Our Beer Man’s verdict
The Nauticus doesn’t immediately seem like the most obvious fit for Duke Street in Leith.
A new venture from the co-owners of Panda & Sons and Hoot The Redeemer and local bar hero Kyle Jamieson, it has just opened in the former site of the Parlour near to Easter Road.
The pubs in that spot – whether the Cavern most recently or stretching way back to the Golf Tavern – always seem to have struggled to stay afloat.
Even with the Lioness and Twelve Triangles Kitchen Table successfully established nearby, I did harbour some reservations about whether Nauticus would slot in comfortably.
It describes itself as a “community pub” – rather than a cocktail bar – with an emphasis on “local, best in class Scottish produce”.
On the evidence of my early visit, that determination to be a real community pub is not just PR speak – it’s genuine and woven through every aspect of the operation.
So, yes, the cocktails are available. As is the local produce: charcuterie from the East Coast Cured, pork pies from Pie Dolly and cheese from Mellis.
There are six draught beers – from Tennent’s to Pilot’s bespoke American pale ale Hush Hush – ranging from £4.20 to £4.80 in price, along with a few Scottish bottles.
Much as I like the Hush Hush, I opt instead for the Porridge Colada (£8). Created from coconut-washed whisky, honey, homemade oatmilk and pineapple, it’s a treat: punchy but sweet, aromatic and well-balanced.
The extensive but tasteful and sympathetic refurbishment has opened up the bar – showing off a dizzying selection of spirits, many of them local – and Nauticus hits a sweet spot somewhere between a library and an old-school boozer. There’s a subtle nautical theme, a nod to Leith’s maritime heritage.
The service is informal and welcoming, yet precise. It’s perfectly pitched.
On my visit, a mix of customers are happily enjoying all aspects of the operation.
I enjoyed it too and I am sure you will – it’s an excellent community pub that seems to have found its sea legs from Day 1.
Address: 142 Duke Street, Edinburgh EH6 8HR