Of course there’s no way to traverse the great whiskey expanse of San Francisco, California, in only one three-day weekend, but my fellow Babe and I headed out on the Megabus and did our best. Don’t worry: We’ll be back.
We’d been drooling over Seven Stills since we spotted them in Santa Cruz, and jumped at the chance to tour their recently expanded spot in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco.
We tasted their line up of whiskies plus their suite of bitters. All on point!
Be a tourist and grab an Irish coffee to complement your breakfast at the Buena Vista Cafe. Just watch out for cream mustaches.
They’re so good you’ll also want to take one to go. And guess what? You can!
We stopped in at Beretta on a whim on our way to BART and ended up staying for a long while. The bartender made us drinks with a hint of magic, and found us the perfect whiskey to match our straight-laced style.
Located on the Embarcadero, Hard Water boasts an immense collection of whiskies. Anywhere that needs a ladder to access all their whiskey is all right by us.
At Nihon Whisky Lounge, try your best to make a selection from the 1,000+ whiskey options. It may seem overwhelming, but your waiter can guide your way. (Bonus tip: Have the chef make you a custom sushi roll. You won’t be disappointed.)
On a tip from a coworker, we swung “underground” to White Chapel, a gin-focused bar, and found none other than our Santa Cruz favorite: Venus Spirits’ Gin No. 02, aged to perfection in whiskey barrels.
If you can make it into the city on a Thursday evening, be sure to swing by the California Academy of Sciences for their weekly Nightlife event. No children allowed, only $12 to get in, and you can have a whiskey while you peruse the museum. We were too busy being astronauts and sleuths for drinks this time, though.
NOT PICTURED, BUT WORTH VISITING
Bourbon and Branch: This famed speakeasy is an Instagram-lover’s sad face, but a whiskey lover’s happy face. Make a reservation and be sure to meet Manny.
Travel Like a Babe is a series focusing on whiskey travel tips for destinations around the globe.
Been to any of these spots? Have somewhere we need to check out next time we’re in town? Let us know in the comments.
My stomach churned with excitement as I entered the doors of Pour House for my first official whiskey tasting. Pour House is a familiar place for evening activities for me. However, this time, I took in a big gulp of air once I was inside. Both of us a little nervous about what to do, my fellow Bourbon Babe and I slowly walked our way through the tables to a gal in the back of the room near a sign that read “Tullamore D.E.W.”.
We shyly asked her if this was the whiskey tasting event and, with a bubbly Irish accent, she exclaimed, “Why yes!” A native Irish citizen, this cheery whiskey fanatic was the West Coast ambassador for the label Tullamore D.E.W. and our hostess for the evening.
She went on to share that the Tullamore D.E.W. distillery was founded in 1829, in a central Ireland town called Tullamore. One of the distillery family members, Daniel E. Williams, was responsible for bringing to the distillery the new “flavor” of mixing malted and unmalted barley together, branding Tullamore to be what it is today. As you can see in the name, Tullamore D.E.W. kept Daniel’s initials (D.E.W.). Remaining true to the dedication and flavor profiles Daniel brought to his Irish whiskey has made Tullamore D.E.W. the second largest Irish whiskey brand in the world today!
At our whiskey tasting we got to try four labels. Below we give you the run-down of the different varietals and a brief description of the flavors. You can find Tullamore D.E.W. at most BevMos, ranging in price from $24 to $65 per bottle.
Original Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey*
- Flavors: citrus, green apple, spice, vanilla, marzipan, buttery
- Notes: The spice comes from mixing barley and unmalted barley together
*Bourbon Babes’ favorite!
Tullamore D.E.W. 12 Year Special Reserve
- Flavors: red wine, nuttiness, spice, sherry, chocolate, praline, marzipan
- Notes: This special reserve spends a portion of its life in a bourbon oak barrel and then in a sherry barrel
Tullamore D.E.W. 10 Year Single Malt
- Flavors: earthiness, tropical fruits, pineapple, freshly cut grass, toasted wood, apricots, Christmas cake
- Notes: This malt is fermented with actual pineapple chunks to bring out its sweet flavors
Tullamore D.E.W. Phoenix
- Flavors: toffee, malty, leafy, vanilla, caramel sweetness, floral, oak tannins, oloroso sherry, spicy
- Note: This is their featured Irish whiskey and it explodes in your mouth! It will likely only be available until summer 2015 as it is a limited batch, so get it before it’s gone!