.

Whiskey Tasting at Clam Broth House

This week I took myself on a world tour of whiskeys at this Hoboken landmark.

Fair warning, this review of will probably be terrible. I don’t even have a witty opening paragraph here. I rolled up to the bar to drink some whiskey, and it was great, and the whole place was very nice and blah blah blah.

It’s been a long week.

So, the Clam Broth House is a super old place established 1899. It was bought by Danny and Jolene Tattoli in 2003, and after a bunch of hurdles, opened again in 2010. The first time I visited was in the basement, which was a lot of fun. I told myself that I should probably stop by this place again.

Fast forward a few months, and I’m at Clam Broth House because I’ve heard great things about their extensive whiskey menu. Now, to me, gin tastes barfy, vodka makes me sad, tequila is just bad news and rum is strictly a fun summer drink. But year round (and especially during cold weather!), whiskey is my drink of choice. It’s warm and strong and makes me feel like a grizzled old man – every young girl’s dream.

I had warned my friend that we were not here to drink light beers, or watered-down mixed drinks. No, I told him to hydrate well beforehand, because we are here to get whiskeydrunk, which is the best/worst kind of drunk. It’s the kind of drunk where you text all of your ex-boyfriends, and you think you would look really pretty if you just bleach your entire head blonde. It’s the type of drunk that makes you think Internet dating is a good idea, and also sleeping until noon and ordering everything at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Anyway. Clam Broth House is a really nice and classy restaurant, with $40 steaks and stuff. Apparently in the ye olden days it was a rough ‘n tumble place with shells all over the floor and a no-ladies-allowed rule. Today it’s all dark wood, wall sconces and crisp white tablecloths. The bar upstairs is nice for grabbing a drink after work, plus there is also the basement bar, for private events or dance parties or whatever. It’s not exactly a hotspot or anything, but it’s close to the PATH, and before the opening of next door, your only cocktail options in that immediate area were… what… ?

So the bar wasn’t exactly popping off when my friend and I showed up, though dinner service was in full effect in the dining room. Luckily, we had the bartender’s full attention. I started with the Compass Box Oak Cross ($9) because, well, I had never heard of it before.

“I can really taste the oak cask flavor,” I said to my friend.

“No you can’t,” he replied, shaking his head.

I had imposed a two-drink limit on myself, especially since we were drinking straight whiskey here, and I didn’t want my notes to just turn into “sdhfjfj gkkkk ajklllllllll” or simply drawings of cats. So next I decided to try something I wouldn’t find so easily somewhere else – Yamakazi 12 Year ($10), a Japanese whiskey. It was different than I was used to, with a slight honey taste, or something like that.

Anyway, one day when I am a baller, I will try the Macallan 25 Year ($90 for a two-ounce pour), but if you’re boozing on a budget, Clam Broth has whiskey’s starting at $7. Don’t like whiskey? Okay, well they have a full wine list, a couple of draft options and cocktails. Did I write down any of their names or prices? No, of course not, I was too busy drinking. I told you this would be a terrible review.

In all, Clam Broth House is a beautiful establishment with a ton of history. The dining room is usually bustling, though the bar doesn’t seem to ever get too packed. This is nice if you’re looking for a quiet place to grab a drink and read a book, though it’s no fun if you’re hanging out and trying to be social. I loved their whiskey selection (and the fact that the bartender never tried to push the $20 glasses on us, even though we mostly closed our eyes and pointed at the menu to choose). In all, let’s say it’s a seven frosty mug place. Besides the obvious history, there wasn’t too much else that stood out about Clam Broth that set it apart from other nice places in town, like the or . Check it out if you’re around, and definitely try some whiskey.

Clam Broth House, 36-42 Newark Street; (201) 656-1111 originalclambrothhouse.​com

Hobbs November 17, 2011 at 12:39 PM
The Clam Broth House that exists now other than the name has no real history. New location in a new building, new menu, new owners and staff and unless you remember the original grungy place with some sentimentality (I used to eat there with my father ) it is a far superior establisment.
p1ywood November 17, 2011 at 12:56 PM
"Macallan 25 Year ($90 for a two-ounce pour)"? How's that work? Regardless of what level of "a baller" one is, anyone spending money at that clip and in that fashion needs to be sat down and given a good talking to. Which they would start an argument during because they've been drinking whiskey. A conceptual house of mirrors. In all candor, maybe a spanking would be in order or at least the check needs to be signed by a parent. One would hope if a person orders one of those bad boys they surround you with velvet rope stanchions so you can savor that kind of line-item without having to deal with the uninitiated. Is it all-in high-end and they give you a tasteful, complementary lamp-shade to wear?
Lance November 17, 2011 at 02:15 PM
I remember when this place looked like it was going to fall over. I almost felt unsafe to sit and have dinner. I enjoyed my meal back then, but have not tried the new place. About the MaCallan 25, if you have the money and you want to drink it then why not. If it is just to try it for the first time then I would suggest just buying a smal bottle of it. at 90 a shot it makes the bottle worth over a grand.
Gardiner4Freeholder November 17, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Plywood- For every year a Scotch is aged you lose about 2-3% per volume which would explain the high price for a bottle but $90 seems a tad bit high for a 2 oz. shot. A bottle of 25 year Macallun goes for $599-$699 retail. As a fan of wood you have to appreciate what aging a spirit in a a sherry cask can do to the flavor. Simple test. Try the Macallun 12 vs. the 18 and see if one can tell the difference. If you can, then maybe once in a great while a special toast is in order. Just make sure you don't charge it. People waste money on a lot of things. Liquor is just one of them.
Hobbs November 17, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Mccallan's has a 60 year old scotch which sells for $20,000.00 a bottle. ;-)
Joel Anastasi November 17, 2011 at 06:14 PM
Joel The old Clam Broth House was a mecca for people from surrounding communities and even Manhattan. Reason, good, plentiful seafood at affordable prices in a fun, casual (yes, even a little grungy which was part of its charm.) Took a friend to lunch last year and never returned. Found it pretentious, expensive, the menu boring and the food unmemorable. I miss the old Clam Broth House and do a lot of others.
Gardiner4Freeholder November 17, 2011 at 09:54 PM
Hobbs- But you get it a really nice designer decanter! They have four different designs for the 50 year plus stuff all the way up to 60 years! Do you think someone can relaly tell the difference? Is it that much better?
p1ywood November 18, 2011 at 12:10 AM
O man, can we talk turkey about how I ran afoul and got in Dutch about the scotch, without everyone getting their Irish up? Relax: not to russia or adlib ya, but it's all Greek to me as to how to Taiwan on economically without drinking in some dive bar in the nether-lands.
Hoboken Questioner November 18, 2011 at 03:22 AM
Ohh...a nice whiskey

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »