Head here if… you’re looking for somewhere fun, funky and stylish to meet up with friends
It’s also a hotspot for whisky lovers with an impressive collection of single malts and blends from around the globe
First Things First
Let’s get our embarrassment out of the way before we get to the nitty-gritty: Albannach is hardly new. In fact, it’s been around for six or so years. We’ve known about it from the day it opened but we won’t lie, whisky has never been one of our favourite spirits. Not because we don’t like it, more to do with the fact that it’s so complex, so grown-up, we feel a bit like imposters.
Shame on us. This is a gem of a bar with plenty on the menu to satisfy and inspire single malt whisky fans and cocktail lovers alike. The vast space is broken down into various zones to give a more intimate, clubby feel which works equally well for large groups and parties as well as drinks a deux.
Ms S went for a Peaty Kiss, not a real one obviously, but one made with Bowmore 10 year-old, Picon, redcurrants and pineapple juice. The rich aroma hit as soon as our glasses were placed on our table. The taste was as good as its looks: sweet upfront with a long, lovely and smokey finish. The redcurrant garnish might put some guys off but the flavours would certainly appeal.
Seeing as we were in a whisky bar Mr G opted for a whisky-based martini. Not any old whisky martini mind, but a Japanese one. His Yamazaki Martini was like nothing in the martini world he had come across before. All the refreshment of the more traditional mix but with a strangely warming comfort coming through from the whisky at the finish. Would be perfect to round off a meal.
We left it to Ivo, the charming and very passionate manager to surprise us and he didn’t disappoint. Both drinks were mixed off menu, showing off the skill and versatility of the team behind the bar. Ms S was served a fabulous martini made with Ciroc vodka, muddled grapes and served with three juicy grapes pierced on a stick. What a treat. It was absolutely sublime with just the right level of tang and sweetness. Mr G was equally impressed with his Bloom Martini. He particularly liked the fact his glass was rinsed with absinthe rather than vermouth, then filled with Bloom gin and served with a welcoming grapefruit twist.
And To Eat?
We loved the food here, the clean tastes and flavours worked brilliantly with our cocktails. We tried a selection of bar snacks including baby stuffed peppers, fantastically fresh bread and delicious dips, a welcome alternative to the usual nuts and deep-fried offerings.
Look Out For
There are many things to look out, including the Whisky Map which guides you on the tastes and characteristics of the . What Albannach has the no other bar does is Guy the Whisky Sommelier. While there’s no denying that everyone here knows there stuff, if you really want to talk whisky, Guy’s your man. If like us, you’re not too sure about whisky, try one of the excellent Whisky Flights, designed for novices and connoisseurs alike.
Ms S says:
Albannach is a good spot for drinks with the girls – fun, smart and very female-friendly, plus there’s a funky nightclub downstairs – perfect for hen parties.
Mr G says:
Don’t play safe guys. Go for a cocktail from the menu you wouldn’t normally choose – then sip back and enjoy.
Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DS. T: 0871 223 6254