Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cooperage Wine & Whiskey Bar: Philadelphia, PA (USA)

Sorry its been so long since we've posted! This week I'm in Philadelphia for work. As usual, I slacked on planning any off-hour "fun" for myself short of trying to schedule video dates with my co-blogger.

In my research for scotch + Philadelphia, this establishment kept popping up. Yelpers said the service was slow, but everyone loved their mac n cheese. The menu looked good and within my budget, so I grabbed my umbrella (ah, warm summer rain!) and went out the hotel doors.

A while later, this blogger arrived in the restaurant/bar inside of Curtis Center (note: the location through me off a bit, especially compared to Google maps which made me think I was looking for something directly on the corner of 7th and Walnut) damper than she would have liked (I packed sandals and flats, not rain boots!). It was a nice place - I liked the decor and the big pillows on the bench half of the tables. Though a bit dark inside for my taste, given they are more of a true bar/restaurant blend than a bar. I ordered the mac, the soup of the day, and a bottle of Original Sin hard cider. I was really tempted by a chocolate stout they had but figured that wouldn't make sense with dinner.

Anyway, that's as far as I got. I was too tired to order another cider or a glass of scotch, and too annoyed at Philadelphia's high prices. And its not just Cooperage. I walked by Village Whiskey last night to check out the scene. I guess I just don't understand why their prices have to be as high or higher than some of the fancy-pants places in SF? Especially when their selection is nothing to write home about.

Address: 123 South 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA
Online:  www.cooperagephilly.com

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nikka All Malt

This one is a blend, and at 40% abv, it is quite quaffable. I think it would be good for any whisky beginner, especially if the budding enthusiast comes from a rum background. Because, of all the whiskies I've had, this one reminds me the most of a fruity rum. Fruity nose (my worst sense, and thus my lack of adjectives). It is really light on the palate. And it has a candy flavor, hence the similarity to rum.

I picked this one up at some whisky store in Stuttgart, Germany. I forget the name of the place, but it's fairly close to the town center, and maybe one street parallel to the main pedestrian drag. It costs about a song: I think it was 24 euros. This was a pleasant surprise for me, as most Japanese whiskies are spendier, though the Yamazaki 12 year doesn't exactly break the bank. I have no idea about availability in the US. Incidentally, I've noticed far fewer Suntory/Yamazaki whiskies in Germany, and more Nikkas, whereas in the US, the opposite seems to be the case. In the US, Yamazaki 12 and 18 and the Hibiki blend are about the only Japanese whiskies you can find, but they're much rarer here. The Yamazakis are quite good by the way, but I haven't had them recently enough to offer any notes.