Ready to book your Edinburgh gin tour? Here are the 4 best Edinburgh gin tours — all led by locals.
Scotland has been producing some of the world’s best-selling gin brands for years. Today, over 50 gin producers are operating across the country.
In fact, Scotland is the largest producer of gin in the UK, accounting for 70% of the gin produced.
If you’re visiting Scotland, a gin tour is the best way to taste gin and learn the Scottish gin history.
In this post, I’m going to highlight all the best Edinburgh gin tours, so you can pick the one that works best for you. The tours are perfect for both novices and gin aficionados.
Ready to discover the 4 best gin tours in Edinburgh?
Let’s get to it!
🍸 Quick overview:
The 4 best Edinburgh gin tours:
🏴 The Best Edinburgh gin tours
In a hurry?
This is the best gin tour in the heart of Edinburgh for any gin lover.
You’ll get to taste the core gins on this classic distillery tour, which takes place at the Summerhall – a unique gin-making spot in the capital.
Pickering’s Gin Jolly Distillery Tasting Tour
🍸 4 best gin tours in Edinburgh
1. Pickering’s Gin Jolly Distillery Tasting Tour
⭐️ RATING: 4.9 from 37 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours |🥃 BOOK NOW
On this Pickering’s Gin Distillery tour you’ll learn all about the unique gin distillation process while tasting 4 gin samples. A perfect sensory experience for novices and gin experts.
What to expect on the Summerhall gin tour:
- Tour of the distillery
- Gin history
- 1 gin and tonic
- 4 award-winning gin samples
- 15-cl miniature of red or orange gin
- Seal-wax your own miniature gin bottle (5cl)
This Edinburgh gin experience begins at the Royal Dick Bar at Summerhall distillery, where you will be served a refreshing gin and tonic welcome drink as a way to break the ice.
You’ll then head over to the Old Workshop while your skilled guide tells you all about the distillery’s history. Next on your tour is the distillery where you can meet and greet the distillers at work and witness Gertrude and Emily- the two popular stills in steaming action.
And now to the fun part (for your taste buds): You’ll be served four award-winning gin tasting in the tasting room, and if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also get to take home a miniature bottle of your favourite gin sample to seal-wax yourself.
2. Edinburgh Gin Tour with a Local Guide
⭐️ RATING: 5 from 2 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours |🥃 BOOK NOW
This is one of the best Edinburgh gin experiences with everything included and no hidden costs.
You’ll be in good hands with a local guide for an exclusive 3-hour walking tour and discover the captivating history of gin in Edinburgh.
On the trip, you’ll visit distilleries and bars to learn about the unique botanicals used to create each gin style. You’ll taste some of the city’s different styles of gin, including unique local flavours from the famous Gin Triangle.
- The Meadows: The original water source for the distilling area in the 1700 & 1800
- Edinburgh Gin Distillery: The South Loch Gin Distillery inside the 56 North bar
- Summerhall gin tour: Home of the Pickerings distillery
- Holyrood Distillery: Home of Holyrood Distillery’s, Gin Liqueuers and Single Malt Whisky
- Sciennes: The location of the last distillery to close in Edinburgh for single malt in 1925
3. Holyrood Distillery Whisky and Gin Guided Tour
⭐️ RATING: 4.5 from 203 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1 hour |🥃 BOOK NOW
Experience a behind-the-scenes look at the world of scotch whisky and gin at the Holyrood Distillery in Edinburgh city centre. This Edinburgh whisky and gin distillery tour is a combined experience where you get to taste both whisky and gin, which makes it unique.
The Edinburgh gin tasting tour starts with a fully guided tour of the distillery where you’ll discover how gin and whisky are created.
Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted with a welcome drink and meet your guide. Then you’ll taste samples of award-winning gin and whisky in a guided tasting.
What to expect on the Holyrood distillery gin tour:
- Fully guided tour of the distillery
- A welcome drink
- Taste award-winning gin and whisky
4. Vintage Bus Tour with Afternoon Tea or Gin
⭐️ RATING: 4 from 18 reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours |🥃 BOOK NOW
If you’d like to experience a classic British gin tour, then this tour is for you.
