"Heaps of fun for whisky lovers"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
The Hilton Metropole has the misfortune of being slap bang in the middle of the noisy concrete jungle created by Edgware Road and the Westway. Its new Whisky Lounge has just a degree of separation from the lobby, where the unmistakeable jangle of a hotel bar piano seeps through.
But this little room which seats just 22 people and has walls lined with whisky bottles offers hours of fun for whisky lovers, provided you have the stamina.
The selection has a heavy bias towards Scottish whiskies. We try a floral Rosebank 21 yo, with a delicate smoothness that may appeal to beginners. At £40 a pop it’s not cheap; the sommelier explains that the distillery has closed down the price will only go up as stock sells out – a bottle is currently £155. The Isle of Jura 10 yo (£7), also a Scotch whisky, could not be more different, with a striking smell that can only be described as intensely savoury, along with a salty aftertaste.
The “round the world” whisky flight (£20 for three drams) includes the famous Suntory Yamazaki (“for relaxing times, make it Suntory time” says Bill Murray’s character in Lost In Translation). We’re told it’s award-winning and could easily compete with Scottish whiskies; with its robustness and a warmth that trickles down your chest, we agree. The biggest revelation is an Indian whisky, the Amrut Fusion, with hints of delicious chocolate. There only two distilleries in India in case you’re wondering what their production is like.
The Lagavulin 16 yo (£11) has a playful blurb: “salty notes emerge in a bear-hug of peat”, whatever that means it becomes our favourite. Or perhaps it’s in the top three, along with the Isle of Jura and the Amrut. We’d like more time and an expense account to fully make our minds up.
Leila reviewed Whisky Lounge on Mon 30 Sep 2013