Words by @LondonLiquor
Central London is well served for great whisky bars as a glance at the BBS Bar Map demonstrates. Head out East, however, and there aren't too many inspiring options (with a handful of notable exceptions such as Black Rock and Bull In a China Shop).
Enter the Scotch Malt Whisky Society's new Kaleidoscope Bar located in Devonshire Square (close to BBS-favourite Pitt Cue) behind Liverpool St Station. It's still in the soft launch phase but initial signs are positive. The selection of SMWS Single Casks is unsurprisingly vast and pricing isn't too extreme, particularly with the 20% discount available for SMWS members.
Kaleidoscope also hits other key BBS Bar features: a range of tasting flights, interesting cocktails (although Penicillin is a striking omission), a decent beer selection and, perhaps most importantly, knowledgeable and unpretentious staff. Being situated underneath Mac & Wild also ensures that the snack menu is excellent with a Scotch Egg that's hard to beat.
The American whisky selection is currently tiny but that may change: SMWS has bottled several American whiskies in the past so fingers crossed some of those make an appearance! It had previously been announced to some fanfare that Dave Broom would be curating a non-SMWS whisky collection at the bar but this seems to have fallen by the way side for the time being - hopefully it appears in the future.
BBS will be back at Kaleidoscope in a few weeks once it's fully opened to see if it warrants a coveted spot on BBS' Bar Map!