Copper & Oak
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Dark spirits are heartier than their clear counterparts, and leagues more complex: mash percentage, grain variety, even soil disparities can profoundly alter the taste of whiskey. That’s a hell of a lot to grasp for a connoisseur, let alone a brown-bottle newbie. Thankfully, the intimate Copper & Oak on the Lower East Side have whiskey enthusiasts covered like the sealed top of an aged barrel.
ORDER THIS: Dive deep into the brown stuff at Copper & Oak, from Brandy Library’s Flavien Desoblin, which boasts a collection of hard-to-find Japanese whiskeys including Suntory’s Yamazaki Puncheon, fragrant with vanilla and citrus, or the 12-year-old blended Hibiki, partly matured in plum wine barrels to give it notes of oak and fruit.
GOOD FOR: Copper & Oak could pass for a small library, with backlit bookshelves crammed with 600 bottles of dark-hued elixirs—it’s an apt setting for those looking to expand their whiskey wisdom. The booze-geek haven takes its namesake seriously: The walls are made of deconstructed bourbon barrels and the caps from an old copper whiskey bottle act as knobs on the bathroom sink.
THE CLINCHER: Not a whiskey drinker? Copper & Oak obliges with one- or two-ounce pours of tequila and rum. There are a few kinks—Copper’s snug space guarantees that the flourescent light outside regularly flashes WE ARE FULL, making for less-than-ideal conditions if you want room to explore their menu—but like a fine rye, this whiskey temple will mature deliciously.
157 Allen St
|Cross street:||between Rivington and Stanton Sts|
|Transport:||Subway: F to Lower East Side–Second Ave; J, Z to Bowery|
|Price:||Average drink: $18. AmEx, MC, V|
|Opening hours:||Tue–Sat 5pm-1am; Sun 2pm-10pm|
|Do you own this business?|