On our recent visit to Edinburgh, we did as every good tourist should and paid a visit to the Scotch Whisky Experience, which is at the top of the big hill, next to the big castle, opposite the big hall of mirrors.
There are lots of reasons to go there – not least of which is the opportunity to go on a ride – a proper ‘sit in a barrel and hold on’ ride that takes you through the whole experience of whisky being made – but the twist is, that you are one of the ingredients, though we will keep an air of suspense and mystique about which particular whisky ingredient you play the role of (we can’t remember).
There’s also an introduction to the flavours and aromas of whisky, as well as a tasting, a gift shop and a lovely café/bar – but for us the highlight was the largest collection of Scotch single malts and blends on the planet. As Clutch put it, it was like his Fortress of Solitude: a perfect retreat from the world, surrounded by amazing, rare, special and – importantly – floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall whiskies.
What was surprising was how well it had been done. It wasn’t tacky and showy – and nor was it a fusty museum piece. The individual whiskies – and there were almost 3,500 bottles in the collection – were beautifully displayed, each discernible and examinable – and the totality of that collection (officially, the Diageo ‘Claive Vidiz Collection’) was quite overwhelming.
We had to sit down and have a dram to recover from all the awesome.
Make sure you go there if you’re in town.