A STRIPPED BACK SPECIALIST WHISKY BAR.
As I walk through the door of this small and intimate bar, I hear the quaint ring of a bell that announces my arrival. Black Rock is located in a basement that is dimly lit but upon entering your gaze immediately fixes on to the unique centrepiece.
In the middle of this bar there is an impressive 18ft, 185-year old oak tree trunk that has been hollowed out and delightfully filled with alcohol. The tree trunk has two taps embedded on the end that allow you to sample the drinks being aged inside. There are a couple of compartments in the trunk and during my visit these housed a blended whisky and a whisky cocktail. Both drinks are available for £6 per measure which is very reasonable for this area.
Unusually this bar doesn’t actually have a traditional bar, instead there is a whisky library housed in glass cabinets around the tables. The cabinets are displayed by flavour profile such as peaty, fruity and balanced. You are free to roam the cabinets and pick a bottle that you wish to try. They also have a smart pricing system which means you shouldn’t go overboard with your spending. Each bottle has either 1, 2 or 3 black dots and the number of dots reflects the price per measure (£7, £9 and £11). There are also some premium bottles with gold dots that are priced individually.
If you are not a whisky aficionado, then you can always stay in your seat and let the helpful & highly knowledgeable staff assist you to find a drink that will please your palate. I was with a novice whisky drinker who found this extremely beneficial.
Black Rock is the brainchild of Tristan Stephenson and Tom Aske. These two are the well-respected owners of sister bar Whistling Shop. They unquestionably have a strong philosophy behind each of their bars, and I appreciate the effort they have made to create a stripped back specialist whisky bar.
If you are a fan of whiskies, then you should certainly stop off at Black Rock next time you are in the area. It also has an antiquated charm and approachable staff that make this place appealing to those who are not familiar with the wicked world of whiskies.
9 Christopher St, London, EC2A 2BS
020 7247 4580
Nearest Tube Station: Old Street / Moorgate
Article By: Gurpreet Singh