The Devil’s Advocate
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Whisky drinker’s paradise with knowledgable staff who welcome both connoisseurs and newbies
A venue from the Bon Vivant stable, this arrived in 2013 and occupies one of the most atmospheric sites in the Old Town, on Advocate’s Close – a stepped, narrow thoroughfare that climbs from Cockburn Street to the High Street.
It occupies a soaring old Victorian pump station and the interior has no shortage of space; the décor is all bare brick, beams and wood. Like the Bon Vivant mothership, it hardly looks like a cocktail bar at all - mainly because it’s not. Rather, it’s a modern bistro-bar with a decent food menu, a commendable selection of single malt Scotch whiskies – including the award-winning Ardbeg Uigeadail – but also a way with mixology that's wholly dexterous and certainly worth seeking out. There are even seats outside where, at night, it feels like you’re in a Robert Louis Stevenson novel.
It may be celebrated for its whisky – and some of the whisky cocktails are truly top class – but drinkers at the Devil’s Advocate shouldn’t miss out on the excellent mixes based on other spirits. Its House of Advocates for instance involves genever (the forerunner of gin), lavender, blueberry, basil, gentian bitters and lemon; if it was food it would have a Michelin star.