Following up on our recent Cigars in Paris article, I thought I’d write something up for the curious whisky-lover in Paris. As the host of Whisky Live every year, Paris is one of the biggest whisky hubs outside of the UK, and nearly every market will have a small selection of bottles. So let’s avoid the formalities and get right to it. So what is the best place to buy whisky in Paris? What is the best whisky bar in Paris?
Buying Whisky in Paris
Whisky, primarily scotch, is available in considerable variety at markets and wine stores across Paris. Surprisingly even some very small corner-store markets carried a small selection of single malts. In addition, nearly every specialty wine store maintains a small selection of non-standard bottles, primarily single malt scotch. So where to buy scotch in Paris then? Here is what I found to be the two best whisky stores in Paris.
1) La Maison du Whisky
This is the handsdown winner for best whisky store in Paris. With more the 800 malts including a bunch of exclusive bottlings, you will not be disappointed (see pic above). 20 rue d’Anjou Paris. +33 (0)1 42 65 03 16
2) Le Bon Marché
The Grand Epicerie of the huge department store Le Bon Marché contains a considerable whisky section, with several large shelves full of whisky, and all at department store prices. You’ve gotta love it. 38 Rue de Sèvres. +33 (0)1 44 39 80 00
Drinking Whisky in Paris
Nearly every bar and restaurant carries whisky of some sort, so you’ll rarely be left stranded, but where to go if you want to try something unique? Perhaps something Japanese? Or perhaps you want a scotch old enough to order its own scotch; it’s all available in Paris. Of course, be prepared to pay the big bucks if you want a premier whisky in a premier venue, so if you’re on a budget hit up one of the many pubs and bars covering the city for selections more modest in quantity and price. Or always consider the benefits of flasks for men.
3) The Hemingway Bar at the Ritz
The famous Hemingway Bar. With wood-paneled walls and leather armchairs, this is often rated the best bar in the world. And for 20+ euros per drink, it better. 15 Place Vendôme. +33 (0)1 43 16 30 30
4) Auld Alliance Pub
Claiming to have the largest whisky selection in Europe, this Scottish pub has a great vibe, and it is my choice for best (reasonably priced) place to have a dram in Paris. 80 rue François Miron. +33 (0)1 48 04 30 40
6) Le Harry’s
Legend is Gertrude Stein and Hemingway spent hundreds of hours here, and with over 150 whiskies, it’s probably worth some of your time too. 5, rue Danou +33 (0)1 42 61 71 14
7) Why Paris
With rave reviews and a funky décor, this place is probably worth a look. 60 Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau. +33 (0)1 40 26 47 63
See below for a map of the fore-mentioned whisky hot spots in Paris.