12 Best Whiskey Bars In The US

Whiskey's popularity stems from its complexity and diverse range of styles and regional variations. Ranging from mellow and smooth to smoky and peaty, whiskey offers an assortment of flavors that cater to different preferences and palates. As such, it's little surprise that the number of whiskey cases sold in the U.S. has been rising steadily since 2010, with 78 million 9-liter cases sold in 2022 (via Statista).

As the demand for whiskey increases, so does the number of venues where you can sample the amber tipple. More and more bars, restaurants, saloons, and speakeasies are catching on, offering thoughtfully curated collections that celebrate distinctive whiskey styles, regions, and flavors. Many of these establishments also showcase the rich tapestry of the libation's heritage, allowing discerning connoisseurs to explore and savor the nuances of rare expressions including aged releases and single casks.

Whether you're a seasoned connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of whiskey, here are some of the best whiskey bars in the U.S.

1. Brandy Library in New York City

Despite whiskey's conspicuous absence from the bar's name, the Brandy Library boasts an extensive range of the spirit. And while the New York establishment's emphasis is on American whiskey, it also stocks an impressive collection of Scotch and Japanese whiskeys, including miniatures. The bar's 1,500-strong collection of bottles is displayed on shelves — library style — with ladders to ensure that even the most elusive offerings are within easy reach. It's also worth noting that the Brandy Library is serious about its clientele. To ensure a relaxed experience for all patrons, the establishment maintains a maximum group size policy of six individuals, all of whom must be over 25 years old.

Brandy Library's French-born proprietor, Flavien Desoblin, approaches spirits and customer service with utmost reverence, which is why all his staff undergo rigorous training akin to that of wine sommeliers. With this in mind, Desoblin runs a spirit school for whiskey fans with small group tasting classes. And when it comes to his patrons, he says that he wants them to open both their minds and palates to new experiences, saying, "[I want them to come away] feeling silly for having consumed so much vodka in their previous life! Realizing that brown spirits are not a snob's drink and that looking for flavorful, delicate and well-balanced tipples is not difficult" (via Whiskey Reviewer).

2. Seven Grand in Los Angeles

Seven Grand's hunting lodge aesthetic — think dark woods, exposed brick walls, and taxidermy — screams fine whiskey. Elegant yet down to earth, the establishment stocks a huge range of whiskeys, including single barrels from around the globe and rare finds such as 30-year-old Macallan Scotch. To complement its range of tipples, Seven Grand stages regular live jazz and blues gigs.

Whiskey enthusiasts will appreciate Seven Grand's Whiskey Society, a membership program that gives patrons an opportunity to delve deeper into the world of whiskey. Through this program, members can enjoy tastings led by Master Distillers and other industry experts to learn about the intricacies of whiskey production and appreciation. In addition, in 2014, Seven Grand introduced Bar Jackalope, an intimate 18-seat whiskey bar within a bar. This unique Japanese-style speakeasy is entirely dedicated to whiskey and boasts an impressive selection of over 120 different types of this beloved amber spirit.

Seven Grand has received an overwhelmingly positive reception from those serious about their whiskey. One reviewer calls the bar a "whiskey heaven," adding, "The choices of whiskey seem endless as you flip through the pages of their whiskey 'bible'." Another whiskey enthusiast agrees, saying, "Old school speakeasy feel in a great whiskey bar! Lots of choices for you, and mixologists who can guide your drinking adventure."

3. Delilah's in Chicago

A must-visit destination for Chicago's music and whiskey enthusiasts, Delilah's hosts a regular lineup of DJs spinning anything and everything from punk to R&B. And while you would never tell from its unassuming exterior, the cozy venue also serves around 800 different types of whiskey from around the globe, including tipples from Japan, Canada, and India, as well as more local libations from across the States.

Notably, Delilah's produces and bottles its own Scotch. Developed by Delilah's owner Mike Miller and the founder of the Scotch whiskymaker Compass Box, John Glaser, the pour was first released in 2013. The latest batch of the limited-edition libation was released in 2018 to celebrate Delilah's 25 anniversary. Taking the original as a base, the whisky underwent an additional five years of aging, resulting in a sherry-forward drop with hints of spice and vanilla.

One patron hails Delilah's as a whiskey mecca, saying, "Outstanding whiskey bar with a cool vibe. [It has] everything you can want from old standards to the rare and discontinued." Another enthusiast also praises the bar's whiskey selection, calling it unrivaled. They also commend the staff for their exceptional knowledge and expertise, admitting, "[It's] probably a good thing I don't live near this establishment."

4. Ashton Cigar Bar in Philadelphia

Many believe that the smoky, robust nature of cigars pairs exceptionally well with the rich, complex notes found in different types of whiskey. And the owner of the Ashton Cigar Bar in Philadelphia is no exception. The bar's 450 or so whiskeys are complemented by its wide collection of 200 handcrafted cigars stored in a special glass walk-in humidor.

Masterminded by the man behind the Ashton cigar brand, Robert Levin, Ashton Cigar Bar is both refined and modern, with distressed brick walls, wooden shelving, and a Venetian Carrara marble bar. Better still, the establishment also offers an extensive selection of whiskeys from around the globe, including North American whiskey, Scotch, Irish whiskey, and pours from Asia.

