Christopher Gross' 5 Best Places to Drink Scotch in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella

courtesy of Christopher Gross
The countdown to Best of Phoenix is on. Mark your calendar: This year's issue will be on newsstands September 26. What better way to warm up than by asking some local "experts" to list their own personal bests? This week Christopher Gross of Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge in Phoenix shares his favorite places to get loaded -- er, to sip Scotch.

By Christopher Gross

Scotch was a drink that I could not stand. When I was 21, I thought I liked whisky on the rocks, and while working in London, we had a very busy night and the chef offered all the cooks a drink, and I asked for a whisky rocks. When he gave it to me, I sniffed it and said very politely, "Chef this is scotch," and he said, "Yes" and then I said, "But I really wanted a whisky," and after a few go arounds of this he finally said, "Sorry, all whisky is scotch here and we don't have any of your bloody American or Canadian stuff here so drink it" -- which I did.

It wasn't till about 10 years later I was given a glass of Islay (the area where these whiskys are from) whisky and with all the things that you smell in it, I suddenly liked it.

Here are some of Laphroig's tasting notes:

Huge smoke, seaweedy, "medicinal," with a hint of sweetness.

BODY: Full bodied

PALATE: Suprising sweetness with hints of salt and layers of peatiness.

Some people can't get over the peatiness of this whisky when I would drink it at the Merc , and girls would come up to me and ask what the hell are you drinking I can smell it from across the room -- and then most of the times they would ask for a taste.

See also:
-10 Favorite Summer Cocktail Tips from Chow Bella's Resident Bartender, JK Grence
-Eric Schaefer's Five Metro Phoenix Restaurants He Misses the Most
-11 Metro Phoenix Couples We'd Rather Watch Run a Restaurant Than Amy and Samy

Here are my five favorite spots in town to drink Scotch -- including brands.

Lauren Saria
Petite Maison.
Petite Maison
Laphroaig 10-year is my favorite, I bet [chef] James [Porter] and I have drunk cases of Laphroaig late at night on his patio, where we catch up and talk business. Now and then, Aaron [May], Beau [MacMillan], and Matt [Carter] will sometimes join us.

Merc Bar
Laphroaig 10-year or Lagavulin 16. They have both of my favorites. It's a great place, and since in the past I used to live there, it's always nice -- I usually don't have to even order it, it just comes right out to me with one small ice cube.

Jade Bar
Lagavulin 16 year. [My girlfriend] Jamie and I will sometimes walk up there and sit on their patio and have a Lagavulin or two or three. She used to hate the smell of it and when I would have one didn't want to get near me. Now she's grabbing and finishing mine after drinking hers faster than me.

Praying Monk
Laphroaig 10 year. This is also a nice place to have a scotch on the patio, the 10-year is a great scotch and just one small cube brightens up the whisky.

Nikki Buchanan
The House Brasserie.
The House Brasserie
Laphroaig 10 year. Haven't got [chef] Matt [Carter] to like it yet.

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Location Info

Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge

2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Petite Maison

7216 E. Shoeman Lane, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Merc Bar

2525 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Jade Bar

5700 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ

Category: Music

Praying Monk - CLOSED

7217 E. 1st St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

The House Brasserie

6936 E. Main St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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What's with the weird brackets?  Was this article phoned in to an editor who decided it needed explanations?  If so, why not just use editorial license?  Gross is a chef, he's not William Shakespeare. 

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