Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Calton Hill & Whisky tasting

We started day two in Edinburgh by walking to the Old Town to book tickets for a whisky tasting at the Scotch Whisky Experience which is located at the very top of the Royal Mile, close to the castle. Since we got tickets for later in the day, we had a couple of hours to kill and took the opportunity to take some pictures by the castle, after which we made our way to Calton Hill.

From Calton Hill we got a very good view of the whole city and of Artur's Seat, which we were planning on hiking up to the next day. But it was so windy that day, and especially at the top of the hill, so after a while we went to have some lunch and a nice hot cup of coffee and cacao.

At four it was finally time for the whisky tasting and I have to say that it was my favorite experience in Edinburgh. We got the Gold Tour ticket which meant we would get to taste one whisky during the tour, but then taste four more after the tour was done. The whole thing started off with an interactive tour of a whisky distillery, explaining how whisky is made. This part wasn't that exciting to be honest, perhaps because I did a tour at an actual whisky distillery the last time I was in Edinburgh. But after the interactive tour ended we went to this room with a huge screen and where given a map of Scotland showcasing all the different areas where whisky was made in Scotland. I don't want to give away too much in case anybody reading is planning on going, but you could scratch the different areas on the map and smell what kind of aromas the whiskies from that area had. It was really cool!

Based off of that presentation you then got to choose which whisky to taste. Since we had the gold tour and would already get to taste four out of the five whisky's on the map, the guide suggested that me and André pick Campeltown and a blend, so that we would get to taste all of the whiskies. So that's what we did. We then took our glasses of whisky in to another room where they showed us how to best taste a whisky. The room was actually the biggest private collection of whiskies in the world. All in all I had a great time and I still had four more whiskies to taste after that! And we got to keep the glass we got as a souvenir. 

Surrounded by whisky

After the tour we sat down to taste the four other whiskies and we tried to use what we had learnt during the tour when tasting them, and guessing which area they were from. We actually did pretty good, I must say! After drinking five whiskies we both felt that it was definitely time to go to the hotel and relax a while before heading to dinner. I don't know whether it was the whisky but we both took a nap afterwards, drinking whisky is hard you guys! All in all I would definitely recommend the Scotch Whisky Experience, it was a lot of fun and definitely worth the price.
"I'm getting a hint of...vanilla?"

It was my turn to choose where to eat dinner and I picked a place which sounded promising, but when we got there I realized I had already been to the restaurant before and it was actually quite overpriced for the portion sizes. So instead we went to a fish restaurant called Cadiz and at a lovely meal. To be honest I was still feeling very tired, so after the restaurant we went straight home and laid in bed for the rest of the night. 

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