One tippler recommends the Ashton Cigar Bar for what she calls "grown up fun," saying, "After having dinner we stopped by Ashton to pick up cigars for my friend's husband. Three hours later we had several rounds of whisky, tried a variety of cigars, [and] enjoyed the music and great convo." Another reviewer praises the bar's spirit collection, elaborating, "Very lengthy Scotch, bourbon, whiskey, vodka, rum, and gin selection is presented. The menu also includes wines and beer. The only thing missing is chocolate."

5. Multnomah Whiskey Library in Portland

A tad ostentatious with a reputation for being on the pricier side, Portland's Multnomah Whiskey Library isn't for everybody. In fact, this members-only bar isn't exactly accessible to just anyone. Whiskey lovers have to invest in an exclusive membership or purchase a Hall Pass for $25 that enables them to make a reservation between Tuesday and Thursday. 

"So why bother?" you may ask: A visit to the Multnomah Whiskey Library is more than just a typical night out — it's an experience. Enveloped by towering bottle stacks with sliding ladders, the darkly lit bar emanates an atmosphere of timeless sophistication. Leather sofas, high ceilings, elegant chandeliers, and stained-glass windows contribute to the opulent ambiance, while a roaring woodfire adds a touch of warmth and coziness. Best of all, the whiskey here — keep an eye out for the leather-bound menu of pours — is served with a unique touch, poured tableside from a mobile bar cart by dashing vest-clad servers.

While it's unclear how many whiskeys the Multnomah Whiskey Library offers, according to patrons, it's a lot. One reviewer says that he's been told that the bar offers over 1,200 different whiskeys from across the globe, adding, "Great, busy, classy. Beautiful ambience. Good service. [...] Very knowledgeable sommeliers, very professional, and will offer alternatives to your taste. [...] Well worth the price."

6. Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington, D.C.

With over 2,600 bottles of whiskey, there's little doubt that Jack Rose Dining Saloon offers one of the widest selections of the noble spirit in the world. The offerings on Jack Rose's extensive menu include drops from far-flung locations such as Japan, Australia, Mexico, Israel, Ireland, and India, as well as whiskeys from producers closer to home. The bar also stocks rare bottles including American classics such as Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old Family Reserve and A.H. Hirsch 20 Year Old Red Wax.

Sprawled across three stories, the saloon boasts five bar areas, each with its own distinct ambiance. These include a semi-open-air terrace bar with sliding roof panels, a tiki bar, a private balcony room with a fireplace, and a dining saloon. There's also a basement whiskey cellar that serves bourbon on tap.

One impressed whiskey aficionado calls the Jack Rose Dining Saloon a "whiskey temple," advising, "The online menu of all the whiskeys is utterly overwhelming, so have some idea of what you want to try to help [yourself] focus." Another reviewer echoes this sentiment, saying, "The whiskey drinks are endless. Find your guilty pleasure and enjoy, or explore new bourbons. If you are adventurous, ask the staff for recommendations based on your tastes."

7. Old Hickory Whiskey Bar in Pensacola

Known for its impressive selection of American bourbons and single malts, as well as limited edition releases, the Old Hickory Whiskey Bar caters to different preferences and tastes. The dimly lit watering hole was brought to life around 10 years ago by Katie Garrett, a Pensacola native whose passion for whiskey led her to borrow $75,000 to invest in its creation. Named after the nickname bestowed on Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States and the first territorial governor of Florida, Old Hickory has grown from strength to strength, amassing 650 different types of whiskey. Notably, the house cocktail at Old Hickory is a private-barrel Buffalo Trace Manhattan, adding to the allure of this lively watering hole.

A favorite with Pensacola's whiskey enthusiasts, Old Hickory has received rave reviews for its exceptional liquor selection and ambiance. One reviewer praises the establishment, describing his drinking strategy: "If you like whiskey, then you will love this place. If it has whiskey in the name, they have it. I enjoy going in and 'playing' with the selection, meaning, I pick a category of whiskey and the bartender will bring a number of tiny samples. I hone in on a couple and go with those."

8. Bourbon in Columbia

With the catchy tagline "Bourbon is our spirit animal," the Bourbon bar is the go-to destination for satisfying all your bourbon — and whiskey — needs in Columbia. Housed in a historic 1869 building, the watering hole prides itself on the largest whiskey collection in South Carolina, also boasting libations from as far afield as Ireland, Scotland, Japan, India, and Canada. The bar's fine pours are complemented by its range of classic Cajun-Creole dishes such as gumbo and po'boys.

When it comes to ambiance, Bourbon emanates the nostalgia of a refined saloon from the early 20th century. Its exposed plaster walls, bespoke wallpaper, reclaimed wood, and elegant glass chandeliers create a warm and cozy atmosphere. Meanwhile, the seating options are designed to cater to different preferences, offering private booths for groups seeking an intimate setting as well as communal tables for those looking to foster new friendships.

