The Whiskey Jar is one of the Northern Quarter's brilliantly rustic and honest gems, we headed down one evening to delve deep into the realms of flavour and sample a host of cask whiskies and home made food.
Upon entry to The Whiskey Jar you're greeted with a satisfying sense of 'home sweet home'. Open fire places, rustic and worn in leather upholstery, flowers lining the tables and a friendly and welcoming warmth that radiates from not only the staff but every orifice of the building. The back bar is lined with over 105 high quality cask whiskeys in an array of bottles from across the globe, as you can imagine it's a nice touch when your product is your decor and vice versa. The honest and pastoral wood finish brings to life the basic concept and purpose of The Whiskey Jar, a place to enjoy the very best cask whiskeys, locally sourced platters and sit and revel in both.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
A Thursday night visit is often one that paints a far more detailed and relative picture of a bar's clientele, as it suitably merges the week, weekend and after work crowds in unison. We took a little stroll down and were greeted with exactly that. The Whiskey Jar is quintessentially Northern Quarter. It screams rustic, with little honest quirks and yet still attracts the after work business folk that use the Northern Quarter as a way of satisfying their inner creative. Reasonably full with a variety of characters, some raw and righteous guitar riffs were floating from the sound system as punters nodded their heads approvingly. Rock 'n' roll, whiskey and Thursday nights are turning out to be pretty sweet partners in crime. They probably were before, but The Whiskey Jar's unrelenting charm has made us want to do this every week. Like minded people coming together in one place to set the world to rights and sample undeniable quality is nothing new, but it's certainly not old and worn out.
The Food and Drink
With a name like The Whiskey Jar, even the most easily satisfied customer will be expecting a certain level of quality and quantity from such an establishment. With over 105 whiskeys, real ales, ciders and a variety of cocktails, the whiskey connoisseur is not only the drinker that is satisfied. Prices don't wreak havoc on your wallet either, even the premium imported bottles tend to fall below £7, unlike various other bars with similar offerings that can charge up to double that. Value for money is something that is highly sought after in Northern Quarter and rarely delivered, a refreshing change if you ask me. We had the opportunity to order some of the famous Pieminister pies, accompanied by a pot of creamy mash and mushy peas. Hearty food for a hungry crowd. Delicious and bursting with flavour we ordered the chicken and black pudding pie, and the great north meat pie, both at £6. The XL cheese and meat board wasn't to be ignored either. Everything we love about food, the aesthetically pleasing presentation, the honest homemade feel, the rich and compelling flavour and mostly the uncomplicated simplicity of it, was present at The Whiskey Jar.
Anywhere that has the business savvy to serve a platter of cheese and meat to us after tickling the diner with lavish amounts of premium cask whiskey deserves a pat on the back. The Whiskey Jar comfortably covers all the bases we love the most, including the newly opened underground space 'The Still' that will host some of the city's best DJs at the weekend. Some say the Northern Quarter can verge on the pretentious, we think it's what you make of it. Don't be sucked in by those that tar the Northern Quarter with a brush of pretentious negativity, The Whiskey Jar proves that if all you care about is top food and drink and a decent lively atmosphere you're in the right place.