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Whisky | Courtesy Of Fonab Castle
Whisky | Courtesy Of Fonab Castle

The 8 Best Whisky Bars In Edinburgh

Picture of Tori Chalmers
Updated: 9 February 2017
For the quintessential Scottish drinking experience, it is only fitting to start by touring the streets of Edinburgh in search for the best whisky drinking dens. From all the fan favourites to the more elusive contemporary names, say cheers to Scotland for producing such a stellar tipple. Whet your whistle with a dram or two of this liquid gold and discover the best whisky bars in the city.

Whiski Rooms

Like whisky? Good. Whiski Rooms is overflowing with the stuff. There are over 300 malts to choose from that will keep any whisky-lover entertained for days. The classic Scottish cuisine has been given a welcomed contemporary twist that never fails to hit the spot too. From barrels of whisky to the refined bare-stone setting, this tempting tasting spot and dangerously addictive shop is one of the best places in town for Scotland’s beloved drink. Those looking for whisky tastings should look no further.

Whiski Rooms, 4-7 North Bank Street, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 225 7224

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Who knew that perfection could disguise itself as a liquid swirling arout in a glass? Yes, the rumours are indeed true – the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is home to the most varied selection of single malt, single cask whiskies in the entire world. Join in on the fun, bond with like-minded folk over your undying love for this potent tipple, and become a member of what is arguably the greatest international members club around. This is the place to unearth a myriad of rare whiskies waiting to be tasted. Although overwhelming, this classy society is in a league of its own.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles St, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 554 3451

Michael Neave Kitchen And Whisky Bar

Although a glorious duo, whisky and old-timey pubs do not necessarily always have to go hand-in-hand. Think spritely, fresh, contemporary and cool when it comes to the Michael Neave Kitchen And Whisky Bar. Challenge your stamina and alternate between the crafty cocktails and vast array of malts. With a plethora of locally sourced produce, the delicious menu is quite sobering and is a prime example of pure Scottish cuisine. Also, the highly talented Michael Neave himself could no doubt tell you the name of each farmer. Oh, and the extensive whisky menu is dangerously exceptional, so expect smashing banter, excellent food, and enough whisky for one and all.

Michael Neave Kitchen And Whisky Bar, 21 Old Fishmarket Cl, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 226 4747

Scotch At The Balmoral

The name says it all really — as does the venue. Those who have a perpetual thirst for Scotch and a penchant for the finer things in life should look no further. This exuberant whisky bar sports over 500 malts, blends, and vintages, which naturally covers all the whisky regions. In other words, expect the whole shebang. Whisky lovers can sip away on the trendy tweed sofas and snack like never before on dark Swiss chocolate, wild boar salami, and smoked almonds. If that doesn’t put a kick in your glass, then nothing will.

Scotch At The Balmoral, 1 Princes St, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 524 7142

Scotch At The Balmoral | Courtesy Of Rocco Forte Hotels

Scotch At The Balmoral | Courtesy Of Rocco Forte Hotels

Whiski Bar And Restaurant

Get a healthy dose of all things Scottish at the Whiski Bar And Restaurant. This little firecracker sports over 270 whiskies and conjures up some of the most marvelous native dishes in town. Yes, it has haggis too. Go on, muster up the courage, try this tremendous delicacy, and surprise yourself with how enjoyable it is. If all else fails, prepare to be serenaded with the sweet sounds of live music and start knocking back those whiskies.

Whiski Bar And Restaurant, 119 High St, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 556 3095

The Bow Bar

Those who like their single malts in a setting free from unnecessary bells and whistles should definitely consider The Bow Bar. This unassuming drinking den is a firm favourite with locals. It may be compact, but the buzzing banter and contagious atmosphere makes up for it. Fall head-over-heels for the stellar selection of single malts – there are over 310 – and feel right at home in this traditional pub setting. The old-timey feel is made all the more sweet with a dram in hand.

The Bow Bar, 80 W Bow, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 226 7667

The Black Cat

There is nothing elusive or disconcerting about The Black Cat on Rose Street. This wee hole-in-the wall has a rather fine selection of some cracking Scottish whiskies. Whoever picked them did a grand job. The Black Cat is the kind of place that calls for riveting conversation too. The dim lighting, simple wooden chairs, and quaint décor are practically screaming out for punters to put the world to rights. Those who have a particular penchant for pub quizzes should look no further. Enjoy the soothing ambiance and let the distinctive flavours of Scotch do the talking.

The Black Cat, 168 Rose St, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 225 3349

Arcade Haggis & Whisky House

Camouflaged by the cobbled streets of historic Cockburn Street, the Arcade Haggis & Whisky House is a great drinking hangout. Prepare to be gobsmacked by the perfectly picked list of whiskies and, funnily enough, specialty teas. This bright, bare-stone bar happens to have haggis in abundance too. Turn into a true Scot with a dram in one hand and a haggis in the other. Although wonderfully random, the Arcade has the relaxed atmosphere thing whittled down to a fine art.

Arcade Haggis & Whisky House, 48 Cockburn St, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 220 1297

By Tori Chalmers