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Issue 99 - A Meeting of Minds

Whisky Magazine Issue 99
October 2011


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A Meeting of Minds

Joel Harrison heads to Leeds to check out an excellent food and whisky menu.

Living in London, I have become spoiled for choice if I want to go out for a cocktail; from East London's small, boutique places such as Alistair Burgess' new bar Happiness Forgets in Hoxton Sq and some of it's more established neighbours Callooh Callay, Casita and the Whistling Shop, through to Mayfair's hotel bars at The Arch, Dukes and the Connaught, there is always somewhere bursting with talent to quench my thirst.

Moving away from the Capital, if I asked you to write a list of other UK cities where one might find an exceptional whisky bar with an innovative mixologist, let alone one coupled with an excellent restaurant, I can't imagine that Leeds would be near the top of the table. But thanks to a new, Scottish owned hotel group called Mint, Leeds can proudly boast one of the best food and beverage pairings in the North of England, with a heavy focus on whisky and whisky-related cocktails.

Located on the Aire and Calder Navigation in the heart of the Leeds, the Mint Hotel is part of a small group of just eight properties, seven of which are in the UK with one in Amsterdam.

Each hotel has its own unique collection of whisky, allowing the head bar staff to purchase bottles according to their customer's tastes. In Leeds, for example you will find an old bottle of Whyte & Mackay 30 Years Old sitting happily next to 32 Years Old Glen Elgin.

With each drinks menu comes an 11-point guide to whisky, answering simple questions like ‘What is Scotch whisky?' through to the m...

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