Scotch Whisky Experience (Edinburgh - Scotland)

Just across the road from Camera Obscura is Scotch Whisky Experience and in I entered. Its a guided tour and it begins with a small ride. The shape of the seating cubicle is similar to a whisky barrel. 
The ride takes through the process of whisky making process similar to the Heineken Experience where every step is explained with larger than life size installations that depict from the raw material to malting to milling to fermentation to distillation to maturation to finally bottling.
First ever evolution of distilling seems to have begun in 800 BCE perhaps in Indonasian regions and it was only by 6th C CE that it reached Scotland. 
Today there are 2 types of woods used to make casks to ferment whiskey. One is the bourbon cask which is sourced in North America. According to rules & regulations in USA, the casks cannot be re-used. So the used casks are bought from there and re-used here. As the name suggests is slightly on the sweeter side with the flavour of the sweet wood! The other type of wood is Sherry sourced from Europe which imparts a slightly spicier taste!
These casks not only impart their flavour to the whiskey, but also their color. That is why whiskey that's Bourbon casks are slightly lighter and brown-er when compared to Sherry casks which are darker & yellow-er. This is esp enhanced when the wood is slightly charred before filling it! Esp when re-using this is definitely done. Mostly casks are re-used multiple times upto 40 years. 

During the time its in the barrel, getting fermented it steadily evaporates as well! In 1 yr of fermentation about 2% evaporates and in 25 years upto 40% evaporates. That's called the Angel's share!!! The longer it stays in the casks that fermented & matured (strong) the whisky gets and that costly it goes!!!
Maturing happens only in the cask. Once the whiskey is removed and bottled, no matter how long it stays in the bottle on the shelf, it doesn't get any more matured. However the angel's share keeps going though. 

From there the guide, took us for the most important place - tasting!!! The 4 types of Scottish whisky include Highland, Lowland, Islay & Speyside. The Lowland comes from South Scotland has a slight fruity, citrus-y flavour. The Highland comes from North Scotland along the mountains like Aberdeen, Skype, Orkney etc. This has a more floral (lavender-ish) flavour. Speyside comes from along the River Spey near Inverness and has a fruity flavour, which was more like fruity bubblegum flavour. Finally Islay is the strongest, freakiest type which has smoke overtone. First I felt its aroma was more wood-y however a sip completely filled my mouth with over-powering smoky essence!!!

What I spotted after this was crazy - their huge collection of whiskey bottles right from 18th C counting to more than 4000 bottles!!! Whatever was left in the oldest bottles here have all now become Angel's share!!! The oldest is from 1897. Those old bottles look pretty interesting. Infact there were some that looked like little casks, like books and like dolls wearing Scottish kilts. 
There is a store below that sells authentic Scottish whiskey and guess what - the costliest I spotted here was £3500.00 of Macallen M!! Rich enough? Then indulge!!!

P.S.1: Check out here to know what I wore to the trip

To Get There:
Nearest train station: Edinburgh Waverly
Entry Ticket: Begins at £14.50 
Available to buy online on their website.

P.S.2: I was invited by VisitScotland to experience the Edinburgh for review purposehowever the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

P.S.3: Whisky is an alcoholic beverage. You must be of legal drinking age to consume it, as stated by your country. Excessive drinking is injurious to health. Drinking & Driving can be lethal. 

Dedicated to Venkat

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

19 comments:

  1. Nice review. Never thought too much about the process of making whiskey earlier. Gave a good insight and would surely cherish it during my next drink.

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  2. Thanks for this post. Never liked whiskey until I tasted the 14 year old single malt at Oban Distillery. I obviously had some poor stuff. I'm off to Scotland in September & will be visiting the Bowmore Distillery on Islay. Think I could get a taste for it but I think I'd better stick to wine!

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  3. Good article, love from Indonesia

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  4. This is like going to those field trips at school! but I still love going to factories even at this age. I last I went to this tea shop in china and loved to learn all about tea and tea processing!

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  5. Such a lovely experience.. I'd like to hop over there, too!

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  6. This is probably another place I'd pass on if ever we get to visit Edinburgh. I do not drink whiskey, so I am not willing to spend on that entrance fee.

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  7. I'm not a fan much of scotch but seeing the place in Eidenburg would be a great experience. It would be a good way to appreciate the drink.

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  8. Well, I may not like the wine stuff but it is a great post. Thanks for sharing

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  9. It's great to learn more about the history even if I'm not really a fan of whiskey. The drink has definitely come a long way! Thanks for all the information!

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  10. I haven't gone to such plant yet but if I do, I'll definitely be one of the happiest person. Not really I love liquor but I love to learn how such thing is made of. It's a new thing to be proud of if you learn things alike.

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  11. I am drinking liquor and this one is good though. I tried Scott whiskey and it's really great taste. For some, it is a no-no but trying differently means knowing the other side of coin.

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  12. I am a teetotaler. But it would be a great education to learn more about the process of making the drink that many of us love.

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  13. Whiskey is not my thing, however, their faithful fans will troop in en-mass to salvage such experience...

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  14. I'm not a big fan of whiskey but I love how they displayed the stages of making it! So cool! :D

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  15. Wow, my friends who super into alcohol will love this place. I'm not into whiskey and alcohol, so this might not be a place i will go...

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  16. I have been to Edinburgh. It is a really pretty city.

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  17. Not a fan of whiskey or any alcoholic beverages but i would drink if invited and if in company of trusted friends.

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  18. Interesting to read all about it. Cheers!

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