After our disappointment at the Old Dock Bar we went next door to the brilliant and sparkling Teuchter's Landing*, a bar and restaurant which was welcoming in every way. It was warm, spotless and indeed shining, had a decent range of ales for its size, a vast array of whiskies and for Edinburgh, was reasonably priced. It was a great place to be. The Ossian's Ale from Inveralmond Brewery was perfectly kept and perilously drinkable. We left with considerable reluctance and didn't even bother joining our colleagues, who were in the nearby and grubby Malt and Hops.
Edinburgh is such a good place to drink cask ale. It accounts for 75% of all cask ale drunk in Scotland. I'll mention a few old favourites and one or two new to me. The Bow Bar rarely disappoints with its air pressure dispense and good choice. Kelburn Goldihops was well worth supping. The Blue Blazer, changed beyond recognition from its grim days as a keg pub with "go-go dancers", is expensive but has immaculately kept beer and a great atmosphere. Have a look at the rare, old windows depicting Bernards and Youngers Ales. The Oxford Bar, so beloved of Inspector Rebus is if anything, better than Rankin tells it. Full of character and characters. The Cafe Royal is opulent and beloved of well heeled Scots and has a good range of cask beer and oysters by the dozen or half. The Abbotsford has a wonderful island bar and a good range from Scottish micros. The Dome is a restaurant until half past three, has no cask beer, but is the former HQ of the National Commercial Bank of Scotland. It drips granite and marble and is probably one of the most impressive drinking places anywhere in the world. The Cask and Barrel has wonderful beer - the Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted was in perfect nick - and a great display of mirrors from defunct Scottish Breweries as has Thomson's which again features Scottish micros. I could go on. There simply wasn't time to visit them all and I didn't get a bad pint once.
Edinburgh is great for beer and great for pubs and atmosphere. Go there.
* A Teuchter is a derogatory term for a Highlander. The Edinburgh - Aberdeen Steam Packet used to arrive near the pub, hence the name.
The first photo of beer pumps shows the Blue Blazer. The air founts are in the Bow Bar.
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