The 12 Best Whiskey Bars in America

Whiskey Bar

Where on earth can you find whiskey? Well, in a whiskey bar, of course! Whiskey is that golden-amber liquid we often refer to as the nectar of the gods. In the English language, we may never, ever find a word that will get our blood pumping much the same way as how that sweet, sweet word, “Whiskey” does. If you will have it on a placard and fasten it on a door to your office building, or have it on the invitation card for your upcoming stag party, it should get quite a lot of attention, what do you think? Two thumbs up if you think so!

Whiskey and liquor bottles in a bar.

It brings us to a topic that every one of us would be most interested in – whiskey-serving bars or drinking establishments. If you happen to have visited a few of these bars before, or if you sometimes find yourself bar-hopping, you will agree with me when I say that all whiskey bars are great. But of course, in an ideal world, there is one that stands out from the rest. There is always that one liquor drinking establishment that you will qualify as more remarkable than others. If you know precisely where to go for a fulfilling drink, there you’d find the most coveted, or even the rarest of whiskeys.

To help you find that whiskey bar that caters to your discriminating taste, we made a compilation of twelve of the most fantastic whiskey emporiums in the country. Indulge in a glass of whiskey in any of these 12 whiskey bars – hotspots across America.

1. The 404 Kitchen

(Nashville, TN)

By design, this whiskey bar is “modern” yet eclectic. The 404 Kitchen is in Nashville, Tennessee and it is not your typical watering hole. This whiskey emporium is a product of recycling ingenuity. The bar owners took a 40-foot shipping container and converted it into a whiskey and liquor bar.  The result was an outstanding place for whiskey and spirits enthusiasts. Then, they installed it right next to the luxurious 404 Hotel.

What do we like about this bar?

Aside from their well-crafted interiors, you will also fall in love with their wide selection of whiskeys. If you can visit them anytime soon, I encourage you to try one or more of the bottles they offer from their 150 plus labels. From Japanese, American, down to Irish label whiskeys, you will find them all in this one-stop shop liquor store. As you spend your good times here, the liquor will eventually perk up your appetite.  They serve up food in gastronomic proportions also. You may want to check out their menu offering here.

2. Canon

(Seattle, WA)

Can there be any other better way to experience the spirit of Seattle than by visiting this liquor & whiskey bar? Aside from paying a visit to the Space Needle, checking out this liquor store will give you a blast as well. If you are seeking a piece of heaven in a bottle, Canon may be the best place to serve it well for you.

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The Space Needle in Seattle - a tourist attraction.

What has Canon got to offer?

They have the broadest range of American whiskeys – in the world. They also maintain a spirits menu, 94 pages in all. A total of 9 pages is dedicated to the rarest of whiskeys. They also got this centrifuges which give you this space-age-device feel. You can make your cocktail drink with it.  Inside this bar, allow yourself to get mesmerized with their main bar where every piece of wood has been masterfully stained using Angostura bitters.

The Canon Whiskey Bar in Seattle.

3. Saloon

(Somerville, MA)

Countless numbers of bar establishments before have attempted to replicate the ambiance of pre-Prohibition speakeasy atmosphere. But as far as we know only Saloon of Somerville, Massachusetts has nailed it. Getting to this establishment, you need to get through their semi-hidden stairwell. You will marvel at how they’re able to preserve the 17th-century monastery doors they’re using at their entrance hall all these years. As you get there, you’d immerse yourself into this homey atmosphere they’ve created. Your welcome starts as soon as you see the leather-motif in their decor.

If you are planning to visit this local whiskey bar, don’t fail to check out their cocktail menu. It features modern cocktail mixes with all the classic drinks we love. With their selection of fine spirits, there is at least one whiskey label to suit your preference. If you are among those who like to tipple from time to time, you may discover you can have your best times here. They have an exceptional collection of liquors and whiskeys, and it would be impossible for anyone to find a bottle of hooch in this place, let alone serve you one!

