Today I discovered Cadenhead’s on Chiltern Street in Marleybone, between Bond Street and Baker Street.

This is a small shop selling whisky, and a selection of other spirits. It looks from a different age, with rows of wonderful amber and heavy wooden barrels where you can choose selected blends and fill your own bottle direct from the barrel.

Cadenhead’s is one of Scotland’s oldest whisky distilleries, founded in 1842 by William Cadenhead. https://www.cadenhead.scot/

I gave up drinking whisky about 25 years ago, when I suddenly noticed I had knocked back about a third of a bottle during a double episode of Inspector Morse. Wine seemed a better option.

But I’d forgotten about the endless variety of whisky and how different the various brands taste. I asked the proprietor if whisky could be described in the same language as wine, and he acknowledged the similarity, although he seemed to favour words such as smoky, burnt, peppery, spicy, clear tasting. So a slightly different vocabulary.

I was astonished by the range of whiskies in such a bijoux shop, from bourbon favourites that I recognised from my 20s such as Rebel Yell and smooth Irish malts like Tullamore Dew to very serious Scotch whiskies from the Highlands and Islands.

There is also an impressive range of Asian whiskies, mainly from Japan and India.