Heads & Tales Bar Edinburgh

Heads and Tales Bar Sign

The Place: Heads & Tales Bar, below the Rutland Hotel, Edinburgh.

The Time: Sunday afternoon.

The Reason: to visit the most exciting new bar in Edinburgh.

When I got an invite to pop down and visit Heads & Tales on a Sunday afternoon, and have a chance to chat to bartender extraordinaire and fountain of booze knowledge, Bruce Hamilton, I leapt at the chance. I mean, not only is Sunday afternoon an ideal moment for a few drinks, but this gave me the chance to visit one of Edinburgh’s most exciting new nightspots, and… a distillery.

Now in this article, I am going to talk about the Heads & Tales bar, but I have to mention the new Edinburgh Gin facility that you can see from the bar while you are having your Tom Collins (far better than a G&T in my opinion). During the day, you can do tours of the Edinburgh Gin Distillery (a basic tour, a more geeky tour or even a make your own gin tour), and at night (apart from Sunday/Monday) you can enjoy different drinks and cocktails at Heads & Tales.

Heads & Tales is run by bartending legend Bruce Hamilton, and he was kind enough to sit with me on this most brilliant of Sunday afternoons and discuss the history of gin (from the Netherlands, to the UK, from Gin Lane, to the rise and boom in modern Gin), discuss the hard work that goes into creating the best drinks (from a multitude of homemade ingredients, to over 60 recipe ideas whittled down to a precise bar menu) and take us through several classic gins, and several cocktails.

The gins were all very interesting, with each one having hundreds of years of history, unique flavours and different uses in mixed drinks. I would have to say, I had a couple of favourites. The Hayman’s Sloe (not pictured, phone died) was excellent. The new Tanqueray Old Tom was top notch and the Plymouth is a classic which is excellent in cocktails. Speaking of cocktails:

I would recommend getting down there, and beginning your gin education. The bar staff know their stuff, the drinks are great and there is nothing better for a booze geek than to be sitting right beside a distillery.

Chris Hoban


Book us for a tasting

Book Us For A Tasting! Looking for a whisky tasting experience? Look no further! We've hosted thousands of tastings catering for all budgets and themes. Let us tailor a bespoke whisky experience for you - click here or drop us a line now at edinburghwhisky@gmail.com!

Connect with us

Find us on Facebook!    Follow us on Twitter!    Follow us on Instagram!    Connect with me on LinkedIn!    Subscribe to us on YouTube!    Email us!   

Judging honours & awards

Icons of Whisky Communicator of the Year 2020            World Whiskies Awards Judge Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards Judge         Independent Bottlers Challenge JudgeJudge Global Scotch Masters Judge           Scottish Whisky Awards Judge EWA Certificate                    EWA Diploma