Apologies I’m uploading these all out of order, this is from my trip to Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago (I haven’t rushed up to Edinburgh again).
My friend Alexis mentioned how she really liked the Jolly Judge and I couldn’t remember whether or not I had visited when I last came to Edinburgh (this is why I’ve got a blog, as I can rarely remember where I went a few years ago). I remembered when I got there that I had been before, but it seemed only polite to have another little visit.
I wasn’t convinced this strategy of telling customers to wait at the top of the steps was entirely ideal, as they can’t see customers at the top of the steps (unless there’s a camera there that I didn’t notice). I stood there looking awkward for a while before trying to stand two steps down. I then went down to the bottom of the steps and was promptly in the way of a staff member coming out. I always manage to do things like that…. There was a friendly welcome though and it’s a difficult building to manage Covid safely given its layout.
The staff member assumed that I’d like to sit outside and he was wrong in that…… Absolutely fine to sit inside though, as did the next two sets of customers, which made me feel a little more normal (although confused the staff member who I think assumed everyone wanted to sit outside). There’s a nice vibe to this Good Beer Guide listed pub, all informal and relaxed.
The interior of the pub and it has some character in its basement setting. During the colder months of the year there’s a real fire going which must add to the cosiness of the venue.
This is the Milk Stout from Moonwake Beer and there seemed to be a bit of a tap takeover from this small Scottish microbrewery. The beer was fine with a pleasant flavour, but it perhaps lacked any real depth of taste or strong character. There was a creaminess to the beer and it was a quite a light beer which matched its 4.5% ABV.
Anyway, this is a quirky little pub and it offers a friendly and authentic welcome. It’s justifiably in the Good Beer Guide as there were a few interesting beers, but there are also plenty of whisky options for those who prefer. The pub is very well reviewed with very few negatives, although I was amused with this 1/5 review:
“We love pubs!! especially traditional ones with character. To say this pub is just down the road from the Castle I was shocked that whoever owns it hasn’t made it a landmark epic pub and I am going to Judge you. Drab magnolia walls with random pictures of nothingness. We own a bar and this could be so quirky. Why don’t you paint a Scottish flag on the ceiling.”
Please don’t paint a Scottish flag on the ceiling, I want experiences, not tourist traps…. Although that review was from over four years ago and the pub haven’t paid any attention to it, so all appears well.