Not just for the novices, these tours and tastings really help you soak up the atmosphere

Not just for the novices, these tours and tastings really help you soak up the atmosphere

"Once you’ve seen the delights of Edinburgh: its castle, the Royal Mile and Princes Street, the next item on the ‘must do’ list is a whisky tour. Whether you’re an amber nectar aficionado or not, the educational, and eye-opening whisky tours are part of an intrinsically Scottish experience. Book into one of our Edinburgh Hotels for elegance and comfort, whether you stay in a city-centre property like the Mercure Edinburgh City Princes Street Hotel or in the brand new Hotel Mercure Edinburgh Quay. Looking for a historic abode? Try the Mercure Peebles Barony Castle Hotel, a 17th-century castle just 17 miles out of town. Ask your concierge for recommendations as to which distillery to visit on a day trip, or which tour to join in town."

For a wee dram

Prop up the bar in a traditional pub, sat by the cosy fireplace or browse the boutiques on the Royal Mile to get a taster of one of Scotland’s finest and most famous products. If you want to get the full experience though, head for the distilleries where you can join a tour or spend some time in the visitor centre and get to know more about its creation. While our hotel bars also offer a fine selection for a taster ‘at home’.

What can you see?

Visiting a distillery is an entertaining way to learn more about whisky and how to make the right choice, should you decide to bring home a souvenir. Join a ‘behind the scenes’ tour to find out about production and see the process in action while taking in the distinctive aromas of local peat, malt and toasted barrels.

For serious fans

Some tour companies offer trips around Scotland's five whisky regions that include exclusive tastings. This is a great way to get more insider knowledge as well as a ticket into different tasting rooms at the distilleries. A must-do for whisky fans of all stripes. You can also combine a distillery tour on a day trip out of town with visits to sights such as Loch Lomond or Stirling Castle.

In Edinburgh

If you don’t have the time (or the inclination), you needn’t go far for an introduction to whisky. Connoisseur or not, head to the Scotch Whisky Experience on Castlehill where the tour includes a barrel ‘ride’ through a replica distillery and ‘scratch and sniff’ experience to elucidate the mysteries of whisky making. The experts on hand will also help match your tastes and palate to the different single malt whisky flavours available. Prefer to go it alone? Royal Mile Whiskies have several stores open until late across the city, from the High Street to Bruntsfield Place.

Published by Alex / 15/06/2016
Photos credits SakhanPhotography

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