TACOMA, Wash. — Years before Glen McCallum and his wife Maxine opened their specialty spirits shop, McCallum & Sons Whiskey Company in downtown Tacoma, before Glen McCallum collected dozens of books on the subject of whiskey, and hundred of bottles, there was that first high end single malt whiskey: a $200 bottle of Glenmorangie Signet, a gift from Maxine's uncle.
"I didn't truly appreciate it back then but it was delicious," Glen said. "And it kind of set me off on what scotch whiskey could be."
It's a search that began with the classic blends from the Scottish highlands, and then spread out to the far corners of the world.
"It's a passion that you can delve into for years and years and years and you're still finding out new things about it," he said.
Here, in a store designed by Maxine that that could be mistaken for a high end boutique, you'll find whiskeys from Japan, Italy, even India. There are other spirits as well, like rum, tequila, cognac, and Armagnac.
"My wife likes to say we don't believe in top shelf versus bottom shelf," Glen said.
He's wearing a suit but this isn't a snooty store. You can find anything from a $30 bottle of Kentucky bourbon here all the way up to a 50 year old single malt whiskey that sells for well over $50 thousand.
"Balvenie, another one of my favorite distilleries from Scotland," he said.
Glen likes sharing his quest for knowledge with customers. It's a search for the warmth, texture and style of that perfect spirit.
"When you find something truly special, and when you find the right moment to open that bottle with your friends or with your family, there's nothing like it."
McCallum & Sons is located at 1115 A St. in Tacoma. They're open Tuesdays through Saturdays. As for the sons, the couple have three boys, but they're a bit young to work at the shop with the oldest just six.
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