Of late, one of us has been getting into whisky (and whiskey), and a local store is turning into a favourite place. The shop is the Whisky Exchange near London Bridge, which is kinda hidden away in the middle of a building, literally nestled between Laithwaites Wine on one end and Vinopolis on the other. It’s easiest to find by walking through the wine store.
This shop is a local gem. The people working there are lovely, and are clearly passionate about whisk(e)y (and we’ve encoutered a few friendly fellow customers too). We first went in and, feeling a bit bewildered by choices, asked for a recommendation – just something different, with the only guidepost being we like bourbon (they sell plenty of that too). We left with a bottle of Nikka from the Barrel, a lovely Japanese whisky that has a delicious chocolatey taste if you add a little water to it. It also comes in beautiful packaging: if Apple sold whisk(e)y, it would arrive like this.
Things progressed from there, and we continued try more over the next few months. We stuck with Japanese stuff at first, like Hibiki 12 and 17. Then some Irish whiskey like the Redbreast range. Recently, we’ve moved on to proper Scotch whisky, starting with Bowmore 15. But this is where the shop gets truly interesting.
They keep several casks of whisk(e)y in the shop – actual wooden casks! – from which they will fill a bottle for you to take back to your couch. The casks change from time to time, and at the time of writing there’s a fiery 22yr old Guyana rum available alongside a lovely peaty Ledaig Island single malt, plus a few others. After tasting both of the mentioned libations, we walked with a bottle of each. The rum in particular is quite strong at 66% (!), so that will last a good long while. The Ledaig is 58.6% and is, ahem, not lasting quite as long.
But hey, it’s an excuse for another visit for a refill.