London’s Got Spirit(s)

Posted by: on Jun 11, 2010 | No Comments

The other day when I got off the plane, the first thing I knew I had to do (after dropping off my larger than life suitcases of course) was to head to the West End. I missed it so much I simply couldn’t wait to visit all my favorite shops and haunts.

One of the places I somehow managed only to drop into briefly last time I was in London is Berry Brothers & Rudd, wine and spirit merchants extraordinaire. Located just down from John Lobb in St. James’s, they still inhabit their original seventeenth century shop, and it shows inside and out. But even with the historic appearances, they are doing anything but sitting back and letting things go by.

In the spirits room, a cosy little den in the back, was housed an enormous collection of not only branded spirits of all types, but also independent bottling of every variety. For all of their own bottlings they also keep open bottles on hand for you to sample, so sample I did. I was lucky enough to get to taste some of the Islay Cask Aged Demerara Rum that I have been puzzling over online for the last few months. I must say that the results were quite fantastic – the Laphroaig cask is definitely there, but it doesn’t overpower the inherent quality and complexity of the rum itself. Truly a find. I might just have to drop by again, bother the wonderful sales staff, and work my way through a few more of those bottles…

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