London’s Best Whisky Bars
If a bar choses just one spirit to specialise in…
…it can be a little whisky.
And when it is, it can be a little fantastic, as demonstrated by these fine establishments, who’re showing the rest of the city how to serve the brown stuff correctly. Behold, our finely cask-aged guide to London’s best whisky bars…
Black Rock | Shoreditch
This sleek subterranean drinking hole in Shoreditch has two ‘whisky rivers’ flowing through a huge, 185 year old, 18ft English oak tree trunk-cum-table. And if these tipples don’t take your fancy, you can choose from one of their other 250 bottles of whisky or have a bartender mix you a cocktail at your table from their short-but-sweet list.
Details: Black Rock | 9 Christopher Street, EC2A 2BS
Milroy’s | Soho
Before it was one of London’s best whisky bars, Milroy’s was London’s first ever specialist whisky store, founded back in 1964. Upstairs you’ll find over 500 separate whiskies from every lauded spirit-producing nation on earth, including a selection of handpicked, cask-aged tipples from which you can pour your own bottles and make your own whisky blends. But make sure you check out the downstairs, accessible through a secret door hidden within a false bookcase, where a brooding, underground, candlelit cocktail bar called The Vault resides.
Details: Milroy’s | 3 Greek Street, W1D 4BD
Merchant House of Fleet Street | St. Paul’s
Tucked away on Bride Court, just off Fleet Street, you’ll find the whisky haven Merchant House. Home to around 500 whiskies, you’ll have the chance to sip them neat or in one of their many illustrious cocktails as you take in your fresh, floral and bright surroundings – created to mimic the youthful and uplifting flavours of the very whisky you’ll be consuming.
Details: Merchant House of Fleet Street | 8 Bride Ct, EC4Y 8DU
Soho Whisky Club (Members only) | Soho
This private members only bar is for the true whisky lovers. Located in the heart of Soho, above The Vintage House Whisky Shop, you’ll find 700 types of whisky by the dram. If you do decide to become a member, you’ll be able to enjoy complimentary whisky tastings throughout the year as well as making use of their outdoor cigar terrace. If that’s what you’re into.
Details: Soho Whisky Club | 42 Old Compton St, W1D 4LR
Bull in a China Shop | Shoreditch
Shoreditch’s Bull in a China Shop manages to create a unique blend of Japanese Izakaya, Scottish whisky bar, and Midwest America prohibition hide-out, with a low-lit blend of ‘30s glamour and industrial chic. Their library of brown booze consists of around only 100 bottles, due to their ruthless discrimination of anything remotely low quality. The list is predominantly Japanese/Scottish, and there are even ‘rarities’ from closed distilleries, or legendary small-batch releases.
Details: Bull In A China Shop | 196 Shoreditch High St, E1 6LG
Mac & Wild | Liverpool Street
As if having over 200 varieties of whisky stacked on their shelves (some of which they’ll very happily make into a whisky ‘slushy’) wasn’t enough of a draw to this Chesterfield-filled, candlelit, subterranean snug, they also boast bar portions of their lauded Scottish food (expect haggis pops and the award-winning Venimoo burger), and two hunting simulators that allow you to shoot virtual game in a virtual game.
Details: Mac & Wild | 9a Devonshire Square, Liverpool Street, EC2M 4YN
The Sun Tavern | Bethnal Green
This 1850’s corner house has been converted into an all-day craft beer and cocktail-infused drinking den. Located inside a handsome old tavern on Bethnal Green Road, it features an expertly crafted list of high quality cocktails and more than forty Leprechaun Green Irish whiskies.
Details: The Sun Tavern | 144, Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 0AN
Tonkotsu Mare Street | London Fields
If you’re looking for an establishment that specialises in Japanese whiskies, you can settle your eyes on Tonkotsu Mare Street who have more than 60 whiskies on offer (with an extensive range from Nikka and Suntory, Paul John in Goa and several from the Taiwanese Kavalan). They’ve even got a resident whisky expert who’ll be able to recommend which whiskey goes best with the different ramens they have on offer.
Details: Tonkotsu Mare Street | 382 Mare St, London, E8 1HR
Boisdale Canary Wharf | Canary Wharf
With over 1,000 malt whiskies on offer and a whisky list consisting of 83 pages, it seems very fitting that they have a 12m long bar hailed as a ‘glowing amber wall of liquid gold’. And if that’s not enough to keep you busy, you can also have a little gander around their oyster bar & grill, cigar terrace, Cuban cigar library & shop AND their restaurant.
Details: Boisdale Canary Wharf | Cabot Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4QT
Already tried all of London’s best whisky bars? We have you covered with London’s best gin bars, too…