I just wanted to pass on the very positive experience I recently had with a couple whisky/spirit shops while on vacation in San Francisco. These are both located in the downtown / Union Square area and were within walking distance of my hotel.
- The Whisky Shop, at 360 Sutter Street (http://www.whiskyshopusa.com), is co-located with a "Scottish Import" shop and has a very nice mix of distillery and independent scotch bottlings. They also have Irish whiskeys and some Suntory products. I purchased a bottle of Glengoyne 10 to sip while I was in town, and then being quite impressed, went back and bought a bottle of the Glengoyne Scottish Oak to bring back to Canada with me.
- John Walker & Co., located down the street at 175 Sutter Street, being a "Wine and Spirits" shop, has a broader range of product offerings, but probably not as many scotches. They had a very nice selection of bourbon, including their own bottlings of Eagle Rare and some George T. Stagg. I snapped up a bottle of the latter, as I have not had much luck finding any in my recent travels.
Both shops had very friendly and knowledgeable sales staff, who were able to speak very intelligently about the products they sold, without being pushy at all. Both also offer Internet / mail order sales, which I unfortunately cannot take advantage of North of the (other) Border.