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Friday Evening Reception

Friday Whisky & Gin Reception 

18:30 to 22:00

After your return from your excursion in Edinburgh, we will have a standing dinner reception in Assembly Rooms.

After dinner, we will have a tasting event for Scotch whiskies, Scottish gins and non-alcoholic gins. The event will kick start around 19.30, where you will be handed a special tasting glass, that is designed to maximise the tasting experience of whisky and other spirits, and enter the Music Hall. The tasting glass is yours to keep and we will provide a little box for you to get it home safely.

@photo: Tobias Schwarz

You have to choose one tasting glass filled with the first whisky, the first gin or the first non-alcoholic gin. There will then be a 15 minute presentation combined for Scotch whisky, gin and non-alcoholic gin, where you will be guided through the tasting experience. Please don’t drink your spirit beforehand! After this, you have approximately 1 hour to go to different stations set up in the Music Hall and the 2 bars in the entrance area, to sample the other whiskies, gins and non-alcoholic gins.  There will be water jugs allowing you to rinse and re-use your glass.

For the gins and non-alcoholic gins, we will also have tonic water to add into your tasting glass.  Our recommendation is to sip the gin neat first, and then compare that to the experience with tonic water.

The whisky tasting will be hosted by the Scotch Whisky Experience:

@photos: Scotch Whisky Experience

With 34 years of experience in telling the story of Scotch whisky and voted Best Attraction UK & Ireland 2021, The Scotch Whisky Experience is expert in helping guests discover Scotch in a fun and engaging way, wherever you are on your journey, from novice to connoisseur.  Representing the whole world of Scotch whisky from its culture, history and heritage to production, nosing and tasting, be ready to meet unusual derivations of well-loved brands and unknown hidden gems.  Our tasting will include 5 different styles of whisky, representing the Scottish Lowlands, Highlands, Islands and Campbeltown Peninsula and the Speyside regions. Details about the tasting profiles of the whiskies for the tastings are found on

Scotch Whisky Tasting

The tasting will put you on a journey through the five regions in Scotland where single malt whiskies are produced, all with distinct characteristics.  You will not be able to purchase these whiskies during the tasting, but they are available at the Scotch Whisky Experience ( which is only a 15 min walk from Assembly Rooms.

Campbeltown Peninsula

@photos: Tobias Schwarz

Glen Scotia Double Cask

This whisky is matured first in Bourbon cask before being finished for 12 months in PX sherry casks, giving this whisky a distinct fruity aroma but also some maritime influences. More information and detailed tasting notes can be found at:


@photos: Tobias Schwarz

Glenkinchie 12-Year-Old

This is whisky is made on the outskirts of Edinburgh and is a classic example of a Lowland whisky, which is light, floral with a creamy taste. More information and tasting notes can be found at:


@photos: Tobias Schwarz

Glencadam 10-Year-Old

This whisky is an excellent example of a Highland whisky, with a floral, fruity, and citrus character. More information and tasting notes can be found at:


@photos: Tobias Schwarz

GlenAllachie 12-Year-Old

This Speyside whisky from an independent, Scottish owned whisky company ticks all the boxes for lovers of sherry cask whisky, with its Mahogany colour, and rich flavours reminiscent of raisins, cinnamon, and orange zest.
More information and tasting notes can be found at:


@photos: Tobias Schwarz

Ardbeg 10-Year-Old

The island of Islay produces some distinct whiskies, for which this whisky is an exceptional example. It is intensively smoky, salty, with hints of iodine, black pepper, and coffee. In your tasting, we recommend tasting this whisky as the last one, as the smoky character tends to linger on the tongue and dominate other flavours.
More information and tasting notes can be found at:

You can find more details on the Scotch Whisky Experience on the website:

The gin tasting will be hosted by the Secret Garden Distillery:

Our Founder, Hamish, can always be found in our gardens. The Secret Garden Distillery is nestled at the foot of the Pentland Hills on the outskirts of Edinburgh within the grounds of The Secret Herb Garden. You won't find a garden quite like ours - it truly is a wild oasis!

Nature is at the heart of everything we do, from the way we grow and hand harvest our botanicals to the way our gins are packaged. Our botanicals are hand-harvested to ensure the highest quality ingredients. We also always leave a percentage of plants unharvested to allow our 11 colonies of bees to have their fill too. 
We blend our base gin of Juniper, Coriander, Winter Savory and Angelica Root with our very own botanicals. The colour of our gin is from a natural petal infusion which also helps to intensify the flavour. We use no artificial colours, flavours or sugars…just nature distilled. We distil to 39% ABV as we feel this is best for the floral flavours to harmonise with the gin.

Our gin-making process begins with putting ethanol into our still and then adding Juniper berries into the liquid. All other botanicals, such as, Coriander and Angelica Root are crushed, added to a muslin bag suspended inside the still and vapour-infused to produce our base gin. Depending on the recipe, most of the additional botanicals are added at this stage too; our garden contains many wonderful plants and one of the best parts of the process is experimenting with new flavours and styles. It can take a few tweaks to get a recipe right; once it’s locked down to our satisfaction, distillation can properly begin. The spirit comes out at around 79% abv and is slowly diluted to the required strength using water and constant agitation. In the case of our Secret Garden Apothecary Rose Gin, we add our beautiful, hand-harvested roses to the base to infuse with colour, then separately distil the petals, then add them to the mix as distilled waters for additional flavour. A London Dry style such as our Wild gin has nothing added after distillation; all botanicals are in the still from the beginning. Once distillation and the infusion are complete, a panel of tasters will check for colour, aroma and flavour. Once the gin has been approved, it is transferred to the production team in the warehouse for bottling, labelling and shipping. You can find more information on this website:

@photos: Secret Garden Distillery

Gin Tasting

The tasting will include 4 different styles of gin. You will be able to purchase these gins at the venue as a sealed package.

Elderflower & Jasmine Gin

@photo: Secret Garden Distillery

This is the first gin that will be poured for you at the start of the tasting event.

Hand harvested Elderflower & Jasmine are distilled and blended with Juniper, Coriander, Angelica Root and Winter Savory to create a gin that is perfectly balanced. Naturally floral in fragrance, with hints of exotic fruits, make this a beautifully fragrant gin to enjoy. 

Nose:    Delicate and floral 
Taste:   Crisp dry base with strong floral notes
Finish: A fresh, floral dry finish

Wild Gin

@photo: Secret Garden Distillery

Wild plants are The Secret Garden Distillery’s passion, we encourage them to grow freely. We distil home grown Bog Myrtle, Nettle and nine other indigenous botanicals with Organic Spirit to create this unique gin. Naturally herbaceous, this London Dry Gin was made to reflect the wonders of nature. 

Nose:    Pine and fresh herbs
Taste:   Juniper-led, followed by herbaceous notes, and a natural, fresh sweetness
Finish: A long dry finish

Lemon Verbena

@photo: Secret Garden Distillery

Hand harvested Lemon Verbena is distilled and blended with juniper, Coriander, Angelica Root and Winter Savory to create a gin that is naturally fresh in fragrance. Zesty, citrus notes with hints of lemon sherbet, make this a refreshing Gin to enjoy. 

Nose:    Fresh citrus
Taste:   Sweet and refreshingly citrus
Finish: Hints of lemon sherbet

Apothecary Rose

@photo: Secret Garden Distillery

The Apothecary Rose is the oldest rose known to exist, in fact, many modern roses of today have been grafted from this original rose. The ancient Greeks and Romans regarded this flower as sacred and symbolic and would display it during important celebrations and occasions. Throughout history, this flower has been regarded as an important medicinal botanical, used in the 13th Century to treat a wide variety of illnesses such as to sooth inflammation and wounds. 

Hand harvested Apothecary Rose petals are distilled and blended with juniper, coriander, Angelica Root and Winter Savory to create a gin that is reminiscent of Summer. Hints of Turkish Delight, with rich creamy brown sugar notes, make this an elegant Gin to savour. 

Nose:    Potpourri
Taste:   Turkish Delight
Finish: Hints of brown sugar

Non-Alcoholic Gin Tasting

Why not explore the amazing range of non-alcoholic gins!  You can have much of the pleasures of tasting gin without the effects of alcohol. We selected 2 non-alcoholic gins for you to try:

Gordon’s Alcohol Free Gin

@photo: Tobias Schwarz

This is the first non-alcoholic gin that will be poured for you at the start of the tasting event.

Made in Scotland! There are strong notes of juniper and citrus, ideal for a gin and tonic. It has a traditional taste profile which is juniper and citrus dominating.


Ceder’ Wild Non-Alcoholic Spirit

This drink combines South African herbs from the Cape Mountains, such as rooibos and fynbos with juniper, coriander and rose-geranium and Swedish Spring water.

You will not be able to purchase these non-alcoholic gins, but they are widely available.


Slàinte Mhath (Good Health)