(We visited on 6 June)
Our friend Eugene recommended that we start our Great Whisky Tour with an introduction to whisky at the Scotch Whisky Experience. Located 50 steps from the entrance of Edinburgh Castle, 2 part tour that shows you how whisky is made, a great introduction to people who don’t use Wikipedia or don’t date a whisky lover.
The first part of the tour was more of a tourist trap. We were invited to sit in a large cask that moved on rails like a Disneyland teacup. The cask brought us on a circuitous journey of the process of whisky making. Instead of It’s a Small World song, there’s a virtual ghost that trailed after us while he explained the process. I’m not sure what is Scotland’s obsession with ghosts.
When that painful part ended, where jet lagged almost hit me in the face in the dim setting, our guide brought us into a room to watch a slide show on the different types of whisky. There are the 5 regions: highland, lowland, islay, speyside and the lesser known region Campbelltown. We were each given a colored card where we were encouraged to scratch and sniff the corresponding regions. The smell of candied banana signified the fruity whisky of Speyside for example. The lady next to us complained all she smelled was cardboard.
After the farce was over we were each given a whisky glass where we get to taste whisky of a region of our choice. I picked Speyside while Bryan picked Highland. I got to taste Ben Riach while Bryan tasted Glen Kinnchie.
They then brought us to their whisky room that housed one of the biggest collections of whisky I’ve ever seen. The collector was a Brazilian fella whose collection consisted of single and blended whiskies. It was pretty impressive!