One impressed reviewer says they were amazed at Bourbon's huge selection of whiskey and knowledgeable and professional service. They specifically describe their interaction with the bar's bourbon specialist, saying, "She asked what price range we wanted to stay in and disappeared into the back. She came back with an armload of beautiful bottles and offered us a sniff of each. She told us all about them. What a wonderful treat to get such individual care. It felt very high-end for sure."

9. 1919 in San Antonio

Just as its name implies, 1919 in San Antonio transports you to the clandestine world of hidden speakeasies of the Prohibition era. Set down a dimly lit stairway behind a secret doorway — blink and you'll miss the entrance — the bar boasts the most extensive collection of spirits in Texas and one of the largest in the entire United States. And while 1919's whiskey selection is truly vast, the bar only serves one kind of vodka — a Polish rye vodka called Sobieski.

Stephan Mendez from 1919 reveals that the majority of the venue's patrons arrive with a thirst for discovering new whiskey flavors. "They can tell us what they usually drink and we can guide them down a path that opens them up to new spirits they never knew they would like," he says (via Drinking in America).

According to one reviewer, the whiskey collection at 1919 is truly remarkable, boasting hundreds of choices. They are also impressed with the bar's servers, saying, "The staff were really friendly and took the time to talk and teach a little bit about whiskey. Really cool atmosphere as well." Another happy tippler agrees, saying, "The drink possibilities are endless. You can watch the infusion process of the whiskey and come back in 2-3 weeks when it's ready."

10. The Next Whiskey Bar in Washington D.C.

Who says political scandals are bad for business? Nestled in the Watergate Hotel, a part of the complex where the infamous events involving President Nixon took place in 1972, The Next Whiskey Bar has emerged as the epitome of the lobby bar scene in Washington D.C. The bar's undulating walls are adorned with an impressive collection of 2,500 backlit whiskey bottles. Adding to the allure are the meticulously designed high-backed red chairs, a bespoke collaboration between Ron Arad and Moroso.

The Next Whiskey Bar offers high-end Scotch as well as American and Japanese whiskeys. It also stocks a selection of cigars that can be enjoyed on the outdoor terrace. In winter, the terrace transforms into a cozy retreat with private igloos where groups of six can indulge in the hotel's tipples and fine cuisine.

While one reviewer laments that The Next Whiskey Bar is rather pricey, they are also impressed by its remarkable whiskey selection and inviting atmosphere, saying, "The staff and setting here is fantastic; the walls made of empty bottles with the golden light glow are definitely impressive. And, as could be expected, the whisky selection here...bourbon, rye, scotch, Irish....is incredible!"

11. The Flatiron Room in New York City

With two locations in New York City, The Flatiron Room has been attracting whiskey enthusiasts since opening its doors in NoMad in 2012. The Murray Hill location opened in 2023, having been converted from Fine & Rare, another whiskey bar run by the same owner, Tommy Tardie. Aside from their striking decor, both locations are a playground for whiskey enthusiasts, with NoMad boasting around 1,000 expressions and Murray Hill over 600.

In addition to its vast whiskey selection, The Flatiron Room distinguishes itself through its Bottle Keep program, which allows patrons to reserve and store their personal bottles at the bar. Each bottle is branded with a metal tag displaying its owner's name. They can then access the bottle using a Bottle Keep Card and even give drinking privileges to their friends using Entitlement Cards.

The Flatiron Room is big on vintage elegance, with its NoMad location incorporating plush red curtains and a stage that plays host to live music events. Other elements that complete the old-world picture include reclaimed wood floorboards, rolling library-style ladders, and a majestic chandelier that's said to have once graced the ceiling of the Smithsonian. Best of all, the servers really know their stuff and are more than happy to guide the patrons along their journey, as explained by Tardie. "It's kind of unassuming luxury. We never want to be pretentious or come across in a way that's going to feel like we're superior," he told Whiskey Raiders.

12. Scotch Lodge in Portland

Billing itself as a "cocktail bar for whiskey lovers," the Scotch Lodge lives up to its name as a charming speakeasy that pays homage to the beloved amber elixir. In fact, the vintage-y bar with a colorful wallpaper was named one of the best bars in America in 2021 by Esquire, which described it as "decidedly sophisticated yet unpretentious" and an ideal place to "have your mind expanded through whiskey."

The Scotch Lodge has been masterminded by Tommy Klus, a bartending prodigy who curated the drinks list at another top-notch Portland whiskey joint, the Multnomah Whiskey Library. Standing as a testament to Klus' unrivaled expertise, the Scotch Lodge has garnered a following of dapper gentlemen in finely tailored suits and neckties, as well as a younger demographic in their twenties. No matter their background, however, they all share a common bond — their love of whiskey.

And there's a lot to choose from here at all price points. From cask-strength Glenfarclas 105 to Ardbeg's Airigh Nam Beist, the Scotch Lodge offers no shortage of aromatic surprises. And many expressions on offer here are so rare that they're no longer available at most other venues, as explained by the bar's owner. "They're going into boxes or [the collectors] are saving them and selling them. I wanna open them here and I want you to be able to come in and try them," Klaus told The Whiskey Wash.