The Vintage Bus Tour with Afternoon Tea or Gin includes afternoon tea, flavoured gin and sightseeing.
Enjoy warm scones, a selection of finger sandwiches, mini rolls or wraps, mini quiches, and various petit fours and cakes while you discover Edinburgh from a vintage double-decker bus.
To top if off, you’ll get gin cocktails, supplied by the famed Edinburgh Gin Company, served in a teapot with aromatic herbs and topped with delicate edible flowers – a must-try for gin lovers who would also like to explore Edinburgh.
What to expect on the Edinburgh gin tour bus:
- British Afternoon tea
- Your own gin cocktails – flavoured and served in teapots
- Tourist attractions like Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish Parliament Building
- Delicious sandwiches, petit fours, cupcakes, warm scones, and mini quiches
The history of gin
The history of Scottish gin dates back to the 1700s when Dutch Jenever was first traded into Leith.
Thanks to Leith’s ideal dockside location, the exchange of raw materials and exotic spices with the Dutch became seamless, as the Scots traded wool and other supplies.
Scotts started adding juniper to the drink and from then on, it only got more popular.
This all contributed to Edinburgh having 8 licensed distilleries by 1777 and hundreds of unlicensed stills producing gin, as well. This explains why gin is so closely associated with Scotland today, and why gin has maintained its popularity over centuries!
Gin in Scotland today
Scotland has a rich history of producing exquisite gin that dates back to the 1700s.
Currently, there are over 100 brands producing around 300 Scottish gins, including Gordon’s (the world’s biggest selling gin), Hendrick’s, Tanqueray as well as a host of small-batch, independent producers from every corner of Scotland.
This has made Scotland a hub for the gin industry where 70% of all gin produced in the UK comes from.
edinburgh distillery tour
🙋♀️ Edinburgh gin guide and FAQ
How many gin distilleries are there in Scotland?
There are over 50 gin producers across Scotland.
Does Edinburgh Gin have a shop?
Yes, you can visit the newly opened Edinburgh Gin shop in Edinburgh. Find it at 49 Hanover Street.
Is Edinburgh Gin a good gin?
Yes – the signature Edinburgh Gin is praised for its flavours of exotic fruit, ginger ale, herbs, and floral tones. It’s
How long is the gin tour?
A typical gin hour tour in Edinburgh city lasts between 1 and 3 hours. A walking tour where you visit several bars and distilleries take up to 3 hours.
What is the best gin in Scotland?
One of the best craft gins in Scotland right now (2023) is the Rock Rose gin, produced by Dunnet Bay Distillery.
What type of gin is Edinburgh Gin?
Edinburgh Gin is a classic dry gin, meaning the flavours are all natural from the botanicals (no artificial flavouring).
The Edinburgh Gin range includes exquisitely crafted London Dry gins, exceptional fruit gin liqueurs, and remarkable flavoured gins, all created with natural ingredients that capture the essence of Edinburgh.
What kind of alcohol is gin?
Gin is a spirit that is typically produced by fermenting and distilling a base of grains like wheat or barley.
For it to be legally called gin, juniper berries must be the predominant flavor in the drink. The alcohol by volume (ABV) content of most gins falls between 35% and 55%.
What are the 3 types of gin?
Gin comes in three main types: distilled gin, redistilled gin, and compound gin.
Distilled gin is produced by distilling a fermented alcohol or mash base, similar to the production of whiskey. Redistilled gin, on the other hand, is made by redistilling a neutral spirit.
Can you drink gin straight?
Yes, of course! Drinking gin neat is a popular way to enjoy the spirit. Some would argue that it’s the best way to savour the flavours.
To try it, simply pour the gin into a glass filled with a couple of ice cubes and add a lime wedge for an extra tangy flavor.
To get the best experience, make sure it’s a high-quality gin. Cheap and bitter brands can be unpalatable and take away from the overall experience.
What are the 3 key ingredients in gin?
Gin is commonly made with three main ingredients: juniper, coriander, and angelica.
However, there are many other floral, rooty, fruity, nutty flavours that can be used to create a signature flavour for each gin.
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