From Carie W. in Texas, via Yelp
"I was looking for a place that carries high quality single malt Whisky during our one week stay in San Francisco and found this gem in a Google search. I felt like I won the lottery! The selection was second to none for such a small shop. The authentic kilt donning Scotsmen were more than happy to share their knowledge of whisky. I was looking for my favorite Bunnahabhain. Instead, walked away with a couple of GlenRothes that are now on my favorites list.
My husband and I found the Whisky Shop in the morning and as I checked in on Facebook, several friends immediately commented with their "orders" for difficult to find whisky. He had to return to his conference so I went back later in the day to see if I could find the whisky that my friends wanted. The owner(?) helped me this time and I walked away feeling like I had known him for years. He was telling me stories about whisky, about Scotland, and how haggis and such rich/fatty foods need to be eaten when the weather is cold. He teased me that Texas surely cannot get cold enough to eat haggis. :-)
I hope to return to San Francisco and this will be one of my first stops. I cannot wait to hear more stories."
From Russell S. in Berkeley, CA via Yelp
"You have to see this place to believe it. The whiskey room in back has (I asked) 500 Scotch labels! Mostly single malts. What an experience! On my last visit I was gift shopping. I asked the lady working the whiskey room for a recommendation: a Scotch with a nutty taste or aftertaste: Almond, hazelnut, walnut. She made a phone call, after that chat she reached for a bottle of Glen Grant. I bought it. Fabulous whiskey, with definite nutty and fruity notes. My friend was delighted with it. Hard to surprise a 70 year old life long scotch drinker, but this definitely surprised him. What a great place. Makes for a fun outing."
From Nick W. in San Francisco, CA via Yelp
"My absolute favorite place in the city to walk in and indulge in my ridiculously expensive habit. They have a superb selection of Scotch Whisky along with Irish, Japanese, Bourbon, etc, and it is carefully organized by region and type. I will admit I have spent hours after work popping my head in just to browse...and daydream.
Hands down, the most outstanding trait that this little shop near Union Square has going for it is the quality individuals they have running the business. Unlike other stores that judge you by appearance and assume someone like me would never spend more on a quality dram than any five-star meal, people like Mark welcome you as you walk in and are close on your heels ready to facilitate your search for the perfect whisky. Rather than just grabbing the most expensive bottle off the shelves, he asks questions to help pinpoint your palette's preference, where things like taste, balance of flavors, and cost-effectiveness are profiled before recommending anything. Every time we navigate the shelves together, I learn a little something, which is why I will keep coming back.
Also, I want to give a special shoutout to the lovely lady that assisted me two weeks ago (sorry I didn't get your name). I was on a specific mission to find a specific bottle with specific parameters for a very good friend. She scanned the shelves, filtered through their database, checked the backroom, presented me with several options, answered obscure questions, and ultimately put a bottle on hold for me for two weeks. After making the purchase today, I just want to say thanks so much!"
From Finn F. in San Francisco, CA via Yelp
"The selection of rare whiskeys (mainly scotches) here can NOT be beat. I've been here many times and am on their listserv as they send out free whisky tastings fairly frequently. As far as I've looked I can't find a better place w more knowledgeable people."
From Brendon D. in Long Beach, CA via Yelp
"Nice high end scotch selection with knowledgeable staff.
They guys here were quite helpful in selecting a scotch and providing insight on how long they'll last once opened. This is also a great place to get beautiful and cost effective flasks.
Don't half step. Come buy some booze from these folks and support local businesses."
From Greta R. in San Rafael, CA via Yelp
"Great selection of whisky. I believe they are the only store on the west coast that sells my FAVORITE brand Aberlour A'bunadh. Hard to pronounce but absolutely amazing taste. The store is actually a store within a store at the back of W H Glen scottish store. The sales people are very knowledge and make great recommendations. If you love single malts, you'll be in heaven in this store."
From Abby M. in Atlanta, GA via Yelp
The Whisky Shop impressed the daylights out of me and I cannot properly express how badly I would like to have such a shop in my area of Atlanta. Despite the excellent spirits retailers that exist in the metro Atlanta area, nothing beats the extensive and loving selection proudly displayed within this San Francisco gem and I doubt that any Georgian retailer could out-knowledge the gentleman who I spoke to during my visit. I was walking back to Union Square from the Ferry Building on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and the display in the window stopped me in my tracks and beckoned me inside. Call it my Scotch-Irish heritage, my deep interest in imported single-malts or my desire to step in out of the wind, but I could not simply let myself walk by without ducking inside for a look about.
"While all of me, save for my budget, wishes I had been in the market for more of the imported goods offered by Wm Glen & Son, I could not justify purchasing and transporting any drinkware, kilts or other wares. Instead, I settled with the rear of the shop, where a huge selection of whisky is located, and picked out a non-Scotch (I promise, I am not a sell-out!) to take back to my S.O. in Georgia. I was shocked to discover a spirit made by Kiuchi (a Japanese producer) that was made from distilling their Hitachino White Ale two times and adding complimenting flavors that those who have gotten to know this beer all savor and love. Like I said, their entire portfolio is beyond impressive and I have yet to see anything that rivals their smarts, their variety and their prices.
If you live in San Francisco or are visiting the Bay area, this is a must-see and I would highly recommend leaving extra room in your suitcase if you are traveling, like I was, so that you can bring some treats home with you. This place would also be absolutely perfect for gifts and I was told that they even ship to most states within the U.S. Do yourself a favor and head to Sutter Street!"