Whisky Magazine Issue 50
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Prague is known for great beer.But what about whisky? Jefferson Chase went in hunt of the perfect Czech whisky retailer
Despite living for years near the border between Western and Eastern Europe, I'd never been to Prague. The disinclination to battle millions of tourists – many seduced by discount airfares and the prospect of a cheap piss-up – simply outweighed the undeniable charm of one of the world's loveliest cities.
Finally, I decided to take the plunge – but with a twist. Although my research assistant Google warned me that the Czech capital was not a whisky drinking town, I made it my mission to find a good dram on the banks of the Vltava. After all, I reasoned, it wasn't long ago that Prague was considered the cutting edge capital of the New Europe. What could possibly go wrong?
The first thing that struck me about Prague's Old Town was that, although Vaclev Havel may have been a fan of the Velvet Underground, ordinary Czechs have yet to master the subtleties of Western rock music.
Yesterday's hits blare everywhere in shops and restaurants, usually disrupting the very image the establishment is trying to project.
The second thing I noticed was that I was lost. No matter how carefully I studied my map, I kept arriving back at the Old Town Square, dogged by the same 10,000 fellow map wielders who seemed to have been pursuing me since I set foot in the city.
Terrified, I just started running south and was lucky enough to stumble across the Kavarna Velryba (Opatovicka 24).
Velryba means ‘whale' – although the wrought-iron skeleton above the entrance looked to me more like ...