Tomorrow morning business brings me over to Edmonton, AB for at least two nights. Once again I turn to fellow enthusiasts for recommendations on a good place to eat and have a few drams, as well as which liquor store(s) I should place on my itinerary.
Many thanks in advance!
For a quiet dram, I recommend the Confederation Lounge in the Hotel MacDonald downtown. You'll have to ask them to pour the whisky into a wine glass instead of a tumbler, which should result in looks of disapproval. It's a lovely place to enjoy a drink.
For purchases, Chateau Louis generally has the best selection and very competitive pricing. The Real Canadian Liquor Store has a thin selection with rock-bottom prices. That's where I go to get Balvenie. If you are downtown, DeVine Wine & Spirits on 104th St. and Jasper Avenue has an excellent selection of scotches. The prices are higher than at Chateau Louis. Its wine selection is superb.
How much do you plan to spend on dinner? At the high end, I am a big fan of Characters (105th St. downtown) and the Hardware Grill (Jasper and 98th?). The Harvest Room in the Hotel MacDonald is also very good.
Other options downtown include:
Thai: Bua Thai at 113th and Jasper
Japanese: Mikado at 109th Street and 104th Avenue
Italian: Allegro at 109th Street and 99th Avenue
Feel free to send me a private message at whiskymag if you need more details. I can usually check my account at work.
Memories of my experiences in Seattle echo in my ears, the bar staff got on rude when I asked for a snifter with my special release lagavulin instead of a tumbler.
I can get a correct type glass in any of the 'better' establishments in Northern Europe easily, without any funny faces or verbal abuse. Southern Europe, I got this accomplished in Athens at least, havent been to other parts in a while. But in Toronto and in Seattle, impossible, or the glass comes with verbal abuse..which really does cut down tipping to zero for me at least. Its a bad deal for all parties.
M.R.J. wrote:Who would educate bar staff in USA and Canada when it comes to the use of proper whisky tasting glasses?
That's probably too much to ask. But being polite to customers is not. I know well that in most bars in this part of the world, I'm going to have to ask for a snifter--even in good whisky bars like L'Île Noire in Montreal--but I must say no one ever gives me a hard time about it. If they do, I'm fully prepared to give them a hard time right back. I do try to remember to ask for it before the dram has been poured into a tumbler. (Interesting that occasionally, after I've ordered mine, snifters pop up all around the bar.)
I think tumblers are preferred because they are sturdy and easy to wash. Given how often I am asked if I want my dram on the rocks, it's a reminder also that ours is still a fairly esoteric experience.
Pascal, let's have a pint and a dram this winter--I'll try to remember to pm you next time I'm coming to town.
I will definitely check out the liquor stores you mentioned, and will at least have a look at the menu for those restaurants.
In the mean time thanks to your directions I am enjoying a dram of a Scotch I could have never found back home. I am quite keen on all of Bruichladdich's offerings, and I just picked up a bottle of their Rocks expression, along with their young Waves 7 which found its way into one of my hotel room's wine glasses a few minutes ago.
I'll visit a few other locations but will likely return to Chateau Louis to pick up other Bruichladdich offerings. Back home we get the 10 and the 15, and once in a while I see a XVII, but nothing else.
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