Thursday, November 1, 2007

Maybe not so much...

I don't really have much to post about WhiskyFest New York: we got into town late the night before, did set-up all morning (same as SF, pretty much), Cathy and I both worked in our room after lunch, and then the actual fest was pretty much like SF, except for the awards. John's got his view of the Fest up here; I'll echo his words on the Crown Royal Cask 16. Wow. That's Canadian whisky? A whole new niche opening up, along with Forty Creek. Oh, and the 1979 Glenlivet Lorne Mackillop poured me was just pretty damned special, as was the Caol Ila he had. I sent a few people that way, and no one came back disappointed.

But the one thing I did want to post about was a disappointment. As I said, we did get in late Monday night -- had dinner with the kids and my parents, then caught the NJ Transit train up and walked to the Marriott from Penn Station -- but I was ready to head out, and I did, by myself. I've wanted to check out Stout for quite a while; I really like the two sister restaurants/bars, St. Andrew's and Maggie's Place, and the idea of a bar focusing on stout got me going.

Stout was a disappointment. 22 taps and only three stouts on tap -- the ubiquitous Guinness, Murphy's, and a very nice Keegan's Mother's Milk (which is what I had two imperial pints of for $6 each, not bad for Manhattan) -- just left me shaking my head, especially since the rest of the tap selection was so totally pedestrian. Sure there are a lot of stouts in bottles, but so what? StoutNYC is supposed to be Irish; how many Irishmen you ever seen drinking stout from a bottle? Add into that the way my three bucks in cash disappeared from the bar in front of me (I was glued to the Green Bay/Denver game), something that's never happened in years of bar-hopping, and it was not a great experience. Stout felt like just another crowded NYC bar with the usual loudmouths and shot-knockers. After the brilliant atmosphere and service at St. Andrew's and Maggie's Place, it was quite a let-down.

2 comments:

Dan said...

Couldn't agree more, Lew. Stout sounds like an awesome place, but is usually a big let down. They do have a pretty decent bottle list, but the environment is less than to be desired. When I have previously been there, they had a better draft list, but nothing crazy.

But it is pretty much the only thing around Penn Station from craft beers.

D W said...

Gee, Lew, I could have told you about Stout and saved you the trip. Opened to much fanfare what, two years ago? three? -- but very shortly became just a sports bar next to Madison Square Garden. An upscale sports bar, sure, but sports bars cater to a certain class of beer drinker.

The leisurely ten-minute walk to Ginger Man is entirely appropriate when in the area.