Cocktails are the slow-food of the drinks world. You don’t just order them because you like the taste. You order cocktails because they are special, they have been made for you, and they should be a sip of luxury.
Whiski is just a bit too corporate to pull-off the luxury feel. The ambience is not unpleasant; it’s just a bit soul-less. The aubergine walls adorned with pictures (all of whisky labels or distilleries) try to add warmth, but really give the feeling of a hotel lobby. The chairs with their red leatherette are comfortable – but everything, even the wood and brass fronted bar, is just a little too boringly wipe-clean.
They’ve done the best they can by cleverly splitting up a large, cavernous place into areas for eating, drinking and propping up the bar. But partly due to this split it seems to be neither restaurant, nor bar – tipsily falling between two stools.
As I waited for my friend to traverse the Armageddon-like rain outside I ordered a coffee (decent), and perused the drinks menu. I was initially disappointed: of the 20 or so cocktails offered (most at around £7.50) at least half are whisky based. I believe the amber nectar should be drunk neat and savoured. But when in Whiski-land it would be rude not to…
The incredibly attentive staff took our order. I had a Whisky Mule and, on recommendation, my friend had the Whisky Mojito. They were, quite literally, made by the book. I would always rather things be done ‘right’ – but it didn’t help the place to feel any more spontaneous and fun. There are also no mock-tails, this is a little disappointing for non-drinkers.
The high point was that the cocktails were really, really great. You could taste the booze, the lime was freshly squeezed, the balance of sweet and sharp was spot on – it was quite simply a great cocktail. And the Mojito was just as good – light on the mint, but very fresh and long enough to savour.
We were tempted to stay out of the rain and soak up some booze with their delicious chips, and maybe just one generous glass of white wine (well chilled).
Whiski is well placed for a pricey, but decent, after work drink; they will tempt you to stay longer, and the service more than makes up for the (lack of) ambience.
3 stars out of 5
By Ailsa of http://www.homestic.net/