Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar & Shop

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Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar & Shop
28 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JX
  • Telephone 0131 220 2044
  • Opening times Mon–Wed 9am–midnight; Thu–Sat 9am–1am; Sun noon–10pm.
  • Bar open Mon–Wed 9am–11pm; Thu–Sat 9am–midnight; Sun noon–10pm.
  • Food served Mon–Sat 11am–10pm; Sun noon–9pm.
  • Average price £20 (lunch); £20 (evening meal)
  • Email
  • Website www.smws.com/kaleidoscope
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 2017 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

For a long time known only as a members-only club, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s city centre offshoot is working hard to share its love of Scotland’s national drink to the wider public. The most apparent change is Kaleidoscope, the new ground floor public bar which has taken the place of the previous dining space. It's a snug, semi-circular bar staffed by a knowledgeable crew and loaded with 200 malt whiskies, including branded varieties and examples of the society’s collection from around the world. Whisky cocktails and flights are also available, while the food is – perhaps unexpectedly – deserving of a visit all on its own. From the same kitchen as the upstairs Dining Room the rich parsnip and cheddar tart, roast pigeon with winter vegetables, and sharing plates of fish, cured meats or tapas create a range of bar meals as traditional as they are high quality.

  • High point: Edinburgh's best-stocked whisky bar
  • Low point: Much of the seating isn't designed for eating
  • Notable dish: Beef casserole with spätzle and winter vegetables

'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 12 covers
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Live entertainment: Occasional acoustic music
  • Capacity: 32 (12 outdoors)
  • Largest group: 12
  • Open since: 2016 August
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 9
  • House wine: £19.50 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…