The term ‘intimate whisky lounge’ conjures up Caledonian cosiness à la Boisdale or the postmodern luxe of the Athenaeum’s dedicated uisge beathe salon, but the Hilton’s vision is a boxy, rather uninspiring lobby space set off its spanking new main bar. A chandelier fashioned from glass decanters and jarringly lit display walls housing some of the six dozen available pours create a too-bright space that feels rather like the corporate showroom for a global drinks brand – although the drams on offer include some of Scotland’s finest, alongside their cousins from Ireland, Wales, USA, India and Japan. Blends and three-part tasting flights are a useful introduction to novices, while those serious about their whisky could splash out £110 on a rare Johnnie Walker Odyssey triple malt. Bar bites feature Welsh rarebit, savoury macaroons and smoked salmon.
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