As a frequent traveller for business, it's always nice to wrap up an evening on the road with a nice dram in a nice location. The tough part is finding the right bar in a city where you may only frequent occasionally. So I thought it might be fun if folks would express their favorite whiskey bars, in their town of residence.
I'd like to suggest a set of criteria, or categories from which you can rate and comment on your favorite bar. So here goes...
Criteria #1 Whiskey selection
Criteria #2 Ambiance
Criteria #3 Whiskey value (price)
Criteria #4 Crowd
Criteria #5 Additional amenneties, example - good food if it's a bar/restaurant
So for San Francisco, I would nomintae LuLu Restaurant, near Moscone Convention Center.
Criteria #1 Selection - Perhaps by pure quantity of different whiskeys, you could find another one in the city with more, but I think they have some interesting whiskeys...and they often change. Springbank, Highland Park, Royal Lochnager, Alberlour, are some of the ones that I see as changing, along with the usual standards, oban, Macallan, Lagavulin, etc.
Criteria #2 They have a nice bar area, its long with stools only, no stuffed charis, but the bar is open to the restaurant dining area, and its fun to people watch. Early evenings can get crowded, but if you are lucky enough to get a stool at the bar, you can order food there as well.
Criteria #3 Pretty fair prices, occasionally a few good values...of course, it all seems a little subjective especially when compared with wine where you can do the math 4 x glass per bottle, then compare with retail, and figure out markup. Not sure how many measured shots are in a bottle. Lulu's hand pours so tip well, get a good pour.
Criteria #4 Crowd there is fairly hip, although age range varies. Attracts a wide range of folks because the food is terrific (especially the roast chicken). Overall the food is mediterranean influenced. Great mussels, warm chocolate cake. Not someplace to show up in holey jeans and a tee-shrt, better to go with slacks, button down and leather jacket...you'll fit right in. If you are on business, sit at the bar, order food/drink their...talk to your neighbor, or talk to 'Dre, the bartender (a Lulu's fixture, and a great guy).
Criteria #5, I mentioned it before, but the food is terrific! I said it was medeterranean, but it not necessarily fallafels and stuff, more like oven roasted lamb, nice pizzas, fish dishes, sides of sautee'd spinach with garlic, and the roast chicken is my favorite! If they have asparagus, get it. They roast it, drizzle olive oil on it, then shave asiago cheese. The meals are served family style which is also fun....
So, how about some comments on other bars for whiskey? Anyone ever been to this whisky bar with a golf decor in NYC that is run by a Japanese gentleman...suppose to have an incredible selection...Please add your city and comments!
Criteria #1 Whiskey selection - over 300 whiskies, with some very old (expensive) selections.
Criteria #2 Ambiance - none better, within spitting distance of the spey.
Criteria #3 Whiskey value (price) -everything from very reasonable to the 1951 Balevnie and 100 GPB per shot. Lots of range. Each bottle has the price on it so there are not surprises when it comes time to pay the bill.
Criteria #4 Crowd - other whisky lovers
Criteria #5 Additional amenneties, example - good food if it's a bar/restaurant - great restaurant in the hotel and within a short drive of about a dozen distilleries.
Anybody else have any comments?
Through a light fog I write this before running out to direct a few church programs : )
Riannon Walsh put together a splendid evening of whisky tasting, lectures, and general industry mingling.
Congratulations, Riannon, on a simply marvelous event!!
I will report more later, when I've a more relaxed moment.
Cheers! -- Mark Adams.
I would also recommend the food! Apart from the traditional haggis, tatties and neaps they do the best smoked salmon around (smoked with Lagavulin 16 y.o.) and a mean steak and chips with bernaise sauce.
For a good night out or a quick dram after work I highly recommend it!
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