In recession times, not every one can afford a £100 membership and £4.10 drams at the SMWS vaults. But if you don't mind rubbing shoulders with the green-clad unfortunate- known also as Hibs' fans - instead of the vaguely masonic rugger-types you often see at the SMWS rooms then Robbies is your place.
It fills the gap in the 'traditional' pub market. You hear local Scots' accents and not the braying home-counties types that fill the New Town howffs. Equally, you can have a cheap dram without getting chibbed by some pie-eyed jelly head high on Buckfast and with a dusting of Askit powder around his nostrils.
To the whisky then. There are no casks in the back room but a selection of 20 or so common malts with one or two surprises to be found now and then - say, one of the Bruichladdich experimental releases. The Malt of the Month is a regular joy though at just £1.80ish. Recent stars at this price have been Dalmore and Old Pulteny. Last year, they had 3 MotMs which at one point included Lagavulin. Not surprisingly, the bottle was emptied as soon as the chalk had left the board. How often can you find a good Ileach for the price of a Sunday newspaper?
Also, has some good ales as well as the usual mass-produced gassy bevy. Shows football games too. So check the Setanta listings and avoid if you see Hibernian mentioned, unless your favourite sport is seeing grown men cry as their latest duff goalie throws the ball into his own net.
Robbies Bar, 367 Leith Walk.