May 2011
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An aside and some actual content: The Balvenie Whisky Den – Preview…

A bit quiet on the blogging front this last week as I’ve been doing my first week at The Whisky Exchange. So as not to leave the blog fallow here’s a quick post pointing you at another post – my first post on the TWE Blog, talking about whisky cocktails. Feel free to go and add a comment (that’s the last time I ask for comments in a blog post, I knew what was going to happen…). I’ll probably be putting something up over there most weeks, but hopefully usual service will be continuing here soon.

To add the actual content that the title promises, here’s something for London people. I’ve heard tales over the last few months of something interesting coming out of the pleasantly mad end of the William Grants PR dept and now it’s distilled into something real – The Balvenie Whisky Den. Hiding in a shop front on Tavistock Street near Covent Garden it’s, simply put, a pop-up bar. However, to build on the idea of craftsmanship that Balvenie are pushing as part of their brand on day one (Monday 9th May, about a week ago) there was nothing there apart from some building supplies and whisky. Since then, with updates through the @BalvenieUK twitter account, the team has been building out two levels of the shop to be a bar and tasting room for the Balvenie range.

I popped by at the end of week one and was confronted with a fairly spartan upstairs and a closed downstairs area. There was a bar, some stave based lampshades, a pair of barrel racks (complete with barrels) and a halved sherry butt being used as a table for tastings. They’re open from 1pm-8pm (although that may change) and offer visitors a free taste of Balvenie Double Wood and, for Warehouse 24 members (the Balvenie club, sign-up forms available on-site) a deconstructed tasting of Balvenie Signature – a try of each of the three types of whisky that go into Balvenie’s master distiller David Stewart’s signature malt.

The downstairs was closed when I went, due to to it still being a proper building site, but by Sunday 15th the upstairs was clad in staves and, all going to plan, downstairs should have had some interesting adornments and ‘activity areas’ added. The press launch is on Wednesday, which I’ll hopefully make it down for, and the London Cocktail Society, including myself again, are visiting on Friday, so there will be a more complete blog post sometime soon. However, in the meantime if you are around the Covent Garden area and feel like a dram – The Whisky Den, 34 Tavistock Street. They made a sign last Wednesday, so it should be easy to find…

The piccies are lifted from the @BalvenieUK yfrog account, where there are a bunch more in progress shots.

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