Sample Rare Spirits At Miro's Whiskey Room In Downtown L.A.
You may have been drawn to Miro for their delicious pastas and pizzas, but did you know they have an intimate tasting space devoted to unique whiskeys?
Miro's Whiskey Room can be found in the restaurant's basement, but don't confuse it with their Basement Bar. While the Basement Bar itself has about 400 to 500 whiskeys, the adjacent Whiskey Room boasts a collection of 200 especially interesting or rare whiskeys. According to Whiskey Room's Ben Scott, these particular spirits were chosen for their taste, rarity or because the staff is simply in love with them and seeks to share them.
The small space can hold about 30 people. Those looking for cocktails will be disappointed as they only serve the spirit neat or on the rocks, but whiskey lovers or those looking to try something very new will be delighted.
"It's an opportunity to learn about whiskey and engage with it in a way that you don't get in a typical bar setting where you are sharing the bartender's attention with other guests," Scott tells LAist. "If you really know your way around whiskey, we can hand you a list of the 200 bottles we have in there. Or, as is more likely the case, if that's overwhelming, we can have a conversation about what you like and how you want to explore and find something that is a really good fit for you."
Scott says that for the neophyte whiskey drinker, Irish whiskey is a good gateway whiskey.
"It's typically triple distilled so smoother, less harsh, and a little bit lower in proof, which can also make it more palatable," he said. He also likes to recommend the Aberlour 16 year, "crowd pleaser" that he says is based on a sherry cask, offering stronger sense of red fruit than is found in a typical scotch.
Three of their whiskeys—Karuizawa “Noh,” 13yr 1999; Brora 37 yr 1977; and Port Ellen 15th Release 32 yr—are from distilleries that have since closed, so the pours are some of the last in the world.
"These are great for people who have been to the end of the rainbow and are still looking for one last thing," Scott says.
As such, the prices of various whiskeys can vary wildly. Some pours are $10, while others, like the Port Ellen, are as much as $600.
While most people might expect to have their food at Miro with a nice glass of red, Scott did have some ideas for whiskey and food pairings when prompted. He suggests charcuterie with hard, aged cheeses, or using whiskey as a palate cleanser with rich items. For instance, he notes that people might eat a fatty steak with a red wine, which has lots of palate-cleansing tannins. While a whiskey doesn't have the tannins, a 100 proof or higher whiskey will cleanse your palate in the same way, he says. One might also pair whiskey with dessert, as they already have quite a few chocolates that are actually made with some of the whiskeys food in the room.
And if you think you hate whiskey, you might find yourself surprised. "We're graduating people from a tiny sip to drinking whiskey straight," Scott says.