Not-so-new kid on the block United Valley is filling out, with whiskey bar Ounce joining the pack of bars, taking up lodging on the third floor. It joins Daniel An's speakeasy Shrine, cocktail bar Encounter, and beer bar Found Beer.
In what could have been a Brooklyn loft in another life, warm amber lights illuminate the brick walls of Ounce, while thick black support beams frame the ceiling above the bar. To the right are a few intimate tables, cozily packed together in front of a spiral iron staircase that leads up to a private terrace. It’s a dark lit den that’s unfortunately cluttered with a questionable selection of furniture, much like a space filled in with all the wrong Tetris pieces. Still, the terrace is enviable and impossible to dislike.
The menu features several classics with a twist and a few inventions of their own. The Black Witch (RMB80) is fuchsia-colored, a tint presumably coming from the combination of Cassis, wine stain blackcurrant and handmade berry liqueur. Mixed with Romate Cream Sherry, the drink has a medicinal hiss. It borders on being aggressive, but remains invasive, with a few sweet notes underpinning the brew. It isn’t a particularly balanced cocktail, and the garnish of rum-soaked currents is overly strong and confusingly paired.
The Smoky Rob Roy (RMB90) is heavy on the Glenmorangie Scotch Whisky. The added cinnamon contributes a favorable dimension in taste and smell, but it overwhelms a few of the other “homemade spices” that are blended into the drink. Rounded out by the sweet vermouth and angostura bitters, the real defining characteristic of the drink is the grittiness that comes with the smoke—a testament to and trademark of the Glenmorangie. The Old Fashioned (RMB110) is almost too sweet, and is poisoned with citrus that the color of the mix reminds us of Sunkist oranges. The Maker’s Mark base manages to burn through, but it’s not nearly as clean as one might hope a staple whiskey drink might be.
Ounce is jazzy. Ounce is reasonably priced. Ounce has a sweet little roof deck and a bar that’s easy on the eyes. Their mixed drinks are underdeveloped in comparison to other cocktails we’ve had at that price point. That’s not to say to write off Ounce completely—a gin and tonic on the roof could very well be the reason you’d want to come to this bar.
Our Rating: 3/5 Stars
Address: E301-302, 3/F, United Valley, 462 Changle Lu (near Shaanxi Nan Lu) 长乐路462号集社东楼三楼e301-e302室 (近陕西南路)
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