I don’t smoke cigars, and I don’t drink scotch. But there’s something about being around people who do that instantly makes me feel more sophisticated — classiness by proximity, if you will.
At Charles P. Stanley Cigar Co. and Lounge, get ready to feel classy.
The new Washington Avenue bar encourages smoking and sells cigars from a walk-in humidor. High ceilings and great ventilation — further improved since the bar’s opening, a bartender told me — mean the room isn’t thick with cigar smoke.
I visited Stanley’s last week and, while I didn’t smoke, I did open my palate to the wonders of scotch. I brought two tasting companions, so we could sample a few varieties.
The menu lists more than 15 scotches, so I asked the bartender, Doug (who wore a vest and tie), what he would recommend for a beginner. He suggested the Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or ($12), a single-malt Scotch whisky, aged in oak and wine casks. It went down smooth, with notes of lemon and honey.
My assistants, meanwhile, had a Glenfiddich ($8) and a Dewar’s and water ($9). Glenfiddich, another single-malt, also had a very smooth flavor, sweet and fruity with the taste of the oak casks in which it was aged. Dewar’s, a blended scotch, was my least favorite; the flavor is described as having notes of vanilla, honey and smoke, but I didn’t find it very sweet or smooth.
After sipping scotches for a while, we finished with a Michelob Golden Draft ($5), which one member of my party was excited to find on tap at Stanley’s. I didn’t share her excitement; it’s a crisp-tasting beer, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of flavor.
The bar’s warm interior is tastefully outfitted with curved booths, leather couches, elegant chandeliers and oversize ashtrays. And flat-screen TVs, stacks of magazines and an invitation to bring outside food encourage lingering.
Stanley’s has been open just a short time, but it already feels like a friendly downtown fixture.