Monday, October 20, 2008

Be Prepared

When folks in the United States envision Paris, they usually think of wine, cheese, foie gras, and people who don't pick up after their little dogs. Most people do not realize that Paris is actually an awesome destination for single malt whisky. 

The French take their whisky seriously. Five of Paris' whisky establishments have been designated "Great Whisky Bars of the World" by Whisky Magazine – Harry's Bar, Jazz Club Lionel Hampton, Le Forum, Sir Winston, and The Auld Alliance. Moreover, Paris is home of the venerable La Maison du Whisky, a whisky shop established in 1956 offering more than 800 types of whisky. Combine that with cheese and foie gras, and you have a perfect destination for a little international Scotch Chix Field Trip.

Like dutiful girl scouts, the Scotch Chix never venture out without adequate preparation. CA Scotch Chick left the United States with a list of all the whisky bars in Paris and the location of the five Great Whisky Bars of the World and La Maison du Whisky marked on her map. However, it was DC Scotch Chick who was truly ready for the wilderness. She left home with three sample sizes of whisky smuggled into her carry-on ziplock baggie (Eades Highland Double Malt and Island Double Malt, and Signatory Highland Park 12), and an entire bottle of Suntory Yamazaki 12 stashed in her checked luggage. Give that girl a merit badge!

DC Scotch Chick's rationale was that despite its recent gains against the Euro, the exchange rate on the Dollar was still challenging; the Scotch Couples were only in France for a day and a half (and the Scotch Gents had meetings to attend during that time) so there was no guarantee that they would make it to a whisky bar or La Maison du Whisky; and none of them really wanted to schlep out to find whisky after traveling for 10 hours and fighting jet lag. 

DC Scotch Chick's foresight saved the day! The Scotch Couples rendezvoused in the DC Scotch Couple's hotel room soon after arriving in France, and DC Scotch Chick's whisky gave them the fortification they needed to set out for an afternoon of exploration. As DC Scotch Chick had anticipated, two Scotch Couples never made it to a whisky bar or La Maison du Whisky while they were together. (The DC Scotch Couple managed to explore Le Forum, and La Maison du Whisky on their own upon their return to Paris from Amsterdam for their trip home.) And, while the exchange rate was not as bad as it could have been, whisky was more expensive in Paris than even at DC Scotch Chick's local ABC liquor. 

The samples made for some fun tasting, and Suntory Yamazaki 12 was a wonderful mult-cultural counterpoint to the trip. (As Loyal Scotch Chix fans will see tomorrow, it turned out not to be the only Japanese influence on the trip). Below, please find the Scotch Chix review of Suntory Yamazaki 12.

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