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The Scottish Stores, Kings Cross, N1

2-4 Caledonian Road
N1 9DU

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

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Quinno _ left this review about The Scottish Stores

Four ales on this visit; 2x XT (4, 19), Doom Bar and another I forgot to note. Both my XT beers clocked in at £4.60 which felt a bit steep. Mixed quality on the drinking; XT19 weighed in at an NBSS 3, the XT4 tasted a bit stale (2). Seeing mentions elsewhere I get the feeling it’s a bit of cask lottery in here these days.

December 2016
Well described by PSM below so a brief overview from me - a pub reclaimed from being (by most accounts) a seedy strip joint and fortunately (miraculously?) the interior fittings survived pretty much unmolested. The small interior is divided up into three compartments, wrapping round a central bar. There’s plenty of wood panelling, inset glasswork and (a rarity!) plenty of hooks to hang your coat from. Its size does work against it in that it doesn’t need many people in to be full and a number of the patrons on my Sunday night visit seemed oblivious to the fact that using a spare seat as some sort of personal luggage storage is bad etiquette – something perhaps the pub’s management should tackle. It’s also got the irritation of bar blockers in front of the pumps so it can be a struggle to see what’s on. The selection on my visit was pretty good (five ales with a local slant plus Westons cider) and I decided to go with the house beer - Ripple Steam Bitter - which clocked in (after the CAMRA discount) at well-under £4, so I think this is somewhere where you need to be willing to ask prices before ordering, given some of the comments below (a wall-mounted blackboard might help…?). Quality of the pint I had was good. The atmosphere was relaxed and I enjoyed my stop here. Now I know it exists I may well be reappearing next time business takes me over that way. Well-worth a visit, but time it well to avoid the hordes. Rated 7.5

On 10th May 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 4042 recommendations about 4030 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Scottish Stores

First visit to this establishment (in any guise), and the heritage interior is certainly noteworthy. The wood-panelling is lighter than usual for London, and none the worse for that. The various rooms and seating places around the central bar are a great survival, and the two side rooms (separately branded as The Wines Stores if you enter from the street) offer a good amount of extra space. More surprisingly, on a 'scorchio' day, was that I found a table out on the compact first-floor roof terrace. Decent selection of cask beer in a range of styles from the eight handpumps, but I opted for the Farmhouse pale ale from Ripple Steam Brewery (£4.40) which was in good form. There is also a decent selection of craft keg offerings. Overall, well worth seeking out if anywhere near Kings Cross.

On 25th June 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6214 recommendations about 6214 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Scottish Stores

Thanks to John Gray for pointing this one out, on the London PG crawl earlier in the year. As some of you may know, I am a big fan of pub Interiors of Outstanding Historical Interest, so this one certainly ticked a few boxes. It was good to see a lot of the majority of the fixtures and fittings still intact, knowing this pubs illustrious past in the 1980s. Beer wise, we went for the Truman's Budburst and Enefeld London Pale Ale, a crafted beer brand from the Enfield Brewery. The only downside on our Sunday Eve visit was that the in house music was played too loud.

On 10th June 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2976 recommendations about 2976 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Scottish Stores

Changed days since the flying scotsman now comes with accoutrements like daylight and real ales. 7 real ales and a varied keg selection.

On 29th September 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2760 recommendations about 2702 pubs]

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Ian Collins left this review about The Scottish Stores

Just writing in to clarify a couple of the points below and, once again, thanks for the feedback & for anyone reading this we DO run a 10% discount scheme for any CAMRA members.

Firstly, for Mr Pub SignMan. The formulation for all of the Ripple Steam beers have been tweaked recently & have been received extremely well, in particular the "Gold" which we have been running a lot of recently. I'd also like to assure that with the ale volume we are moving we don't have an issue with beer sitting in cask for too long.

For Mr Malden Man. I would very much like to apologise if you were overcharged & knowing my staff as I do, I would certain suggest this was a mistake rather than anything suspicious.

For Mr Bucking Fastard. I don't remember your party being in but I would like to comment that I have been a big fan of Big Chief in the past & therefore bought it in as my first purchase from Redemption. Honestly, I have to agree with your comments that it wasn't as good as when I have had previously & haven't purchased it since as a result. I DO take issue with the fact you may think something untoward may have been going on as this is simply not the case at all & it's probably been the first time in my life that i've had a "shifty" insinuation towards me. As a gesture & as i'd like to welcome you back into the pub, please mail me in advance of your next visit and have a pint on us. ( Cheers.

On 5th May 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2 recommendations about 1 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Scottish Stores

I have to say that our experience was better than that experienced by BF and Maldenman. There were a couple of Ripple beers on and we had a pint of each, and both were on fine form. We mentioned by chance in passing that we were CAMRA members and the barmaid volunteered the fact that we were entitled to a 10% discount. Both Ripple beers started off at £3.80, and came down to £3.42 with the discount. I would expect the other ales to be more expensive than their "house" Ripple beers though. I didn't see any sign of food or menus when we visited at early doors on Thursday around midday.

The interior is well described by others, so I don't need to repeat it. It's not surprising that it's on CAMRA's Regional Inventory of pubs with historic interiors. As we were the only customers in there, we had a friendly chat with the guv'nor.

With seven ales on, plus a cider on handpump, this is now very much a destination pub. I will certainly be coming back here.

