Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An OMG Deal in NYC

I just returned from four days and three nights in New York City, where my family was hosted by my wife's gracious cousin in Manhattan.  I'm not too good at doing cities but we managed to trot our two boys around and see a bunch of sites, including Central Park, the big art museum, the big natural history museum, and The Shake Shack.  While my wife had a list of places to visit, the only must-see on my list was Warehouse Wines & Spirits.  This liquor store resides around Greenwich Village, and while I cannot find a web site for it, I have often seen it commented about as having great selection and low prices.  I was in particular looking forward to buying a bottle of Finlaggan, which is an inexpensive but hard-to-find Islay whisky (the distillery of origin is a topic of hot debate, though Lagavulin appears to be most people's guess).

I walked twenty blocks in moderate rain to find the store.  I was greeted by the Scotch selection immediately on the right and began the process of absorbing the selection and prices.  Then a well-dressed gentleman walked into the store, came straightaway to the Scotch shelf and began grabbing bottles of Talisker 25.  He kept going, and I realized with some amount of both giddiness and horror that the price shown was $90.  Now, I've never seen Talisker 25 for less than $200, and I had been considering saving up for a bottle for next Christmas.  My thoughts went something like: !!!! OMG !!! TALISKERZ 25!!! $90!!! ONE BOTTLE LEFT!! MUST GET!!11!!!  My animal instinct was to club the man with the bottle of Finlaggan I was already holding and snatch the last bottle on the shelf.  Instead, I politely asked if I could have the last bottle.  An employee overheard my question and said that there were more in the back anyway. 

Talisker 25 (this bottle was bottled in 2005 at 57.2 % and non chill-filtered) at $90 is by far the best whisky deal I have ever seen, and I walked out of Warehouse with the Finlaggan plus two bottles of Talisker 25.  I cracked a bottle of the 25 that evening, and I was not disappointed.  Elegant and well-balanced with smoke, spices, and surprising amount of citrus fruit. 

The checkout clerk suggested that such deals are a mundane occurrence at Warehouse Wines & Spirits.  If that's true, then I would recommend it as a must-see shop for any visit to New York City.

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