If Black Rock's devotion to whisky wasn't clear from the bar's many cabinets filled with bottles, then the two huge rivers of the stuff flowing through the table in the middle of the room should eliminate any doubt.
Opened this week, the bar is the latest from Fluid Movement (of Worship Street Whistling Shop fame). The site's impressive booze-filled centrepiece is made from an 18ft, 185-year-old, three-tonne English oak tree with two glass-topped channels, containing 17 litres of liquid each, running its full length.
One channel, lined with charred American oak, holds a variation on the classic Cherry Bounce, containing American whisky and cherries. The second, lined with French limousin oak, is a constantly-evolving house-blend whisky, with new whiskies added as necessary, and chosen by the team depending on flavour profile of the blend at the time. The plan is to keep regular archive bottles of the blend too.
'Our other bars have been considered innovative because of the drinks they served,' explained Fluid Movement's Thomas Aske. 'This is innovative thanks to the engineering.’
The various whisky cabinets around the room (containing upwards of 250 bottles) are arranged by flavour rather than country of origin, and priced in three bands – £7, £9 or £11 for a 35ml measure, with a POA level for special whiskies. The cocktail list is short and (no surprises) all about the whisky. The five-strong cocktail list is joined by five highballs.
‘This whole place is about demystifying whisky,' added Aske. 'For a lot of people, older is better when it comes to whisky, but that's not necessarily the case. Black Rock breaks down in a very simple way what happens with the ageing of whisky, without ramming the information down our customers’ throats.'
The name, in case you were wondering, is the literal translation of Cardhu.
Black Rock, 9 Christopher Street, London, EC2A 2BS