A few years ago, the only thing I knew about Burnsville, Minnesota was Buck Hill, a ski & sledding…hill and even more importantly the inspiration for The Replacements’ “Buck Hill”. It turns out, if you look in the back of a Malt Advocate issue, there’s a fantastic Scotch and beer store there as well, Blue Max Liquors. Malt Advocate lists them as one of their 300 Plus Club, meaning they have over 300 different single malts on hand. I happened to be in neighboring Apple Valley recently to visit the girlfriend’s family, so of course we had to go and check Blue Max out.
It did not disappoint, right inside the door you’re met with a terrific wall of malt, some in cabinets, some on shelves, all beckoning like the Scottish sirens of yore (I dunno…were there Scottish sirens of yore?). The selection was very impressive, several expressions from every distillery I could think of as well as many intriguing independent bottlings. I didn’t notice many super rare, high-end bottles (perhaps they have them under lock and key), but frankly that doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s cool to see those bottles on occasion, but since I’m not in a position to buy ’em, I’d rather see the ones that live in my world. Also of note, as fantastic as their Scotch collection is, their beer selection is equally, if not more, impressive. Aisles and coolers of every type of beer from all corners of the world. Good American whiskey selection as well. Prices on everything seemed consistent with what I’ve seen elsewhere and the staff was really friendly and perfectly knowledgeable.
So yeah, Blue Max Liquors, amazing store, and Buck Hill. There you go, if you happen to be in Burnsville, MN, now you’ve got plenty to do.