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“Whisky tasting”

Jolly Toper Whisky Tastings
Ranked #92 of 449 things to do in Edinburgh
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Whisky tastings mainly in a Royal Mile pub but often out and about too - on a canal barge, vintage train, walking tours, etc. A chance for enthusiasts and novices to try some rare, expensive and/or old drams but always interesting. Good for locals and visitors, old and young and for ladies as well as gentlemen. Nothing is being sold - its just an excuse to learn about whisky while trying some world class spirit in good company. Entertaining and informative, relaxed but organised.
Reviewed 9 June 2017

Attended a Closed distillery and lost whisky tasting run by Mr Mark Davidson. I have been to a quite few tastings and Mark's are always the best by a mile. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things whisky, from the people working at the distilleries to the grain, still type and even the water that is used. Combine this with his wit and personality I always know it's going to be a great night. Oh, the whiskies are superb too. In my mind these nights are great value for money. Where else could you go in Edinburgh and try out these types of very rare whiskies without paying a fortune? Great night as usual Mark.
Thanks Mark.

Thank Robert N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jmrldc, Owner at Jolly Toper Whisky Tastings, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2018

Thanks Robert, it's always great to see the regulars return, even if their attendance isn't so frequent - it's been a few years....

This tasting you came to was pretty special - I've never poured so many genuinely super rare drams at one sitting - we have to thank Brora Rover for allowing us to share his gems.

He tells me he enjoyed the experience enough to repeat the exercise with more closed distilleries from the back of his wardrobe.

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5 - 9 of 58 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2017

Booked Mark for an hours whisky tasting for a stag party of 17. He was very knowledgeable and made the event really enjoyable for everyone [even for those who did not like whisky]. I would highly recommend booking Mark and what he offers is far better than some of the more mainstream tours and events. In addition, the Kilderkin pub is a great venue and a good place for drinks to get the evening started!

Thank Tim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 11 May 2017

Thanks for the 'positive referral' Tim W. I must admit a degree of trepidation when I get calls to do Stag party tastings but really I've yet to have a bad one. Thanks too for complimenting the venue, I've used the Kilderkin for years and chose it due to the great staff, handy location and general atmosphere and philosophy of the joint.

Good luck if you're doing the best man's speech.

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Reviewed 22 January 2017 via mobile

We loved our time with the Jolly Topper (Mark)! Mark is very knowledgeable, friendly and relaxed. He created an easy environment at the Kikderkin that was almost family-style. We learned so much, from how whisky is made and barreled, to how to develop a palate and vocabulary for tasting it. We tried a variety of whiskies, from a cheap Japanese malt, to a bright Scottish sherry. Our favorite was an Irish Barry Crockett Middleton blend (£160/bottle!). Mark provided oatcakes, shortbread and chocolate to offset the taste of the different drams we tried (5). I hope you get to meet regulars Sheridyn, Neil, Rav and co, and partake of their substantial whisky knowledge and delightful repartee!
Cost is £23, and £25 if you dare to take one of his "raffle" small bottles at the end (seriously--a great deal, and good way to continue to expand on your newfound whisky knowledge!). Highly recommend!

Thank Elizabeth L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 11 May 2017

Thanks Elizabeth L. I'm glad you picked up on The Kilderkin's vibe - there's a very relaxed and easy going feel for the place which suits my approach to the tastings very well. Mixing the regulars and visitors really helps with the social aspect of these nights and the raffles let you take something away as a bit of a memento.

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Reviewed 3 January 2017 via mobile

So pleased we booked this tasting with the Jolly Toper. It was a chance to try some seriously good whiskies in a variety of styles, and have one's preconceptions challenged. I think it tells you a lot about Mark's tastings that we tourists were there with several locals who attend regularly. If you want to learn about whisky in a relaxed and sociable environment then this is for you.

Thank alanrwillis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 11 May 2017

Thanks alanrwillis,

I'm pleased you had some 'preconceptions challenged' - for me tasting the drams with little knowledge of exactly what they might be liberates your opinion from prejudging the whisky on form or expectations. Keeping the regulars engaged after all these years means the 'patter' can't be too formulaic whilst accommodating whisky newbies and experienced first timers can require balancing of detailed chat with general information - it keeps me on my toes too: the night's are similar but always different.

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Reviewed 26 September 2016

We had a great evening at the Kilderkin doing a whisky tasting with Mark. Mark did a fantastic job of putting together a brilliant selection of Whiskeys and was an excellent host.

1  Thank Howard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 11 May 2017

Thanks for the great review Howard W, hopefully it will encourage others to join in - meeting people and talking whisk(e)y is why I'm doing this, well that and the welcome 'remuneration'....

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