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Iron Stag (Bar)

Picture of Iron Stag in Shoreditch, London

45-47 Hoxton Square, Shoreditch, London, N1 6PD
Cuisine: Bar
Tel: Not on file | Email to Iron Stag | Transport: Old Street | Write review

Iron Stag Review

Top 10 things you need to know about Iron Stag:

1) The wood-clad walls form the resting place for an imposing mounted stag’s head. This is not a traditionally cruel dead trophy, though. This ethically modern interpretation is made of iron; one of many ways in which the old and new meld subtly throughout this subterranean den, one of the best whisky bars in London.

2) It’s dark, too dark to read. Candlelight flickers off glistening eyeballs as furtive glances arrow across the room. Sink, sink, sink into the soft, brown leather sofas, Chesterfield armchairs, and Harris Tweed tartan footstools. This Scottish hunting lodge narrative places you in the snowy, blustery wilds of the Highlands, not a basement on the corner of Hoxton Square, Shoreditch.

3) Resist the urge to fumble for your phone. It’s not a torch for reading the cocktail menu. Instead, the erudite staff will recite tales of exotic flavours and bountiful whiskies from Jura, Dalmore, Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Auchentoshan. You’ll need to send a thank you letter tomorrow to the two wise men who brought these drinks to life, as well as the menus they created for Purl, Duck & Waffle, Sushisamba and Worship Street Whistling Shop.

4) From the menu: the Whisky & Soda selection provides classic whisky highballs in individual, pre-made bottles; the Whisky Fix options branch out into bourbon and rye; but we strongly suggest starting at the Other Cocktails section, where the clearer spirits help to clear your spirit. You can rut with the whisky cocktails later, when mischief joins the party.

5) Begin with a £50 and Ambition cocktail. It simultaneously charges the engine and greases the wheels due to shortbread Bombay Sapphire gin, strawberry americano, black tea Kamm and Sons and a miniature Jammie Dodger biscuit. There’s a story behind the name, so don’t be shy; just ask.

6) For round two, choose the light, sweet, feminine Scottish Pornstar cocktail, combining hopped passionfruit Russian Standard vodka, thyme, and Scotland’s finest, Super T Iron Bru, for energy. If you prefer a full punch in the face, the Supersoaker is a close cousin of the Manhattan. Despite the cocktail’s diminutive appearance in a digestive glass, its watermelon Woodford Reserve bourbon, vermouth, and Campari sugar provoke involuntary facial contortions.

7) Thankfully, bagpipes are not in attendance, regardless of the Scottish predilection. Instead, the disco, funk and soul soundtrack complement the nostalgic, cool, stylish motif that the bar’s drinks and decor exude. This is most definitely a bar for grown ups. Anyone born after 1995 will find little here to Instagram.

8) Sustenance is key for endurance on adventures such as these; especially when created by Scottish chef, Adam Handling, at The Frog restaurant upstairs. The range of Fat Bastard sandwiches is enticing, if visiting alone, but if you have company (highly recommended), share the haggis bon bons, cheese doughtnuts, and, the pièce de résistance, battered Mars bar pieces with salted peanuts and honeycombe ice cream.

9) When organising a group gathering - such as a birthday, a hen party, a boys night out, or pay day - book yourself a cocktail booth. Each booth is fitted with a tap. Each tap is hooked up to a keg. Each keg contains a pre-batched cocktail. Each cocktail can be served by you. As you’re hidden away in a booth in a basement, dial the fun up high and drink as much as you like (responsibly, of course)!

10) Equally, this bar has all the moody prowess that a bar needs to seal the deal for courting couples at the end of a night. Lock antlers over a 10-year old Glenmorangie and the next date is ensured.
...read more

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