Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Black Rock, 22nd March
Black Rock is cool. It just is. Which is not surprising given its big sister is the Worship Street Whistling Shop around the corner.
While the Whistling Shop specializes in gin, Black Rock specializes in whiskey. In a big way. If you don’t like whiskey, you really shouldn’t bother coming to this bar – every cocktail has whiskey in it, be it highball or short and strong, and the only other option is four beers. Because that’s not the point.
Running along the middle of this sleek but bijou bar is a table made out of a 166 year old oak tree, in which whiskey sits aging. There are two kinds – Table and Cherry and a dram of either will cost you £6. Then there are six cabinets stuffed with whiskeys from all over and separated according to flavour profile – sweet, fragranced, spiced etc. We only had two drinks and stuck to the cocktails so I didn’t get a chance to dip into these cabinets of wonder. Next time.
The cocktails were pretty perfect – my preference were for the first two we had as I’m just not a Highball kinda gal – too much liquid, not enough boozy flavour, but we tried them anyway for variety. I had the 40 Shades (no idea why it had that naughty reference) with apple and fennel pollen. It was slightly carbonated and I have to say the apple was very light and not too fruit-juicy. The fennel got a bit intense towards the end but was otherwise a refreshing drink.
The Campfire was a take on an old-fashioned but with extra oomf from the two whiskies and a deeply satisfying sweetness from the marshmallow gomme. The White Dog Martinez was a much lighter drink paring whiskey with cocchi instead of another whiskey but still pokey enough and with vanilla rounding off the flavour this time. Quaffable.Service was excellent – everything was well explained to us and water kept topped up without being intrusive. A lovely joint.