February 17, 2012 § 6 Comments
Here’s a good one! $20 = 3hrs of whiskey tastings, cocktails & Jambayala
If you’re wondering what to do this weekend – head on over to one of my all-time favorite stores: Le Du’s Wines for an awesome tasting event with a little bit of Mardi Gras goodness!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 from 4pm-7pm
600 Washington Street (between Leroy & Morton)
See you there!
December 21, 2011 § 8 Comments
I just spent a full week checking out the whisky scene in the sunny city of Los Angeles, California. On my last day, I was driving around like a crazy person (as you do in LA) trying to squeeze in a few last store visits.
Up until then, I had really only be focusing on specialty shops (K&L for example) and authentic whisky bars (hello, Seven Grand) but I found myself sitting in a parking lot in Beverly Hills staring at a somewhat dingy looking store that, for whatever reason, I felt I was being gravitationally pulled to enter.
Sigh. Ok! I hop out of the car and go into what I would describe at first look as being a pretty standard American liquor store. Neon signs, branded posters, old linoleum floors complete with a faint smell of cat (or is the cat smell only in my memory?).
A quick overview of the room tells me the liquid gold that I’m looking for is in the center of the store (interesting … whiskies are usually along the sides or back walls). Hmmm. I keep walking.
At the start of the aisle, there is a cheap, locked display case that I’m quite sure was been held together with discretely placed duct tape. Now, here’s what I didn’t expect to see in it:
1 beautifully displayed 750ml Baccarat crystal decanter holding non-other than the Louis XIII cognac for around $2500 (see earlier post about this spirit HERE)
1 box (on the bottom shelf, tucked off to the side) of a Compass Box 50ml Sample Gift Set.
Gasp. WHAT!?! I have never seen this kind of set in the States before… ever. SOLD!
This is the perfect way to familiarize oneself with a brand, style, region, etc. I picked up a few sets like this from La Maison du Whisky in Paris back in July (see earlier post HERE, reviews of the sets I bought to be posted in 2012).
In this Compass Box set, it contains five 50ml tubes, one of each of the following:
-1 x Hedonism
-1x Peet Monster
-1x Spice Tree
-1x Oak Cross
I also really appreciate the pull out information card that is secured on the underside of the box lid. This is beautifully done, clean, well organized and a perfect gift … for oneself or someone special!
Sadly, a quick google search produced only one place online with stock and that is a single sellers on eBay (click HERE) but I’m not even sure that’s legal and that guy is selling his box for $89.99 (compared to the $49 I paid at full retail).
IF you can find one – I encourage you to buy it. It’s a great set. I’ll definitely be asking my local store later today to see about getting a few in stock!
Lastly, here’s the information for the store from which I purchased this awesome set:
Vendome Wine & Spirits9153 W Olympic Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Hopefully they can ship to you!
1 ADJUSTMENT SINCE I FIRST PUBLISHED THIS POST: I HAVE SINCE HEARD FROM COMPASS BOX AND THEY OFFER THIS SET FOR SALE IN THEIR ONLINE SHOP HERE: http://compassbox.specialitydrinks.com/
WITH SHIPPING TO THE USA (FROM THE UK) YOU CAN GET IT HOME FOR AROUND $64 USD.
July 21, 2011 § 1 Comment
Need I say more?!?
This is the mecca of all things great. It’s where Parisians and Whisk(e)y come together under one (ok, 2) roofs. La Maison du Whisky (LMDW) is legendary. They have one of the best collections of whiskies from all around the world, including a back room with extremely rare and few-of-a-kind bottles at their store on 20 rue d’Anjou. If you’re in Paris, you must plan to spend time in both of their stores.
La Maison du Whisky (original shop)
The original La Maison du Whisky boutique is situated in the 8th arrondissment at 20 Rue d’Anjou. Located in one of the chicest neighborhoods in Paris, this sexy shop is on the ground floor and so beautifully designed you’re going to want to move in (and that’s not just the whisky talking!). It’s elegant and soft minimalistic design in grays and browns are the perfect backdrop for showcasing their collection. Further more, I can’t help but mention the wonderful people who work there. They were happy to answer any question and help in any way (and most speak English fluently).
*A bit of a warning, what we thought would be an easy find turned into a bit of a “tourist in headlights” moment. It is Paris, after all, and all of the street curve, turn, end and turn into something else, or don’t intersect where you think they might. Long story short, bring a detailed map.
LMDW Fine Spirits (2nd shop)
Their second store in Paris, appropriately names LMDW Fine Spirits, is located in the über cool 6th arr. in the neighborhood of Odéon. Located at 6 Carrefour de l’Odéon, this recently opened 3 story beauty is well worth the visit. Very different from it’s sister store, LMDW features a wide variety of all spirits, not just whiskies. The main floor features a large, rotating themed collection that is framed perfectly in their massive windows (during my visit, it happened to be Whiskies of the World – woohoo!). The basement level is where the buyers really flex their muscles and stock some of the coolest and most unique spirits I’ve ever seen. The 2nd floor, however, is where the magic happens. This level is set up like a bar (in fact, I was ready to pull up a stool!). It’s part concept store and part functioning bar, used only for tastings and special events. Otherwise, as was described to me by their manager, it’s the best setting to get yourself in the mood to purchase their beautiful edited selection of bar accoutrements! Cocktail shakers, anyone? (You may not need one but in that setting, you certainly believe that theirs has magical powers to turn you into the best at-home bar tender the world has ever seen!)
By the way, if you’re in Singapore … I here the LMDW store there is pretty amazing too!
July 20, 2011 § 7 Comments
Hello Whisky Lovers!
Apologies for my month away – I was traveling in France (I know, you all feel terrible for me!… and I thank you) tasting some UNBELIEVABLE whiskies which I will be blogging about over then next few days/weeks. I have to admit, I thought I would miss my computer and find times to logon and touch base with reality, however, once I was there I realized that I certainly couldn’t be sitting behind it! Especially not when there were so many Japanese (and Australian and French) whiskies to try and fresh baguette on every corner! But alas, I am back and excited to bring you this fun announcement!
Published first on GrubStreet.com – check out their review of the very new Whiskey Shop (below or click HERE).
Whiskey Brooklyn Team Opens the Whiskey Shop
7/15/11 at 4:10 PM
Ninety-nine bottles of whiskey line the walls.
Because “there are not enough nice liquor stores, especially in Brooklyn,” the team behind Whiskey Brooklyn, Whiskey Tavern, and Whiskey Town has opened a pint-size liquor store to further “spread the brown gospel” says partner John Wiseman. The retail space, located next to the entrance to Whiskey Brooklyn, might be the country’s first whiskey-only storefront. Its tiny dimensions (288 square feet) mean it’s floor-to-ceiling brown spirits, a rotating collection of 99 bottles with an emphasis on domestic and local labels. Whiskey nerds will like the two varieties of Suntory Yamazaki, while neophytes might prefer the easy-drinking, specially brewed Tom Lawless house whiskey. And, “for those rare times when whiskey isn’t enough,” says Wiseman, there’s a curated lineup of one vodka, one gin, one rum, one tequila, and one bottle each of red, white, and sparkling wines. See the full roster of spirits here.
The Whiskey Shop, 44 Berry St., nr. N. 11th St., Williamsburg; 718-384-7467
Now that I’m back – I know where my next local-excursion is going to be! Whiskey Shop, here I come!!!
June 11, 2011 § 9 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!