Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar & Shop

We're Good to Go
Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar & Shop
28 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JX
  • Telephone 0131 220 2044
  • Opening times Tue & Wed 4.30pm–10pm, Thu–Sat noon–10pm. Closed Sun & Mon.
  • Email
  • Website www.smws.com/about/…
Photo of Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar & Shop
Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar & Shop

To any local whisky aficionado or to show off the national drink to visitors, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is a true Edinburgh asset. Its gradual development from members’ rooms to public bar and restaurant was further confirmed by a £300,000 summer makeover which saw chef James Freeman’s classy Dining Room restaurant given first-floor status as the new bar, a cosy but classy affair without a stitch of tartan naffness, takes up the ground floor space. You might come for the range of over 200 single cask whiskies, but there’s a grown-up bar menu with sharing platters, main plates of pasta or risotto, or a steak sandwich.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2019/20 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

The public face of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Queen Street headquarters, Kaleidoscope is a bar with more than two hundred unique selling points; namely its range of whiskies. With many exclusive SMWS single casks as well as rare expressions, proprietary bottles and flights, plus specially developed whisky cocktails like the 1983 Old Fashioned (whisky with orange and angostura bitters and sugar) and the Bloody Scotsman (Mary’s Scotch cousin) it's a whisky-lover's dream. Primarily a refined, relaxed bar – there is a good range of beer, wine and non-whisky based cocktails – there is also an impressive selection of upmarket bar food choices, for example smoked fish and cured meat platters, slow-cooked beef with pearl barley and root vegetables and chestnut pithivier, as well as steaks, fish and chips and good-quality meat or vegetarian haggis. It’s a fairly formal sort of a place, but its good reputation is well-deserved.

The List's rating






David Pollock visited Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar & Shop
  • High point: An outstanding whisky bar
  • Low point: Most tables are somewhat awkward to dine at
  • Notable dish: Braised lamb shepherd's pie
  • Average price: £18 (lunch); £18 (dinner)

'An ever-changing spectrum of whisky flavours'. Whisky fans are in for a treat, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has opened a new whisky bar. The Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar is completely unique with a constantly changing menu of whisky flavours to taste and explore. With over 200 whiskies on offer, you can enjoy a wide selection of rare SMWS single cask whiskies along with a guest selection of unusual proprietary bottles curated by Charles MacLean, draught and craft beers, wine, a range of cocktails and other interesting spirits.

Regular tasting sessions are held highlighting the range of Flavour Profiles in the whisky all of which are listed on the website.

Text supplied by third party.

  • Private dining: Up to 14 covers
  • Provides: Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Capacity: 25 in main bar, 40 more in overflow tasting/dining rooms (24 outside)
  • Largest group: 45
  • Open since: 2016 August
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 9
  • House wine: £28 per bottle

Reviews & features

Revamped Scotch Malt Whisky Society continues to impress

3 Feb 2017

Refurbished club rooms for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in central Edinburgh remain a delectably dependable dining destination

With the glory of its malts and the serenity of its clubs, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is something of a religious experience to its members. Thankfully, just like church, non-members are also welcome at the Dining Room restaurant and Kaleidoscope…

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).