The Old Bailey Whiskey Bar in Bree Street comes with its unique edge, as you would expect for a lounge bar perched atop two dining establishments by Liam Tomlin. This concept whiskey and cocktail bar in Cape Town is modelled after the high-end member’s clubs of London and New York, so you’ll definitely want to dress up a little.
EASY, SOPHISTICATED SPACE WITH JAZZY MOODS
The Old Bailey comes as the ideal spot for pre-dinner meetups, date nights, and late nightcaps. Table service includes classic cocktails, a wide selection of whiskies and premium spirits, as well as an extensive wine list. And to complement that, a light bar menu ranges from oysters, Tuna Tartar and Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls, to jamón, Stuffed Chicken Wings, Chorizo with Potato Salad, and more, plus dessert.
The space is pretty versatile, too. It’s easy enough for you to take in the balmy summer evenings for after-work drinks on the balcony, or head indoors where you can sink into the plush seating among the heaters.
To add to the ambience, there’s live jazz on Friday evenings.
GUIDED WHISKEY-TASTING SESSION BY AN EXPERT
If you’re big on all things whiskey or keen to learn more, the venue boasts a dedicated whiskey sommelier Cameron Paulse who is on hand to introduce guests to boutique whiskeys and sought-after editions that date back to 60 years.
The Old Bailey is Tomlin’s ode to his Irish roots. ‘Whiskey is the Water of Life’, he says, referring to the ancient name of ‘Uisce beatha’, as whiskey was traditionally known to Irish monks in the Early Middle Ages. Indeed, the venue is home to a specially curated list of more than 320 whiskeys sourced from over 14 countries around the world.
Make some time to try the whiskey tastings that can be booked a day in advance – reservations for 10 or more guests require a 2-day notice. These relaxed yet educational tasting sessions offer a deep dive into whiskey is made, how to do proper whiskey analysis, and the best ways to bring out the true value and flavour in a serve. The experience includes six fine whiskeys from around the world, as well as canape-style bites to complement the spirit.
Whiskey aficionados will love the Advanced Tasting which is tailor-made to the taster’s personal preference for a particular style of whiskey. Here guests are treated to some of the truly unique tipples for a one-of-a-kind tasting.
PRIVATE COLLECTIONS ON SHOW
One of the first things you’ll notice as you enter the bar is a glass wall showcasing ornate spirits you might never have heard of locked in multiple cubicles. That is The Old Bailey’s bespoke Bottle Keep Programme open to a limited number of members. In short, the concept gives serious whiskey buffs the opportunity to store and showcase their personal collection of high-quality alcohol to enjoy as guests at the bar.
The wall features 68 Private Whiskey Lockers in glass with brass trim, stocked with each member’s personal selection. Annual membership covers a range of perks and privileges such as exclusive discounts, preferential bookings for monthly Master Class Tastings, and individually personalised and engraved crystal tumblers.
When: Mon to Sat, 3pm to late
Where: The Bailey, 91 Bree Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 773 0440