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Oct 20, 2012 09:51 PM

Scotch in San Diego


Need some help. I'm woefully disappointed in my selections of scotch for retail purchase in San Diego. BevMo is weak at best with their selections, even in the Encinitas store. Can anyone point me to anywhere with a really strong scotch selection in town? I'm looking for rarities, not the usual mass market stuff.

Thanks in advance!


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    1. re: psychotron


      If you are willing to drive to Orange County, Hi-Time Wine Cellar in Costa Mesa is awesome.

      1. re: Josh

        Kinda extreme to drive to OC, actually really pathetic if you had go that far for a fine bottle. I'd recommend calling a liquor distributor or ask your bartender for recs on where to hunt for a jewel. Maybe Jay Porter at Linkery can help out.

        1. re: cstr

          Concur if you have to drive to the OC for a bottle of decent scotch is sad.
          I was at BevMo in Poway last week in their scotch dept. And looked like they had some good stuff under lock and key...
          I do not drink the stuff but my DH does.
          Paradise Grill in Flower Hill Mall has a scotch wall of 40 different types...they could steer you in the right direction.
          Del Mesa Foods and Liquor on Friars has high end stuff..

          1. re: Beach Chick

            Re-read the OP's post. Obviously they are really into scotch and looking for something special.

            The OP already decried BevMo's weak selection. And BevMo's selection *is* weak if you're looking for anything off the beaten path.

            Holiday Wine Cellars in Escondido has by far the best selection of boutique scotches (and spirits in general) that I had seen in San Diego.

            But if you're someone who's a hardcore aficionado of spirits, or wine, Hi-Time is an amazing place to shop, and the drive to OC seems a lot less crazy. Hi-Tiime also has online ordering available, which is how I was able to get St. George's absinthe which was completely unavailable in SD.

            1. re: Josh

              BevMo in Poway has a little higher end of scotch from what they told me was because of the requests from residents in the Poway area that like their high end, they stock per the request of their customer base and not every BevMo is exact in stock...that is why I suggested the Poway location.
              I'll check out Holiday Wine Cellars in Esco...maybe that is the ticket for chet akins.
              You scored absinthe..sweet.

              1. re: Beach Chick

                It's still pretty bad, to be honest- it's fine for the person who wants to keep a couple of decent bottles around the house, but once you get into more interesting stuff they're pretty weak. I'm headed to Holiday tomorrow.

              2. re: Josh

                Have to agree, this OP isn't looking for Langavulen or McCallan's, they want rare.

      2. Holiday Liquors in Escondido is a good recommendation but if you're not in North County try KnB Cellars in Del Cerro. They've got a fairly extensive selection of liquor in addition to their focus on craft beers

        1. Talk to the manager at any BevMo, and with the exception of wine, they can usually order most spirits and beers. I regularly special order stuff from the Solana Beach BevMo and the staff is always very helpful.

          1 Reply
          1. re: wanker

            Honestly, the customer service at BevMO is awful- I've tried to order a few things from them and they never come through.

            1. re: pickypicky

              This is what I do.

              You can get basically whatever you want.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I do sometimes, but it's useful to have a solid store to help steer you towards stuff you might not otherwise try.

            2. Thanks all, headed to holiday tomorrow to give it a try!