Unpretentious “dive bar” that has a great selection of whisky – both bourbon and scotch. A typical tenderloin façade with a big bouncer checking ID’s and pool table included. If you can get past the line of PBR’s at the bar, loud ruckus crowd and rockin’ juke box a tremendous selection of whisky will reveal itself behind the bar. Whisky Thieves has many of the standard distillery releases, but what makes them stand out is their selection of independent bottlers and other non-standard distillery releases. I was able to try some great Murray McDavid Mission Gold series and an exquisite Malt Trust 17y/o Bunnahaibahn. There aren’t too many other places in San Francisco that you can try these great drams at. But the prices are also very reasonable, the Bunnahabhain was $17.
It is somewhat difficult to identify the selection due to the dim lighting and the drink menu, if you can find it, is often out of date. You might want to familiarize yourself with bottle shapes and color combinations. However, the bartenders are usually extremely knowledgeable and more than willing to help you out.
If you want to enjoy a good dram at a good price and aren’t concerned with décor this is the place for you. If you want an upscale sophisticated bar – go somewhere else.