Black Rock
9 Christopher St,

What is it

I have actually written about whisky bar Black Rock a few years ago when it was just a wee bar in the basement in Shoreditch in London. This year, due to its success, they decided to expand the concept to the rest of the building in which it lives. They now occupy the ground floor bar which they have called The Black Rock Tavern which is a more pub feel mixed with a bit of Japa-nese decor. Upstairs they now have The Black Rock Tasting Room where they have lots of exciting tastings as well as a blending experience where you can actually work with different whiskies and blend them together to create your own Scotch to take home with you. They are also about to open their first Black Rock bar outside of London in Bristol.


The expansion of Black Rock is a sign that their approach to whisky is working. I love a traditional whisky bar but what they do here is absolutely needed to get new people into the category. By demystifying whisky and making it simple for people to understand they have converted thousands of people into loving whisky. My big wish is that they come to Scotland soon.


They base most of their ethos and drinks around six distinct flavour profiles. Fruity, sweet, spice, smoke, balance and fragrance. People recognise flavour and the passionate team here ensure every guest gets the dram or cocktails that they will be happy with, rather than someone babbling on about whisky regions and how long they distill their whisky.


They have a great way of making sure people understand how much their whisky costs. They have a three-level structure with whiskies at £7, £9 and £11 and if you see a gold tag on the bottle then it will be more than this. I love this approach as I believe what puts a lot of folk of buying whisky is they are worried about how much it will cost.

Interesting Fact

The space downstairs at Black Rock is dominated by a 185-year-old oak tree which has been split down the middle to create a table that seats around 20 people. This is pretty cool in itself but they’ve also carved two channels down the full length of the tree trunk, then lined them with charred oak. This is covered with glass and filled with whisky cocktails which age while in the cask before being poured out through two taps at the top of the trunk.