Vintage Wine & Spirits in Van Nuys Draws Whiskey Lovers from Across LA

Sip it slowly.

  • Category
    Eat & Drink, People
  • Written by
    Charlie Koones
  • Photographed by
    Cara Harman

  • Above
    Andrew Faour (left). His Three Standout Sips (right).

My dad, a man with simple tastes, was a bourbon drinker. He drank Old Crow in college and stuck with it all of his life. I came into the game later, developing a taste for bourbon when I was 30 with a bottle found just a shelf or two above Dad’s favorite.

Since then I’ve enjoyed exploring bourbon, and dare I say it, I’ve become a bit of a bourbon nerd. In LA, there are nearly 1,700 stores where you can buy a bottle of bourbon. If you’re a real whiskey lover, however, you’re looking for bottles you won’t find everywhere, curated by folks who can guide you as you explore.

I found my brown-liquor sherpa at Vintage Wine and Spirits. From everyday sippers to the truly rare find, this shop has them all. “We take a lot of time to curate the mix of bottles here,” shares owner Andrew Faour. “It is done at a higher level. We put a lot of thought into the various brands, new releases and flavor profiles. And our staff is very knowledgeable. Everyone who works here knows what they are talking about.”

Coming from a family that has owned liquor stores across LA for the past 40 years, Andrew has brought an encyclopedic knowledge of wine and spirits to the store, which his family took over from a previous owner in 2019. Vintage carries bottles from roughly 1,500 name brands in its 2,700-square-foot space—and, of course, there’s more than just bourbon. The store also goes deep on scotch, tequila and mescal, with older and unique varieties of those spirits as well. “We dramatically expanded when it came to whiskey, wine, tequila and mescal, trying to make it more exceptional. Sure, we have Tito’s and well-known brands like that, but generally speaking, these are the kinds of bottles that you go to Costco for,” he laughs.

Their wine selection is also quite interesting. It’s not as large as some places, and not as expansive as their whiskey selections, but it includes some lovely, high-end vintages from around the world as well as some well-priced, “everyday” bottles that I always keep an eye out for when wine shopping.



But for me, bourbon is the star at Vintage. I mean, what other liquor store has its own whiskey sommelier? Yeah, you heard me right. Sam Green, also a certified executive bourbon steward, can often be found behind the counter. He’s led me to some of the best bourbons I’ve ever had. I can only imagine what my dad would think.

The shop often hosts tastings on Fridays, typically between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Follow @vintagewineandspirits for the schedule.


Andrew Shares 3 Standout Sips 

Lagavulin 1993 Prima & Ultima Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey

We bought the last two casks of a scotch from Lagavulin that was laid down in 1993. Over the years the distillery would check them periodically, aging them for maximum flavor. The bottles from these two 28-year-old casks are all that is left from this batch. $3,500

Barrell Dovetail Whiskey 

Barrell Craft Spirits is known as a premium blender of whiskeys. One of my favorite bottles is Barrell Dovetail, which is aged in rum, port and Dunn Vineyards cabernet barrels. Great molasses-flavored sweetness up front and a wonderful nutty finish. $80

W.L. Weller Full Proof Single Barrel Select Bourbon Whiskey 

This is from a single-barrel offering, meaning that we bought the entire barrel. The nose is very complex—it has a certain nuttiness with hints of vanilla, caramel and butterscotch. Then at the end, a cherry note. $250