Scotch Malt Whisky Society to open whisky bar in London

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The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) is set to unveil a new bar in the City of London after the success of its Kaleidoscope whisky bar in Edinburgh.

The new bar, also called Kaleidoscope, will open its doors in Devonshire Square, near Liverpool Street station, below Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild on June 2. Like the bar in Edinburgh’s Queen Street that was developed last summer (pictured), it will be open not just to members of the society but also to the general public.

It will be home to more than 200 of the SMWS’s exclusive single-cask whiskies, which are presented in 12 unique flavour profiles with names such as such as Old & Dignified and Deep Rich & Dried Fruits.

Housed in a traditional warehouse, the new bar will also offer an exclusive menu of whisky cocktails, specially created by bartenders Jamie Meehan, formerly of Boisdale in Canary Wharf, and Mikey Cook. The bases of the cocktails will be SMWS whiskies, from a Bloody Scotsman to classics such as a Blood and Sand and Old Fashioned.

It will also offer fine wines, champagnes and draught beer from Edinburgh and a selection of bottled craft beers. The bar will have a range of light snacks featuring food from Mac & Wild, which is one of the Society’s network of partner bars.

The SMWS already has a members-only venue in London at 19 Greville Street in Farringdon, but this is its first bar in London that will be open to non-members as well as members.

Jan Damen, operations director UK from the SMWS, said: “We’ve been catering to our members for 20 years at 19 Greville Street, and it will remain an exclusive members-only venue. With Kaleidoscope at Devonshire Square we want to open up our amazing selection of bottlings to a new audience of whisky fans, so that they can discover this fascinating world of single cask, single malts.”

In advance of the opening, Kaleidoscope will open its doors for a one-off event for World Whisky Day, Saturday May 20, from midday to 6pm with masterclasses available at 1pm and 3pm.

The venue will be able to host private events for up to 100 people including tastings, dinner and tastings and receptions. The tastings will be hosted by one of the SMWS ambassadors, who will enlighten guests about the Society’s single-cask whiskies and its 12 flavour profiles. Food, from snacks to a full sit-down dinner, can be provided by Mac & Wild.

Mac & Wild originally took the site on the site in Devonshire Square as a five-month pop-up but announced this week that it would become permanent – its second full-time restaurant in London after the success of its first in Fitzrovia. It features a 100-cover restaurant, an outside covered craft beer bar and the Gun Room with a virtual shooting simulator.

Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar Edinburgh

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