I have mentioned, from time to time, the package stores near me where I go buy the stuff that gets reviewed here. Since I’ve paid the vast majority of them far more than I ever have for a single bottle (which is unsurprising, given, you know, statistics), I thought, as a service my local Bostonians, I would review the six or seven liquor stores I go to, or no longer go to, in the order I visited them in.
- Hillside Wine & Spirits (Medford: 323 Boston Ave.): This is the first liquor store I ever went to, and they tried to ensure my loyalty by bribing me with my first shaker. At the time, it was the closest packy to me. This is really just you basic neighbourhood package store. The selection is a tad better than your average neighbourhood store, but really nothing spectacular. The prices are okay, but not great, even for Massachusetts. Joan, who runs the store, is quite nice, and I still go there for kegs, but that’s the only thing to get there.
- Downtown Wine & Spirits (Somerville: 225 Elm St.): If there’s something I absolutely can’t find, Downtown is where I go. They have lots bitters, lots of interesting high end cordials and liqueurs. However, everything they have (with the exception of some cheap vodka an rum for us college kids) is premium or ultra-premium, and thus, a bit outside my price range unless it’s my last shot. One thing I should also mention is that if a beer can make its way to Massachusetts, they have it. Interesting Belgians, local microbrews, English real ales, they’re all Downtown. I go here rarely, especially now that I found two new stores.
- Kappy’s Liquors (Medford: 10 Revere Beach Pky.): This is the local big-box package store. Pretty standard for what it is. Decent but not stellar liquor selection. Okay beer selection. Pretty good wine selection. Pretty good prices.
- Ball Square Fine Wines (Somerville: 716 Broadway): I discovered this local packy the other day, and it has quickly become my choice, at least for short notice quick stuff. Their liquor selection is exactly what I am looking for, though they’re a bit shy on rum. Friendly, helpful staff, excellent prices, and wonderful selection: I’m in love. They have El Dorado 15, Mount Gay XO, and the list goes on. Lots of interesting stuff.
- Liquor World (Cambridge: 13 White St.): I just discovered this store today, and, as the name suggests, they have lots of liquors, for wonderful prices. Wine and beer are pretty awful, and the service sucks, but this is where I will go for most liquors.
If it’s not on the list, and it’s not Main St. Liquors in Medford, and it’s in the area between Medford Square and Harvard Square, I’ve probably been there, and it’s not good enough to get a full review. I’ve been to DOMA, Harvard Fine Wines and Harvard Wine & Spirits, and they’re all pretty bad.
Let me know about any other goodies,