory Tour

Even as a non-whisky drinker, I thoroughly enjoyed this 1.5-hour tour in Edinburgh’s West End.

Johnnie Walker Princes Street (145 Princes St) offers a super modern experience starting with a taste test and a narrated story featuring Walker.

A professional and passionate guide then introduces the different stages of the Johnnie Walker whisky process, which is spread out over several diverse rooms, two of which give plenty of scope for trying neat whisky or highball cocktails; the latter was my preference.

If you have time, reserve a table at the rooftop bar, which also has an outside patio with views over Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle.

After doing this tour ourselves, we have purchased gift vouchers for multiple family members, again not all of whom are huge whisky fans.

Reserve your spot here.

  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Drinks included: Yes

Whisky Tasting in Edinburgh

Royal Mile Whisky Tasting in a Pub

If the sound of a distillery tour sounds too daunting and an experience is a little bit too much effort, consider this 2-hour session that marries Scottish storytelling with single malt tasting in one location.

The event takes place in the upper level of a coffee/whisky specialist cafe, so the group has a private space to try their hand at sampling four whiskies and taking notes about each dram.

This is one of the best whisky-tasting tours in Edinburgh for couples and groups where some members don’t enjoy whisky, as they can request alternatives or non-alcoholic beverages.

Reserve your spot here.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Drinks included: Yes

Small Group Whisky Walking Tour

Do you prefer to be on your feet while learning about the history of Uisge Beatha and its significance in Edinburgh?

This 2-hour tour follows in the footsteps of royalty, King James IV, who is said to have put whisky on the map, allowing Scotland’s capital to have a monopoly in its production.

The tour takes guests around the Old Town before concluding in the cosy Megget’s Cellar for a four-dram tasting session, which customers love.

Reserve your spot here.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Drinks included: Yes

Underground Tasting Session

Did you know that Edinburgh has a city that lies beneath the cobbled streets of the Old Town?

This 1.5-hour tasting tour invites guests to join them in an underground vault to try whiskies from four of the producing regions of the country.

Eager whisky aficionados can upgrade to the five-tasting session, which features more rare options.

Reserve your spot here.

Private Whisky Tour

This 3-hour tour is completely personalised to your taste and is delivered by a professional tour guide who knows Edinburgh as much as they understand malt!

The price includes a walking tour, a visit to a whisky cellar, and four whisky samples.

Reserve your spot here.

If you are serious about scotch, check out these 1-4 whisky day tours too.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Drinks included: Yes
Whisky, plate with Scottish cheeses and variety of Scotch in glasses in Edinburgh food

Final Words

In wrapping up our guide to the top scotch tours in Edinburgh, we’ve uncovered the city’s rich whisky heritage through its new distilleries, sampling sessions, and unique storytelling.

Don’t forget to say Slàinte Mhath with every cheers!

Which of the tours will you choose? Tell us in the comments.

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