Brandy Library Lounge
After our dinner at Franny’s in Brooklyn, my friend suggested we return to Manhattan and make a stop at the Brandy Library Lounge for a nightcap. Brandy Lounge is the Library of Congress of spirits with one of the largest lists in the city of single malt scotches, bourbons, brandies, and rums to name just a few of its holdings. The servers are called librarians to keep the metaphor rolling and also, I think, because they really have to know their stuff. To complete the idea, you sit in comfortable lounge chairs facing stacks of gorgeously lit bottles.
Ethan Kelley, the spirit sommelier, came out to guide me through the single malt scotch selection. I told him that I like smoky and peety stuff so he brought me a 10 year old Benriach from Highland. As in Scotland, Brandy Lounge serves scotch with a little water or an ice cube to bring out the flavor. Ethan says he uses an eye dropper to control the amount of water. I’m sure he does. The Benriach was light but exceptionally intense. In short, I liked it a lot.
My friend ordered rum. They pour you a little taste of whatever you order so when Ethan tried my pal on a rum made with half molasses and half sugar cane which he did not love, he then brought him a 12 year old Zaya from Guatemala. This one hit the spot.
The spirits are served in the Riedel O series Chardonnay tumblers that really bring out the flavor. There’s also a dégustation menu that looks like it has the right idea about how to pair spirits with food.
When I started looking at the bourbon list and Ethan began pouring me amazing bourbons like the Elijah Craig 18 year old single barrel, and the AH Hirsch 16 year, I realized it was time to stop. Try it out for yourself, but make a reservation. It gets booked. And look for me. I’ll be back, checking out the bourbons.
25 North Moore Street
New York, NY 10013