Great Whisky/Whiskey Shops in NYC

June 11, 2011 § 8 Comments

I was asked on Twitter the other day what stores in NYC have the best whisky collections.

I wish I could have shared a more “secret” shop; a cool, hidden, underground, off the radar type of store that you only know about through word of mouth and need a secret code to get in …. however … I have yet to find that one (or maybe that’s where the small door around the corner leads to!).

Here is the truth of the matter: if it is sold in NYC chances are the sales rep’s first stop is Astor Place Wines & Spirits.  As an Astor employee told me the other day: “if it’s out there – it’s on our shelves”  In addition to a multiple whisky-dedicated floor-to-celling shelves, they also have a few free standing locked cases with some very expensive, high-end and rare whiskies.  They also have a great ecommerce site and can ship to lots of states (bonus!)

The second place to try is Drink Up New York.  Located in Brooklyn, I have yet to venture out to their brick & mortar shop but have purchased from them online.

Another – and most “secretive” of the bunch – is Le Du Wines.  Not only is it a fabulous wine store (#1 by Zagats 2011) but I know that Jean-Luc Le Du is personally on the hunt for some rare, less seen whiskies.  He will be beefing up his true craft bourbon & rye stock to launch early Fall.  I am going crazy with excitement to see what he brings in and how he improves on his ever-impressive and evolving inventory.  Visit the store in person any Saturday from 4-7 to stumble upon an awesome (& typically free!) wine tasting event.  And it usually is an event.

Of course – the other mecca for fantastic, amazing & a truly complete Whisky/Whiskey selections is Park Avenue Liquor Shop!

Is there a shop in your neighborhood that stocks your favorite rare whiskies? Share below!

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§ 8 Responses to Great Whisky/Whiskey Shops in NYC

  • Josh Feldman says:

    Awesome information for NYC locals. Park Ave Liquors (on Mad and 40) is 3 blocks from my office and Astor Place Liquors has been my go to for hard to fine. I review on Amazon and have dropped reviews on Drink Up NY listings many times. I’m a Jersey commuter so I don’t go Brooklyn often, but Drinkup was firmly on my whisky-dar.

    Le Du, however, is a major revelation. I’m planning a lunchtime excursion now. They stock a number of the wild craft whiskeys you mention on your blog that are hard to find – like Balcones Brimstone and Corsair Triple Smoke. Fantastic. Thanks so much for broadening my horizons – particularly in the exciting area of craft whiskeys.

    • Groovy! It’s always nice to hear that the information I have shared is helpful! I hope you will be pleased with Le Du. I have been able to get to know their spirits buyer (JT) who, in my opinion, has done a great job of procuring a well edited selection which, I think will only continue to get better with time. While you’re there, check out their armagnac collection too! Some of it may be a bit hidden behind the counter but the staff is cool & will let you go back and browse.

      (Oh, and if you do make it on your lunch break, there are some yummy food trucks parked on Hudson about 2-3 blocks south of the store – taco truck anyone?!)

      If/when you do make it over to Brooklyn, I also strongly recommend The Whiskey Shop. http://whiskeyshopbrooklyn.com/ This would be my home-away-from-home if I lived a bit closer. The shop owner has made it his personal mission to make sure every single customer walks out the door with the best possible whisky for them or their occasion. I have been at his mercy and seen it with my own eyes – a pretty cool place for novices & enthusiasts alike.

      Have fun!

  • Ann Medlock says:

    Really enjoying your blog from Speyside in Scotland! Where can I buy Brenne in Scotland?

    • Hi Ann,
      Thank you so much! As for Brenne, it’s only available in the USA right now. Not sure if any of the stores here will ship internationally but you can always try! Here’s a link to our current retailers: http://drinkbrenne.com/buy

      Hope that helps!
      Thanks again,
      Allison

      • Ann Medlock says:

        Allison – as a Scotch whisky club and specialist whisky tour operator based in Scotland we have many clients in the USA who would like to join our club having visited Scotland with us or found us on the web. The problem we have is getting club whisky to them – I notice you are an importer – can you assist in any way please? Ann

        • Hi Ann,
          As I’m sure you’ve realized, there are many (MANY) challenges with importing alcohol into the US, first and foremost is the issue of the 70cl vs 75cl bottles. Let’s connect via email and I can go into more detail.

          Cheers,
          Allison

  • Rob says:

    Thanks for these tips…for great prices you may have to venture into suburban (or urban) New Jersey. Bayway in Elizabeth has a great collection of rarer IRISH whiskeys and Patrick is really knowledgeable and helpful. In Iselin, there’s Joe Canal’s, who have a great stock list, but probably the best prices in the area on some of the more common stuff.

    • I LOVE Bayway! You’re totally right, Patrick is wonderful & really knows his way around a whisky collection. They also have some fantastic independent bottlings specifically for the store. I haven’t been to Joe Canal’s place but that’s a great tip. Thanks for sharing, Rob!

      -Allison

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