Dom: When I hear the phrase ‘pop-up’, I always think of a tent-like gazebo thingy (that’s the technical term, I believe) – much like the food market outside Royal Festival Hall on weekends. It’s a bit DIY and makeshift, but slightly more high-brow than your average burger van stationed outside the local car boot sale (and regardless of the van, they always seem to do amazing bacon butties…).
So, when William Grant & Sons (one of the last family-owned Scottish whisky makers) announced they were opening a Christmas pop-up this year, we were curious as to what they were going to do. Surely something more extravagant than a tent in the blustery Christmas weather? Needless to say, they have delivered.
Until Friday the 23rd of December, William Grant & Sons will occupy a tiny retail space minutes away from the thrust and cut of Highbury & Islinghton. Located in the middle between Angel and Highbury & Islington (about a five minute walk from either station), the store is nicely placed off the beaten path to ensure a quiet atmosphere – away from the busy streets of the trendy north London suburb.
But what is the pop-up offering for the next two weeks, you say? As well as stocking the Ancient Reserves whisky portfolio (including Ailsa Bay, The Girvan Patent Still, Rare Cask Reserves and Kininvie), it’s all whiskey-themed Christmas presents for the true enthusiast: from bottle engravings to gift wrapping services
Now, while the shop is open free of charge during the day, at night the space turns into a venue for a series a whisky events, including interesting whisky pairing sessions and a chat with the Aisla Bay blender, Brian Kinsman. The ticketed events cost between £15-£20 and can be purchased from the following link.
This is obviously not a cheap affair, but if good quality scotch whiskies are a penchant of yours or if you know someone else who is passionate about them, then this is definitely for you. As mentioned, the store is only open until Friday 23rd of December, and time is ticking…
The Whisky Boutique
53 Barnsbury Street
Opening times: 12pm-7:30pm daily until Friday 23rd December (closed on Monday 19th December)
Ticketed events: 8pm-10pm. Tickets can be purchased from the following link.