New whisky bar for capital venue

Edinburgh operator aims to stock 300 whiskies in basement outlet


AN Edinburgh operator has created a dedicated whisky bar in the revamped basement of his gastropub.

Graham Blaikie will officially launch the new whisky bar at his Mercat Bar & Restaurant, which he leases from Belhaven, at a special whisky tasting event later this month.
The bar was created in the basement of the West Maitland Street premises, which Blaikie launched in 2005, and features exposed stone walls and “atmospheric” lighting.
There are currently 60 whiskies on the gantry, including blended and single malts and rare cask strength whiskies like Little Mill – a West Dunbartonshire distillery which is said to have been established as early as 1722 but mothballed in 1997.
To mark the launch, Blaikie will host a special whisky tasting event on September 27.
Priced at £25 per person, the event will include whisky samples and finger food created by the Mercat’s head chef to complement the drams; guests will also receive a complimentary Mercat whisky glass to take away.
Blaikie said the new whisky bar has a relaxed ambience, making it the “ideal spot to sample Scotland’s water of life”.
“We’ve sourced 60 whiskies for our new bar and we’re aiming to increase this to around 300 in the near future,” he said.
“We’re increasingly witnessing more of our local and overseas customers asking for advice and looking to try different and rarer types of Scotch whiskies.
“We also want to fully support promoting our national drink.
“Very often we overlook the true treasures we have on our doorstep.
“So in line with our recent refurbishment, we decided to complement our main bar with a new dedicated whisky bar.
“This allows us to cater for groups, whatever their favourite tipple is, from beer or wine to whisky.”

Image – Graham Blaikie ultimately aims to stock around 300 whiskies in the new bar.