4. Haymarket Whiskey Bar

(Louisville, KY)

Haymarket enjoys its reputation as being Louisville, Kentucky’s sole punk rock bourbon bar.  It is going to be an understatement of the century if we are uncertain you won’t have a good time here also. Like any other drinking establishments, they offer 150 plus brands of the world’s premium whiskey labels. Their selection includes “Jefferson Selects” and the very rare “Pappy’s”. Now, aside from 200 whiskeys and 100 bourbons, they now have 15 brands of moonshine, too!

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A typical night in the Haymarket Whiskey Bar.

If you want to dance away the stresses from your 9-5 perhaps on a Friday night, Haymarket Whiskey Bar is your go-to place. Why? It is because they host live music there. Four nights a week, they have a live band performing for the bar patrons. Furthermore, if you have a penchant for items of a bygone era, they have this collection of vintage memorabilia such as their old “Doctor Who” pinball machines. Such attractions make you travel down the memory lane. But the center of attention here is their “Centipede Arcade”. As well if you have a fondness for old music, you may want to try their jukebox machines.

Centipede arcade game center.

5. Highlands

(New York, NY)

Are you searching for a Scotch-centric whiskey bar? Go to Highlands! Highlands boasts of their 250 labels of rare whiskeys. Each of their bottles was hand-picked by their meticulous Beverage Director, who is known for his exceptional taste in liquors and spirits. Having him on board gives their customers the highest assurance that they’re serving top-notch whiskeys. Their array of whiskey and liquor labels earned for them a good reputation as having the most number of Scottish whiskeys in the country.

The owners of this establishment also made sure that their menu offerings not only cater to the discriminating palate of their patrons. They made sure their food and other libations complement their liquor drinks. It makes perfect sense; whichever way you look at it. For instance, if you plan to visit them anytime soon, check out their Whiskey Barrel-Smoked Pork Chops. You can pair this sumptuous, mouth-watering dish with their barrel-aged Old Fashioned whiskey.

6. Seven Grand

(Los Angeles, CA)

If you ask a local from the City of Angels about the top 10 things they do for fun, going to Seven Grand is going to be on top of their list. Strapped for cash? No need to go to the “Land of the Rising Sun”– Japan, to experience Japanese-themed sipping lounges. They have it here.  Faithful patrons of this whiskey emporium get to enjoy access to a broad spectrum of exceptional whiskey bottles coming from the four corners of the globe. It includes the Anniversary Edition of Bushmills 1608 and the Yamasaki 18-year old.

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Bushmills 1608 Anniversary Edition
yamazaki-18-year-old-whisky
The Yamasaki 18-year old.

7. Jack Rose Dining Saloon

(Washington D. C.)

Washington D.C.’s mecca for whiskey lovers is Jack Rose Dining Saloon.  Believe it or not, their racks contain more than 1,800 labels of fire spirits. Hence, they currently enjoy the reputation of having the most expansive collection of liquors in the Western Hemisphere. If you visit them, you can relish your drink in the main bar which is made out of polished wood and decked with mahogany chairs. Or you can go upstairs s where they offer more casual and laid-back furnishings and atmosphere.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington, D.C.

Downstairs, you’d find the saloon whiskey cellar. From here you can request for a private tasting of the bar’s best kept, rare fire spirits. Did we forget to mention that on their menu, they have included cigars? Yes, you can order cigars!

Whiskey tasting at the cellar.

8. The Pope House Bourbon Lounge

(Portland, OR)

Even if Oregon and Kentucky are 2,000 miles apart from each other, you won’t mind the distance the moment you stepped into “The Pope House Bourbon Lounge” which is in Portland. What makes this fine establishment a cut above the rest, is their selection of fire-spirits. The outlet’s management team handpicks the liquors they have on offer. Classic favorites, rare top-shelf bottles, and new mixes comprise their range of whiskey label offerings. On a typical weekend, this bar is brimming with customers, a substantial proof that whiskey enthusiasts love this place.