On 8th April 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Scottish Stores

This attractive, Grade II listed pub, dating back to 1901, spent a number of years operating as a stripper's pub called the Flying Scotsman, before re-emerging from behind the obscured front windows as a cosy drink-led traditional pub. This sudden change of direction is good news for drinkers and fans of well-preserved historic pub interiors alike. Despite the place's dubious recent history, the listing has presumably meant that internal changes have been kept to a minimum. The pub has a three room layout, with pleasant dividing walls demarking the limits of each. You enter into the main bar area, where a centrally positioned island servery stands directly opposite. Dark wood flooring runs through the whole pub, with some nice checkerboard tiling around the bar area whilst attractive wood panelling covers much of the walls and partitioning, with decorative touches in abundance and some etched glass also in evidence. Some William Morris wallpaper can be seen in various spots around the bar and this is complimented by matching curtains, giving the room a nice retro feel. There is limited seating in the main bar area, but there are high tables and stools in the open right hand room where the wood panelling has a series of images inserted, each depicting various drinking scenes. Behind the bar there is a small space with more high stool seating and some large floor to ceiling images of a brewer at work, presumably taken at the Ripple Steam Brewery, whose sign hangs nearby and who seem to have a link to the pub. A full circle can be completed by passing the left hand end of the bar to emerge where you entered.
Two Ripple Steam beers - Original Best Bitter and Farmhouse Pale - were available along with Butcombe Bitter, Hop Back Winter Lightning, Stod Fold Amber and a real cider. A decent keg range featuring the likes of Gipsy Hill, Shoreditch and Hammerton was also available, with most fonts in the right hand room. I tried the Farmhouse Pale, served to me by a rather blunt barman and not in particularly good condition to be honest.
I liked the intimate feel of this pub and was encouraged by a good range of cask and keg beers, but the quality of my pint does raise a few questions. The place was a lot quieter than I'd expected, given it's close proximity to Kings Cross station - perhaps it has yet to shake off its previous reputation, but it was still busy enough to generate a good atmosphere. If they can ensure consistent beer quality and address some of the issues mentioned in previous reviews, this could become the go-to pub for the Kings Cross area. The jury is still out.

On 9th February 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2546 recommendations about 2546 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Scottish Stores

An attractive old traditional interior with the island bar serving three distinct areas despite the fact you can walk through. Boarded flooring with a chequer tiled slash area around the counter, the high tables around the perimeter actually make sense in here giving much needed room. Nice wood panelling with inserted drawings of hunting scenes, some etched glass, a carved area above the bar has the pub name and date of 1901. William Morris wallpaper with songbirds and flowers matched by the curtains.
Music played but only the bass line was discernible due to the hum of conversation echoing around the hard surfaced interior, no sign of a TV that I could see.
As said previously, eight handpumps, six were on this Saturday, Rebellion Big Chief, Ripple Steam Best Bitter, King Brighton Blonde, Clouded Minds Hazel Nutter, Pig and Porter Coffee Stout and Old Rosie cider. One of the reversed was another Ripple brew.
Now, despite being a nice pub with a great selection, I have a gripe. I had the Big Chief, I don't know the beer really, it tasted ok. I did however pay with a £20 note and didn't check my change, yes, my fault I accept that. On arriving elsewhere later it was evident that either I was charged £5.50 for my pint or I was short changed, I note another reviewer paid £4.50 the previous day. I know this as I somehow left the house with no cash at all and took 20 from the hole in the wall. Honest mistake, who knows? It leaves a bit of a bad taste.

On 31st January 2016 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Scottish Stores

Formerly a strip joint,the listed interior has been lovingly restored and is worthy of a visit alone.The classic island bar serves three sections seperated by panelling inlaid with etched glass,the interior is modest but the use of high stools and small round tables maximises the space and the friendly drinking vibe is very authentic.The new operation also features 8 handpumps with pub owners Ripple Steam Farmhouse Pale and Original Best,Hammerton N1 (excellent condition),Stod Fold Amber,Wild Card King of Hearts,Pig&Porter Red Spider Rye (tip top),Butcombe Bitter and Old Rosie Cider on my trip.There are some interesting keg beers to boot in the side bar.
I am sure one day this will feature in the GBG ,but I am hard pressed to think of a better boozer than this near to Kings Cross,it's a must visit in my book.

Oh dear,four of us pitched up and on ordering four pints of Redemption Big Chief the guv'nor responded with " I like your style" ,a strange remark.The ale was very clear and in good condition but tasted nothing like Big Chief but rather a very malty ,hop lite brew where the high alcohol content inhibited drinking in much the same way as happens with GK Abbott or Dogbolter from days of old.Needless to say,the pints were not finished .It is always possible that on a busy Friday there may have been pump clip confusion or the wrong barrel was connected ,but there were too many tells from the guv'nor (who was keeping an eye on us) to suggest that on a busy time with a lot of transient trade ,and at £4.50 per pint something untoward may have been at play.I would be wary of a revisit .

On 30th January 2016 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2089 recommendations about 2089 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Scottish Stores

To all intents and purposes despite its former guises, it's now a very good traditional boozer with a welcome modern outlook on the beer front,a central island bar boasts eight handpumps with a varied and interesting lineup including one Cider, handily all listed below by Bucking Fastard who shared this enjoyable visit with me along with John Gray. .It has an authentic lived in boozer ambiance and I for one will be back sooner than later hopefully.

On 31st December 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1357 recommendations about 1343 pubs]

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