A visit to Whiskybase Rotterdam

Whiskybase shop Rotterdam

A month ago I went on a city break with miss. C (and our little minion inside) for one last weekend to Rotterdam with just the two of us. An good opportunity to drop by the Whiskybase shop.

1972 invergordon whiskybase
70.000 bottles
on the wall
Whiskybase is well known for its giant database with tons of official and independent whisky bottlings that have been released in recent years. At the moment they have some 70.000 bottles on the virtual shelves. Whiskybase celebrates every 10.000th bottle on the wall with a commemorative bottling. This time they picked a 43 year old Invergordon that sold out in the blink of an eye. I'm guessing the very reasonable pricing had something to do with it (€145).

The shop lies in the north of Rotterdam - away from the busy city - in a cosy neighbourhood. It's a mere fifteen minute walk from the Rotterdam-Centraal train station. The street houses, a Hopper Coffee, a huge cooking shop and a bunch of vintage shops. Anyway, we were there to buy whisky!

Something that drew immediately my attention was the spacious layout and stylish look of the shop. Some (read: a lot of them) whisky stores try to fill every available space with bottles to the effect you barely dare to move and break a precious bottle. No such thing at Whiskybase. Plenty of room to do a Carlton Banks-style dance (If you are a dancer. Me, far from it).

Whiskybase Rotterdam
Picking out your bottle without having to worry
about breaking something.

Choice might be a bit more limited but there are nevertheless over 500 bottles in store. Beginners and more experienced anoraks are spoiled for choice. Official bottlings are neatly ordered alphabetically according to their region. Independent whisky bottlings from Van Wees, Gordon & Macphail and others have a shelf on their own with next to them the more exclusive (thus more expensive) whiskies. Think Glenfarclas 1966 Family Cask or the new 2015 Littlemill. And if I'm not mistaken, they have a few small casks to bottle your own whisky. Unless the casks were mere store decoration, something I doubt.

Whiskybase Rotter
Something for every budget (alas, these are out of mine ;-) )

Whiskybase Rotterdam
Blends, single malts, miniatures and bottle-your-own casks 
Cees-Jan van Dijk and Menno Bijmolt know their stuff and are willing enough to pick the right bottle for you. I'm willing to bet you'll never walk out the door with the wrong present. And with some luck you can have a taste of what you're buying. They have quite a few bottles open behind the counter.

I knew more or less what I wanted before entering the store: One of their own Archives bottlings, a young Ledaig from 2008. Turned out they had to label a new batch of bottles. Which gave me the opportunity to have a look around and take some pictures. After asking nicely for permission of course.

Whiskybase Rotterdam
All the independent bottlers neatly aligned.

Anyway, back to those Archives whiskies from Whiskybase. Nowadays they use The Fishes of Samoa for the labels. The series is inspired by the 200-years old M.E. Bloch drawings from his book Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische. The colourful fishes now adorn the Archives whisky labels. The vintage style of printing and paper add some extra cachet.

I also bought a few samples of other Archives bottlings (1992 Glen Keith, 1990 Glen Grand and a Ledaig sample. So I can safely stock the Ledaig bottle for the future). The tasting notes of these whiskies deserve a separate blog post. Something to watch out for.

Whiskybase will be my compulsory stop in Rotterdam!

Whiskybase Rotterdam winkel
Whiskybase lies in Rotterdam Noord, Zwaanshals 530.
A fifteen minute walk from the Rotterdam-Centraal train station. 

Website: Whiskybase

P.S. You can find me on Whiskybase.com as TastyDram.