If you drop by this establishment, you may get a chance to take part in their “Bourbon Derby Program”. It is an occasion where they get to invite their patrons to try out 50 varieties of their bourbon offerings. If you are among the successful entrant, you will get a horseshoe as a prize.

9. The Silver Dollar

(Louisville, Kentucky)

The Silver Dollar is a favorite bar situated in the very heart of a bourbon country. They have this “whiskey by the drink” feature that helps attract more patrons. This liquor drinking establishment is not just a popular bar but is a popular music venue as well. The fire spirits they have on offer range from 23-year old bourbon “Pappy Van Winkles” to “White Lightning” rye.

Pappy_Van_Winkle
Pappy Van Winkles

If you are seeking a rare label, the management of this bar made it sure you will find what you are looking for, in no time. So, they had their liquors bottles arranged by distillery name. It helps their customers know the place of origin of their liquors. However, you will hardly find here any Tennessee-based spirit. Their management did exceptional work in maintaining its in-state distilleries. This way they can always showcase the best bourbon that you can only get in this place.

10. Delilah’s

(Chicago)

One reason why Delilah’s landed one of a contended spot in this list is due to their massive and impressive collection of liquors and spirits. From our last check, they have over 600 different labels on their shelf. In addition to that, they also have their very own house-bottled scotch, rye, and bourbon. So, with this wide range of available choices, who would not feel overwhelmed?  The vast number of whiskey labels they have on offer come from 15 different countries, including American labelled whiskeys.

Delilah's Whiskey Bar in Chicago, IL.

Delilah’s may be the perfect venue to go to if you want to groove the night away. Several times a week, they have DJ nights. They also play alternative music, a lot of punk-rock, and country beats. If you are lucky enough, you can get to see their movie screenings for free.

11. Bluegrass Tavern

(Lexington, Kentucky)

In a region famous for its good liquor outlets and bars, you can line-up “Bluegrass Tavern” bar as among the best. Their liquor shelf boasts of 230 hard-to-find whiskey labels, spirits and bourbons. It includes the very rare “Four Roses Limited Small Batch” or the “Single Barrel Secretariat”.

Four Roses Small Batch bottle.

The starting price for their top-shelf bottle is at $200 per ounce. Not enough money in your pocket? You may go for the cheaper bottle like “Jim Beam” and “Maker’s Mark”. If patrons need to ward off the chill brought about by the winter season, a wee dram of their classic drinks will do the trick. Or they can request for a glass of “The Old Fashioned” or “The Manhattan”, all while having a small chit-chat with their knowledgeable bartenders.

Maker's Mark bottle and glass.
Jim Beam
Jim Beam bourbon bottles on a shelf.

12. The Whiskey Kitchen

(Nashville, Tennessee)

Do you wonder why “The Whiskey Kitchen” bar is on this list? Well-known for their warm Southern hospitality, this whiskey and liquor outlet has earned, a good reputation among their loyal patrons. In contrast to the traditional vibe of regular whiskey bars, they have brightly lit, vibrant and lively interiors. It is a bar-restaurant, and they have on offer some of the best tipples that the South has to offer. These include the Woodford Reserve, George Dickel No. 8, or the Big Dog Blackberry.

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A Woodford Reserve bottle and glass.

If you have got that adventurous soul in you, you can try a one or two ounce pours. Or you can have a glass of the bar’s local mixes, instead. The most sought-after blend here is the “Maple Manhattan” with maple syrup mixed in. Alternatively, you can try the “Marmalade Whiskey Sour” with orange marmalade –  make it heavenly by requesting “Bernheim Wheat Whiskey” for the pairing.

In conclusion, all these whiskey emporiums that are spread far across the different states of America have their own unique, features to boast. These unique features put their patrons on the winning end. The industry and the stiff competition within may give us an impression that it is an impossible feat to overcome. But ultimately the creative geniuses of the people working behind these drinking establishments always work things out for their good. Do you have your very own personal favorite? We’d love to hear your feedback below.

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