The street is dark – there are no streetlights on, despite a couple thousand people gathering on the cobbles. Then, following a brief announcement, the street bursts into life with a dazzling display of light and Handel booming out through hidden speakers.
Yes, in one of the most civilised evenings we’ve had in a while, we went to find out about two of this year’s new festive attractions – The Street of Light and Whisky Enlightenment tour at The Scotch Whisky Experience.
Christmas has broken out of the New Town this year with Virgin Money’s Street of Light – a 60,000 light immersive festive sound and colour show that takes up a substantial part of the Royal Mile – and to go alongside it the Scotch Whisky Experience have started a new tour, the Whisky Enlightenment Tour.
The Whisky Enlightenment tour is a great introduction to the world of Scotch Whisky; a short tour that combines beautifully with the Street of Light and introduces you to the world of Scotch Whisky with a whilstle-stop tour and sampling in the collection.
When you arrive at the Experience you are greeted with a smile and hot apple toddy – perfect for coming in from a blustery December night. Then one of the wonderful guides will take you through a brief explanation of the different kinds of whisky – the single malts, singe grain, blended malts, blended whiskies, etc. – the major whisky regions that Scotland is made up of and the predominant flavours that make each area so distinctive. Following on from this you are introduced to the collection and get to stroll through it with some of the highlights being pointed out to you whilst you taste the day’s featured malt with a chocolate truffle on the side (if chocolate and whisky sounds a strange match to you, then let them open a whole new world of deliciousness to you).
After the tour you are taken down Castle Hill to the high street where the Street of Light will be waiting for you.
Truly the Street of Light is very, very good. Whilst its design could, we feel, have reflected the architecture of the Old Town better for more ‘Edinburgh-ish’ experience, as a festive treat this is a brilliant way to get into the festive spirit with a healthy dose of choral music and a dazzling display of light and technology to make it match the music.
Whether you are visiting the city to soak up the Christmas atmosphere, or you live here all year round, we would recommend the Street of Light to everyone. And if you like your whisky and want to get an introduction to the world of Malt Whisky then the Whisky Enlightenment Tour is a good addition to the evening.
You can book tickets for Street of Light on their website, and the Whisky Enlightenment Tour fits perfectly in the gap between the two Street of Light showings – more information can be found on the Scotch Whisky Experience website.