Best Place to Sip Single Malt San Francisco 2002 - Edinburgh Castle
Single malt whiskey, that rich, mellow distillation of barley, peat smoke, and Scots Highlands branch water, stands alongside cognac, grappa, and that relative upstart single-barrel bourbon as one of the world's great restoratives. Each single malt (and there are many) has its own set of characteristics based on the landscape, weather, and location of its distillery, a laudable result of the tightest appellation laws this side of Bordeaux. The ideal place to sip them (neat with no ice, soda, or other distractions) is Edinburgh Castle, a venerable old pub on the edge of the Tenderloin. For 44 years this darkly comfortable refuge has poured combustible tastes of the old country to expats and other aficionados, offering 40 different single malts by current estimation. There's an elevated stage for readings, live music, and theatrical events (including, on one memorable occasion, the American premiere of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting), and between sips of Lagavulin you can play darts or shoot pool or munch on fish and chips from the Old Chelsea around the corner.