Where To and Not To Buy Whisky in Edinburgh

Where NOT TO BUY whisky in Edinburgh?

Do not buy Scotch single malt whisky from most tourist shops on The Royal Mile and Princes Street. They are totally legit, but you’ll pay a premium price.

Do not buy from the airport duty free shop unless you are comfortable securely wrapping and packing the Scotch bottles in your checked in luggage. The airport duty free shop might run promotions and is still a good option if you feel safer carrying the whisky bottles in your hand.

So, where should you buy whisky in Edinburgh?

This won’t sound fancy – just buy them from supermarkets. Supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Lidl have numerous shops within the heart of the city and old town. They all stock the most popular whisky brands. Lidl have their own brand whiskeys and they are mega cheap – mostly produced by popular distilleries. Do a quick Google search for Tesco Express, Tesco Metro, Sainsbury’s Local, and Lidl.

If you want more variety, you can find a larger Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Lidl, Aldi, Morrisons, Scotmid Co-op, or Waitrose.

If you are going after non high street brands, try online. There are a number of popular online retailers who deliver fast – House of Malt, Master of Malt, and The Whisky Exchange are a few names that are trusted. Get the Scotch whisky bottles delivered to your accommodation.

But you love the idea of buying from a tourist shop!

If you want some consultation and the experience of buying from a touristy shop, go to:

  1. Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop, 172 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DF
  2. Royal Mile Whiskies, 379 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1PW
  3. The Scotch Whisky Experience, The Royal Mile, 354 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE

Why is alcohol more expensive in Scotland?

Scotland might not always be the cheapest place to buy Scotch whisky even though it is produced in here.

The Scottish government brought in minimum unit pricing to target the price of cheap, high-strength alcohol. It said low prices attracted problem drinkers and that it would help curb the number of people who drank too much and caused problems such as violence or accidents. BBC News coverage here.

Also, distilleries and shops know that tourists will pay a premium to buy their favourite and souvenir Scotch whiskeys while on holiday here.

Finally, enjoy your Scotch single malt drams responsibly 🙂

A good Reddit thread to read about this topic.

Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

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