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Jun 20, 2008 07:08 PM

Good Scotch Bars in Your City

Okay folks. I'm now on a mission for bars with good scotch menus. I live in SoCal, and fly a little airplane, so I can do overnight "road" trips to LA, San Fran, Vegas, Phoenix, even up to Oregon and Washington. Plus my business takes me on the road every other week. I'm scheduled to go to Chicago, DC, NY, Boston, Denver, Houston, London, Toronto, and Quebec City, so please, please, please tell me what you've got. Even if it wasn't one of the cities I listed, I'll figure out how to get there to check it out.

CA Scotch Chick

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  1. In Toronto, the only places to go for whisky are Via Allegro, the largest malt list in the world; and Allans, pub with a great whisky menu on the Danforth.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Cam D

      How many malts at Via Allegro from which to choose?

      1. re: wagger

        950+ malts. Joseph, the whisky sommelier for lack of a better word, sits on the Whisky Magazine Tasting Panel.
        I think I have a pretty good rare collection and they have a lot of what I have and more.

        1. re: Cam D

          I"m booking a ticket to Toronto immediately! Time for some problem drinking!

          1. re: wagger

            Me too. I don't go to Toronto until November, but I think I'll need to schedule something sooner now. That was an awesome lead.

            CA Scotch Chick

            1. re: CA Scotch Chick

              Wagger & CA Scotch Chick,

              Let me know when you are coming into town. There are too few people who want problem drinking with whisky!

    2. Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco. It was recently written up in both the Wall Street Journal and Food and Wine, if my husband is to be believed. Amazing selection of scotch, but even more amazing is the selection of bourbon.

      If you are willing to detour from scotch, try the 20 year Van Winkle Family Reserve. $20 a shot, but rated one of the oldest and best bourbons in the world. Research shows a 23 year version is available, but I did not see if Bourbon and Branch offers it. The 20 year had incredible aroma of vanilla and butter, and smooth through and through.

      Bourbon and Branch is in a dicey neighborhood (the tenderloin) but the bar is worth it. It has a speakeasy vibe, complete with passwords, cramped booths, and dim lighting. It's a real blast from the past, but drinks are phenomenal.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Pei

        Also in San Fran, check out Alfred's Steakhouse; their bar has a huge single malt library.

        1. re: Pei

          I need some basic bourbon exposure. DC Scotch Chick and I love Woodford, but haven't liked anything else we've tried so far. Will definitely give the 20 Van Winkle a shot.

          Will check out both Alfreds (how is their steak?) and Bourbon and Branch (don't mind a dicey neighborhood if the goal is worthy).

          CA Scotch Chick

        2. SC,

          In Denver, go to Pint's Pub near the Art Museum in downtown Denver. Around 250 whisk(e)ys on the menu, 95% of them Scotch. And, if you want to get adventurous there are several obscure varieties such as spirits from India (very good) and Oregon (not so good.)

          You can fly into either Rocky Mountain Airport (formerly Jeffco) or Centennial. Both are easy drives into downtown.

          Of course, there's always the Chinnery Bar in the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. About 60 varieties available and my favorite bar in the world.

          3 Replies
          1. re: wagger

            Both great leads. Sounds like you are a pilot if you know Jeffco and Centennial. Will definitely be following up on the Indian scotches. We are doing research on them right now.

            CA Scotch Chick

            1. re: CA Scotch Chick

              I confess, I fly a "vintage" 48 yo Cessna 182. Stranahan's Whiskey, distilled in Colorado, is also pretty darn good.

              1. re: wagger

                I agree on the Stranahan's, quite tasty and the guys that run the distillery are great. The tour is fun as well if you're in the area.

          2. Ah CASC, hopefully you can ferret out some other places in Seattle for me...the place where I started out, HopScotch, is no more..... :-( There I had my first of a lot of different SMs and the bartender got to know our tastes and would suggest ones to try....My first Glenrothes was there and we finished the bottle - a '79 or so? Sigh.....

            1 Reply
            1. re: smalt

              Hey smalt,

              Took your problem to heart and was doing some digging. Does this Yelp thread help, or have you already tried these places? The people on the thread miss HopScotch too - sounds like it was wonderful.


              CA Scotch Chick

            2. Scotch Chick...
              Great thread and blog site.
              Here's the place in KC: Harry's Bar & Tables. It's a lost treasure here buried by all the hip, gimmicky bars with top 40 playing. Who wants to listen to top 40 and drink Scotch???

              Via Allegro sounds like heaven. Ahh Toronto, keeping it cool.