Scotch-savvy bars and bartenders?
What bars in this city have the most extensive Scotch selections (and bartenders with the knowledge to give good recommendations)?
So far, from Chowhound, it seems the bar at Alfred's Steakhouse, Whiskey Thieves, and the clubhouse at Gleneagles Golf Course are leading contenders. I've been to Bourbon and Branch a few times, but have gotten a little irritated at its self-serious attitude; that said, if it's the best option, I'll keep going back. What I really miss is the Brandy Library in New York, where expert bartenders led me from my first neat glass of Scotch to my ever-deepening love of peat--I think I've received 90% of my Scotch education there.
ETA: Thinking further, I'm remembering that part of what I love about the Brandy Library is the way they let you taste a Scotch before committing to a pour. So if that's an attribute of any Scotch-heavy bars here, that would be great.
839 Geary St, San Francisco, CA
Second Edinburgh Castle.
Also Swig can be good before the crowds come swarming in. They have an excellent collection.
Next comes .....Lulu ! They also have a good selection and seek out the English bartender from Ealing. She knows her scotch.
950 Geary St, San Francisco, CA
The Alembic on Haight Street has a selection, maybe not the largest. Bartenders are knowledgeable and the overall feel of the place is pretty relaxed. I don't know about their sampling policy.
You could stop by the Rickhouse on Kearny Street (SF) and see what they have on offer. My guess is they have a wider selection of American whiskies than Scotch, but they may have some single-malts that interest you.
K&L Wines (on 4th Street, SF) has recently announced they are expanding the selection of single-malts in their inventory. Pick up their current newsletter. They will be importing single-malts from several distilleries that have not been available before in the U.S.
246 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA