Christopher Gross' 5 Best Places to Drink Scotch in Metro Phoenix
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.
courtesy of Christopher Gross
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.
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Here are my five favorite spots in town to drink Scotch -- including brands.
Lauren Saria 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.
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.
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.
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.
The House Brasserie
Nikki Buchanan The House Brasserie.
Laphroaig 10 year. Haven't got [chef] Matt [Carter] to like it yet.
2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