The Devil’s Advocate – Bar & Kitchen
Edinburgh has a fantastic bar scene and there are very famous brains behind the different bars. Stuart McCluskey is the owner of The Bon Vivant, El Cartel and The Devil’s Advocate. The bar culture in Edinburgh has been established for a long time and it’s palpable. It is characterised by high professionalism and at the same time it is laid-back, friendly and rock solid like the massive castle which towers over Edinburgh.
The Devil’s Advocate joined the family of The Bon Vivant and El Cartel in 2013. It is located in one of the atmospheric closes in the Old town, a bit hidden away, placed in an old Victorian pump house. The bar is definitely a place for whisky lovers. The massive wall rack welcomes you with an amazing collection of whiskies. This is what first caught my eye when I entered the venue. Around 200 bottles from most whisky regions in the world are presented.
Exposed brick walls, steel beams and a lot of untreated timber create a rustic yet industrial-chic atmosphere. Various seating possibilities have been created. You can take a seat on the mezzanine level or hide in some cosy booths underneath. There is also a lovely balcony area.
The Devil’s Advocate is a Bar & Kitchen and I went there twice. Once in the afternoon to enjoy one of their delicious dishes. The menu boasts seasonal and Scottish ingredients that change monthly. The second time I was there late night. It was really busy but the nice candlelights gave the place a relaxing vibe. The service was experienced and very polite. I took my first drink late at night and the bartender, who made my drink that night worked the next day in the service, recognised me.
A warm welcome if you enter a bar is essential for me but if the bartender recognises me I am always very pleased.
The menu comes in a wooden cover branded with the bar’s logo. The bar offers a wide range of whiskies, cocktails, a selected wine list and craft beers. The inventive cocktail list is whisky heavy but not exclusively. The cocktails have mostly a cuisine twist that you find often when a restaurant is involved. I love this kind of style and opted for the Princess & The Pea. I had never had peas in my drink before. The colour was amazing and the concoction of The Botanist gin, elderflower, absinthe, pea, mint and lime was very well balanced and flavourful.
Known as the Athens of the North, Edinburgh has a rich history in the arts. Devil’s Advocate has used the three Greek muses, Thalia, Terpsichore and Melpomene as their inspiration to create 15 drinks. The Princess & The Pea drink can be found in the category Melpomene, the muse of tragedy. The previous night I had also had a drink from this category. Intermission with Remy VSOP Cognac, Campari infused with coffe beans and Punt e Mes. A very good nightcap. My next drink of choice was dedicated to Terpsichore, the muse of dance. The Moon Walk blends Rittenhouse rye whiskey, Fernet Branca, pedro ximinez sherry and violette. A slightly sweet and nice dance on the taste buds.
This is a top-scotch for refined drinking and food and another must visit on your bar list in Edinburgh.