Another write-up…only a few days after the last!? It’s feast or famine right now, folks.
I was recently in Amsterdam, so decided to check out a whisky bar. Opted for J.D. William’s Whisky Bar which is based in Jordaan, slightly west of the centre, and nestled amongst boutique shops, restaurants, and fresh food markets. Lovely, except it was pishing down with rain for the most part, so a whisky bar is a welcome haven.
Named after the owner’s sons (J & D) and father (William), J.D.’s only serves whisky and beer: there’s no gin, no vodka, no cider. Nothing, except a huge choice of whisky, whisky cocktails, and, in some cases, delicious and wildly high 10% ABV craft beers/rocket fuel. They also serve reasonably priced food served in an Asian fusion style, should you wish to eat.
The dizzying array of whiskies take prominence, positioned on a counter and 3 huge open shelves that stretch from one end of the bar to the other, with approximately 60 bottles on each tier. That’s easily over 200 whiskies alone on display – almost intimidating, and definitely mesmerizing. With each shelf featuring strip lights across the bottom to illuminate each and every bottle, it is an impressive sight, and one that takes a few minutes to fully appreciate.
I found it to be reasonably priced, and the large selection on offer means that there are plenty of options to choose from to fit your budget. I was ordering off the menu which was out of date, and they were yet to print the new ones, but paired with the near-empty bar, this meant the owner happily engaged with me and went through the drams that were available. The above is the first page of the menu, and there’s choices there that I haven’t ever seen in other bars (. There were another 4 or 5 pages which were laid out by region, and then country. Living in Belfast, there’s certainly a dearth of whisky options, so to be in a bar that caters specifically for whisky, meant that I could not grumble too much at any perceived overpricing – you aren’t just paying for the whisky, but the environment, atmosphere, knowledge, and conversation, so in that regard I personally found the pricing fine.
They’re also a SMWS affiliated bar, so members are also entitled to a discount.
Whisky ordered was purely based on distilleries and/or countries I had never tried, so I enjoyed 3 fairly different choices to mix it up. No in-depth reviews, just some quick-fire judging.
Tamdhu 15 Year Old Sherry Cask – Pleasant, enjoyable, but a bit uninspiring on the auld palate. I’ve read that Tamdhu have some really nice sherried expresisons, but I wasn’t bowled over by this one. 6.5/10
Theo Sasse Cigar Special – A pleasant surprise! I really enjoyed this. It had a dessert wine taste to it, I presume from the cognac finish. First German whisky for me, and would highly recommend. It’s well-priced too, around the £35 mark, so I am tempted to grab one. 8.5/10
Some Random Spanish Whisky – I have to be honest here. I don’t remember the third and final whisky I tasted – poor show on my part. I believed I had taken a photo of the menu page so that I could refer back, but unfortunately I hadn’t. Since then I have not been able to source it, and I can’t find the same menu online that I was ordering off. Unable to add to the Whisk(e)y Tasted list until I find it oot! Nonetheless, I do recall 2 things about this whisky: it was Spanish, and it was pretty dire. 3/10