Wednesday 22 January 2020

Bar Review #24: House Welley Bar (Hong Kong)

For our 24th bar review, we visited HK's latest whisky haunt, House Welley Bar in the heart of Central. HK whisky lovers who visit will likely recognise the familiar faces of Vincent, Eric and Jason, known for their friendly hospitality and impressive whisky collections, which now form the basis of the bar.

The space is open, large, and features an edgy design with a noticeable departure from the "average" whisky bar (whatever that is these days). It works - it's a striking venue that places whisky at the fore, but at the same time feels comfortable and inviting.

Of course, you don't come to a whisky bar for the space or decor, you come for the whisky, and House Welley Bar doesn't disappoint there. The back bar is split by region and style (there are sections for "Speyside", "Islay", "Blended", "Japan" etc...) and reflects the tastes of the owners, who are all too happy to make a recommendation.

You'll find OBs, sure, but not the average ones you'll find at the supermarket. Here you're more likely to find single cask, limited edition, distillery exclusive OBs, alongside a number of interesting IBs, from bottlers both established and obscure. It's not just modern releases filling up the back bar either - vintage Clynelish, Bowmore, Macallan and others can all be found too.

During my visit I tried a stunningly fruity Cooley from SMWS (117.1 no less, in the old "paper label" bottle style), a secretive 29yo Scottish malt, a 30yo Islay Blended Malt (which tasted suspiciously like Bowmore) and the now-famous 25yo 1975 Macallan from Casa de Vinos (it's excellent, but give it a lot of time in the glass). Prices were reasonable, everything is available by the half-dram, and there were several more bottles I spied on the back bar for which I'll definitely be coming back!

Whether you're a whisky geek, or just starting out on your whisky journey, or anywhere in between, House Welley Bar will have something to suit your tastes, from an obscure IB, rare Japanese single cask, to a sought-after OB.

Note: At the time of writing (21st Jan 2020), House Welley Bar is open by private appointment only, but we hope that changes shortly.


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