Magazine article The New Yorker

Food & Drink

Magazine article The New Yorker

Food & Drink

Article excerpt

FOOD & DRINK

BAR TAB Caledonia

1609 Second Ave. (212-734-4300)

"Is it 'Ee-lah' or 'Eye-lah'?" a patron at this Upper East Side bar asked a few nights ago, starting a conversation with some syllables. "It's 'Eye-lah,' " Michael, the owner and bartender, replied. As a Dundonian and a whiskey expert, his word was final. Islay is the renowned Scotch-making island off the western coast of Scotland, and its name is set in golden letters above one of the five sections of the bar's dark wooden shelves. Each holds the distillations of a different region of the country; the lower shelves harbor whiskeys from Japan, Tasmania, and Taiwan and some other non-whiskey spirits. "Are you double fisting, or, as we call it in Scotland, drinking? …

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