Categories Drinks, Food, Where & What

Bar of the month – January – Black Rock

All about that whisky life.

At MFC we always talk about perfect date spots, and I think we’ve found it. This place is good enough to be your first, second, or thirty-third date spot.

It’s simple to get to and is located on Christopher Street which is a short(ish) walk from either Liverpool Street station or Old Street station. Keep an eye out for a massive sign spelling out its name and take a walk downstairs. As you enter the bar you can feel that it’s absolutely packed with atmosphere. This is aided by the mood lighting, creating a feeling of intimacy.

The seating options are individual tables or, what at first glance, looks to just be a long communal table. This table is in fact; a 185-year-old, 18-foot-long oak tree cut in half and filled with whisky ageing right before your very eyes!

Wait, it gets even better.

The menu is of course all about the whiskies. It is split into smoky, spiced and sweet. My favourite was spicy; it’s light on the pallet with a solid spicy after taste.

The mixologists are experts in whiskies and can create anything to suit your pallet, offer advice from the menu or if you want to truly get your whisky on, recommend something from one of their 250 plus bottle of whiskies.
When I asked, I was recommended whisky in the table; I was confused as I’d thought the table was just a gimmick, but no… The table has taps and they pour your whisky out right in front of you. I would thoroughly recommend it, it’s balanced somewhere between spicy and sweet and is just “oh so right”.

They pretty much have, what can only be called, a whisky library. All kept in glass cabinets and split between smoky, spiced and sweet. The range is remarkable, both in age, taste and price.

All the tables have water taps to add a couple of drops into your whisky, but also to keep yourself hydrated… meaning the next day I did not end up with that groggy hangover, which is another plus point.
The one thing I’ve never mentioned about a bar before is its food, but this place deserves a shout out for its soda bread and its veggie haggis balls. Yes, I never thought I’d be a fan, but the snacks compliment the whiskies so well that I ended up ordering two portions!

The bar itself sits under a cocktail bar called the Devils Darling Cocktail Bar and is next to Sack which is a bar dedicated to port. So if you do decide you’ve had enough of whisky (consider me shocked) you can just go upstairs for a change of scene. The bars are also part of the Napoleon Hotel and Bar so if you have had too much, you can always check in for the night and get a kip upstairs!

Overall – 4/5 Black Rock bar has kept things simple, it specialises in whiskies with mixologists that are walking talking whisky encyclopaedias. I can’t recommend this place enough, even if it’s just the first stop to somewhere else. It’s perfect for a date, a work do, or just because you want to get a taste of some niche whiskies not commonly found elsewhere (too many for me to name here).
Cost – Cocktails average around £10 but off menu prices can vary massively depending on age of the whisky. This is a table service only place and comes with a small service charge.
Dress Code – Casual or smart casual or you know, a kilt to keep it real.

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