Brandy Library

Ashley, sensitive to my growing interest in American Whiskey, surprised me with reservations at the Brandy Library on Friday night. (How great is my wife?) I quickly got changed from work (after pausing to take in a fantastic sunset) and we headed downtown to Tribeca.


She kept me in the dark as to where we were going up until the last minute, when she steered us into the warm, fireplace-lit room and announced that we had reservations. Deciding what to sample would be difficult–beautiful bottles wrapped around the room, lining three walls of the space; it was like the home library of dreams, only filled with bottles instead of books.


Ashley opted for her favorite cocktail–a brandy-one, appropriately–the Sidecar (Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon), but I couldn’t resist the American Whiskey tasting menu. We slowed the absorption of the alcohol with some tasty appeitizers: gougères and Cognac-cured moulard foie gras. Both were delicious, but especially the latter.

The whiskey tasting came with six whiskeys–one of which was a surprise–and came complete with instructions as to the order of tasting and a card on which one could take notes. There was also a bottle of water and an empty glass, should one want to try his hand at blending. Prichard’s Double Barrel was one of my favorites, with notes of saddle leather and pralines and a moderate amount of spice. Four Roses Single Barrel with its clove, pepper, oak and citrus was a second standout. Elijah Craig Single Barrel 18 was the surprise taste and reminded me more of Cognac (which I also love) than of whiskey.

It was hard to resist trying other options, such as the Scotch or brandy tasting (especially after one round of drinks). I was particularly tempted when I saw our neighbors had a pour of the Connemara Irish Whisky, which, when I tried it in Ireland, had perhaps the most peat I’d ever tasted. But we opted to instead depart for dinner (Turkish food at Turks & Frogs) and save those pleasures for another night.

Related posts:

Travel Guides

Browse By Category