Whilst in Edinburgh you must try the Scotch Whisky and the Scotch Whisky Experience is the best location to do that. I wanted to view and photograph the largest private collection of Scotch whisky in the world and learn about whisky.
I took a Morning Masterclass tour, reasons to pick this tour are;
- Extended viewing of the worlds largest collection of Scotch whisky
- Coffee / tea and shortbread during the extended viewing
- Viewing of the unique whisky bottle collection
- Sensory perception test
- Whisky tasting
- A souvenir whisky glass and map of the distilleries of Scotland
My guide on the morning masterclass was Thomas, who is very educated and has a degree in brewing and distilling. Thomas also tastes Scotch whisky in his spare time so is very knowledgeable on any question you throw at him. Whichever guide you get on the tour, rest assured they’re all very knowledgeable about Scotch whisky so you’ll be in safe hands.
The Scotch Whisky Experience is located in a unique building located close to Edinburgh Castle on the Royal Mile. It’s an experience in itself just to go inside a building like this!
As you go inside for your Morning Masterclass you’ll be greeted by your guide and may order your desired hot drink for later in the tour.
Extended viewing of the Scotch whisky collection
As part of the Morning Masterclass you enjoy an extended viewing of the largest private collection of Scotch whisky in the world. Thomas will explain about the different whiskies and distilling processes. He will point out a few of the more interesting bottles in the collection and explain a few interesting facts about them. The drink you ordered earlier should arrive during the introduction and you may now view the collection with your drink and shortbread.
As the group was moving onto the next stage I asked Thomas if I could take more pictures of the collection. He was very happy for me to stay behind in the room to photograph the collection. As I was alone with the collection I was able to take many Instagram worthy images without waiting for anyone to move out of the way.
During my experience of the Morning Masterclass, the extended viewing of the whisky collection became a private viewing – which is priceless.
Viewing of unique whisky bottles
Thomas will point out a few of the unique whisky bottles that have been made for special occasions and promotions. If you see a particular bottle that grabs your interest then Thomas will be happy to explain its purpose.
Sensory perception test
After viewing the unique and collectible whiskies you will then take a sensory perception test. You may be thinking what is this and why is this part of the Morning Masterclass? As part of the whisky tasting you use your nose to identify the flavors which is called nosing. The sensory test will prepare you for the tasting and enhance your experience. You are given 10 different scents to identify such as vanilla, cinnamon, peat etc.. afterwards you will be awarded a score out of 20. I shamefully scored 2 out of 20 but some other members of the class scored quite well.
After you have taken the sensory perception test you will be ready to nose and taste the whisky. You will have 5 whisky samples ready to taste. Among the 5 there will be a blend, a single grain and a single malt. Thomas will explain each whisky you are tasting and show you each bottle as you go through the 5.
Thomas will teach you methods on how to work out the maturity and taste of the whisky. Methods such as checking the color and viscosity of the whisky. About what these indicate regarding maturity and taste. Following these tests you nose the whisky to check for scents you learnt in the sensory perception test. After the visual and scent test you then check the taste of the whisky.
Even regular whisky drinkers will learn a lot about whisky during the whisky tasting.
If you still have an appetite for whisky after the tour then you can visit the on site bar, of which there are 2. If you let the barman know you have been on the Morning Masterclass then you’ll get a discount on the drinks. Of course the barman is a whisky expert too and will help you find your desired whisky.
Whisky Barrel Ride
After you have completed the Morning Masterclass you have the option to take the whisky barrel ride. This ride takes you through the process of making whisky all guided by a ghost!
Scotch Whisky Experience Store
After you’ve taken the morning master class I would recommend visiting the store. With everything you’ve learnt in the class you’ll now be able to find the perfect bottle of whisky for you or for a gift. The staff in the store are experts in whisky so you can ask for recommendations in your favorite whisky characteristics. There are lot of whiskies in this store that you will not find in your local store back home so you can find pretty unique gifts here.
Enjoy your Morning Masterclass at the Scotch Whisky Experience