A few weeks ago I wrote about the best things I ate in Paris. I didn't drink any whiskey in Paris because...wine, but that doesn't mean I didn't do some shopping.
La Maison du Whisky is one of the best whiskey shops in the world. They have two shops in Paris, the main shop on Rue d'Anjou which is entirely whiskey and the Odeon shop, a three story shop which includes other spirits and hosts tastings. Even if you are looking only for whiskey, I would recommend checking both shops as I found bottles at the Odeon shop that were not available at the main shop.
|Taken in by the selection.|
There are deals to be had at LMDW though, particularly for some of their exclusive bottlings which can only be purchased there (and they don't ship to the US or Canada). They aren't cheap, but not all of them are super expensive. I saw reasonably priced exclusive bottlings of Glendronach, Kavalan and many others.
And then there's the bourbon. Normally, there would not be much reason to shop for bourbon overseas, but there is one big exception: Blanton's. Made by Buffalo Trace but owned by Age International, Blanton's only has one release available in the U.S., but they have more expressions in Europe and Japan, including the cask strength Blanton's Straight from the Barrel I reviewed last year. In addition, LMDW is a major distributor for Blanton's in Europe, so they often have specialty bottlings.
During my visit, they had two LMDW exclusive Blanton's on the shelf: the 100 proof Paris by Day and the 120 proof Paris by night. Despite the proof difference, both are 67 euro (approximately $90).
Blanton's Paris by Day, Barrel 21, Warehouse H, Rick 51, 50% abv
The nose is really nice with some sweet caramel and some nice rye spice. The palate is rich and spicy with brown sugar and clove. The spice keeps growing to dominate the finish. This really nice stuff, complex but drinkable and a big step up from our standard domestic Blanton's.
Blanton's Paris by Night, Barrel 54, warehouse H, Rick 90, 60% abv
The nose is sweet and chocolaty with some maple syrup and light anise notes. The palate is rich with dark chocolate, polished wood and a slight medicinal note. The finish a slightly bitter oak note. A bit of water brings out some sweetness and medicinal notes. It's good, but for a high proof Blanton's, I prefer the Straight from the Barrel.
These are both very good bourbons, but the Paris by Day comes out on top. It comes together very well, complex and balanced. Then again, I've never been much of a night owl.
If you visit Paris and you love whiskey, La Maison du Whisky should be on your list right between the Eiffel Tower and Louvre.
Viva la France!