There are liquor stores, there are whisky shops, and then there’s Cadenhead’s, one of the most unique places in London to buy a bottle of single-malt Scotch. Behind the painted glass windows and muted green shop front, amber bottles call out to shoppers looking for the perfect souvenir for an afternoon with friends. Rather than a retailer of bottles produced elsewhere, Cadenhead’s is the last of an ancient breed: an independent whisky bottler that purchases barrels of the golden liquid from distillers across Scotland, ages it to perfection, then bottles it to order, resulting in what may by the deepest collection of Scotch anywhere.
Guide your friends into this whisky wonderland and school them on your knowledge of the four main whisky regions of Scotland—Highland, Lowland, Speyside, and Islay—before deciding on one to take home. Only unfiltered, unadulterated and, more importantly, single origin Scotch whisky is permitted at Cadenhead’s, a standard the shop has kept since the Victorian era, so you know that whatever you decide on will be sublime. Gaze at the bevvy of barrels chalked with the names of distillers, then watch with great anticipation as your limited-edition libation is bottled and corked right before your eyes. While guided tasting tours are offered daily, it may be best to ferry your friends’ whisky picks back to a location of your choosing for a tasting as unadulterated as the liquid itself.