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Whisky bars are popping up all over London and many pubs and restaurants are stocking an increasingly varied selection of some of the finest liquid gold available. Throw in some city charm and London’s unrivalled cosmopolitan crowd and you have a winning recipe for countless unforgettable evenings. Explore the many flavours of Scotch whisky, Japanese whiskey, American whisky, Irish whiskey and bourbon at the finest whisky bars London has to offer.
Boisdale of Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Scottish
Whiskey bar in Canary Wharf - this Scottish bar and restaurant has a whiskey cabinet that holds a massive 900 bottles of whiskey, some from the 1930s and 1940s from distilleries that don't even exist any more. Plus, the distinctly Scottish menu (not one for vegetarians) is simply divine. Heaven in a glass. And on a plate.
City of London / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
Although not technically a whisky bar, per se, Scarfes bar at the gloriously opulent Rosewood Hotel near Holborn station is deserving of a spot on this page by virtue of the extensive whisky collection housed therein. This cocktail and piano bar has some 300+ drams of whisky to choose from, observed in a magnificent, floor-to-ceiling cabinet as you walk in (the reverse of which can also been from inside the hotel - helping to lure in those guests who are lucky enough to be staying the night). The selection even includes a whiskies of the world section: Indian, Dutch, Welsh, French, Taiwanese, South African and Australian whiskies, if you're bored of Scotch, Irish, and Japanese whisky. Download
Mac & Wild City
City of London / Restaurant /
This Scottish bar and restaurant near Liverpool Street has an impressive array of more than 100 whiskies that provides quality tipples from Campbeltown, Islay, The Lowlands, The Highlands and Speyside. The whiskies start at £1.30 a dram, going up to to £60 a dram, and there are whisky flights available. The food menu also suggest a different whisky with each individual dish so you can pair your haggis pops or your venison chateaubriand with any number of Scotch legends.
East London Liquor Company
Hackney / Bar /
East London Liquor Company has brought spirits production back to the East End - once the industrial heart of the English spirits trade. The craft spirits company has opened the first and only distillery to produce gins, whisky and vodka in East London for over a century. Locals and visitors alike are able to enjoy all these craft spirits at the distillery's very own cocktail bar. The bar features a large glass wall through which drinkers can look into the distillery room to see how the spirits are made, whilst drinking them in a range of bespoke cocktails, carefully put together by their bartending team.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
City of London / Bar /
City of London - A bespoke bar ideal for the most fanatical whisky buff, SMWS's London branch has the largest collection of single cask, single malt whiskies in the world - including its Edinburgh outlets - with new drams hand-picked from 129 different whisky distilleries from all over Scotland as well as Japanese, Irish and Welsh whiskies. Fiendishly elaborate yet gloriously informal weekly tastings are available to members (with prices starting at £110 a year), but the comfortable, heady confines of the main bar are accessible to all. (Fergus Price)
The Whisky Lounge
Paddington / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
How better to warm a curious palate on a weekday night near Paddington. Taste a variety of 70 different fiery, fruity whiskeys on hand at The Hilton Metropole's very own private whiskey lounge. Single malt treasures from across the globe make us eager to learn about the regal, mysterious world of the dram. Whiskeys from Asia, being presented by an expert from Hungary, offered a globetrotting adventure for the senses. Taste and sniff the depth of complexity in a mouthful of Singleton whiskey and in just one night you will become a swashbuckling Christopher Columbus type connoisseur of the whiskey universe. Pass me the Yamazako now!
Stables Bar at The Milestone Hotel
Kensington / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: Bar
Tucked away at the back of this 5-star Grade II listed hotel is a hidden gem of a whisky bar which has some 70 drams to work your way through. The sporty setting of the bar will be spot on for any whisky fans who have a love for horse riding. As it's positioned right across the road from Kensington Palace, you never know who you might meet in there sometimes.
Milroy's of Soho
Soho / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
Milroy's of Soho is the complete experience, especially for real whisky fans. Not only does the ground floor whisky shop have hundreds of Scotch whiskies (Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside, Islands, Islay and Campbeltown) sitting alongside bourbons, ryes, and malts from the US, Japan and Sweden, but also a selection of cask-aged drams that can be used to create and bottle your own whisky blends. And then, after 6pm, push on the secret bookcase and discover a cosy candlelit cocktail bar hidden below the streets of Soho. Table reservations are highly recommended.
Jackson + Rye
City of London / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: American
This bar and restaurant near Bank station has a big book called The List. In it there are certain flavour camps which each contain about 20 whiskies, bourbons and ryes. The camps are named after their characteristics; so Fresh as a Daisy, Big Belters, Pancake Parlour and Breakfast of Champions (which contain notes of cereals, grains, toasted oats, and swirled honey). Tipples range from accessible £5ers, up to Nikkei from the barrel single malt and Thomas H Handy sazarac rye for £40 per dram. There?s also a vintage and impossible to find section to drool over; a whisky aficionados wet dream. Download
Golden Arrow Bar & Restaurant
Kings Cross / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern European
Not all whisky bars need to be dark dungeons with no natural light and run by a hairy old man with a penchant for cardigans! This brand new bar in the brand new Pullman hotel near Euston and King's Cross St Pancras Stations is bright, airy, modern, and oozing with style. Plus, the head honcho in terms of whisky is a lovely Irish lady by the name of Sarah who will guide you through the 200-odd whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Australia and the US. She also hosts occasional whisky masterclasses if you want to learn a bit about barley, water and yeast.
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