The Best Places to Drink Scotch in Alexandria
WHAT IS SCOTCH ANYWAY?
Scotch is one of the three main types of whiskey (the others being bourbon and rye).
Scotch is whiskey made in Scotland, primarily from malted barley, aged in oak barrels for for at least three years (fun fact: the number following the name on a bottle of Scotch tells you how long it was aged). Some Scotch tastes much like its American, corn-based cousin bourbon, but with a lingering signature smokiness. Rye, made primarily from the rye grain, is much spicier and drier than bourbon.
Scotch falls into two main categories:
- single malts are made from a single distillery and of 100% malted barley, with flavors distinct to their regions
- blends combine many single malts from many distilleries, plus aged grain whiskey
With its deep Scottish roots, Alexandria is home to several establishments perfect for enjoying Scotland’s greatest export. Whether you like your scotch neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail like the Rob Roy, be sure to check out our roundup of the best places to drink Scotch in Alexandria.
IN OLD TOWN
Basin Street Lounge
219 King Street
Part of New Orleans-style 219 Restaurant, the Basin Street Lounge boasts a truly incredible whiskey list (upwards of 70 options!) Cigar aficionados will also enjoy Basin Street’s carefully curated cigar selection. Open since 1979, the Basin Street Lounge is an Alexandria “go-to” stop for many world-class jazz and blues musicians.
109 South Saint Asaph Street
Go back in time and visit the historic barroom Columbia Firehouse at with its brass rails, dark wood, and stained glass. Peruse its menu of classic cocktails and try its Scotch speciality, the Blood and Sand (from the 1922 movie of the same name), made with Famous Grouse Scotch, cherry brandy, sweet vermouth, and orange.
ELSEWHERE IN ALEXANDRIA
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
5514 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway (Distillery)
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway (Estate & Inn)
James Anderson, the Scot who served as George Washington’s Farm Manager at his Mount Vernon estate, was a Scotch-making apprentice in his homeland. Upon Washington’s retirement, Anderson convinced him to enter the whiskey-making business — with great success! In 1799, theirs was the largest distillery in the country. You can visit the 100% functioning reconstruction today and then head on over to the Mount Vernon Inn to enjoy a drink.
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