10 American Bars and Restaurants with Amazing Bourbon Collections

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Celebrate #30DaysofBourbon by drinking the brown stuff like you mean it.

Raise a glass during Bourbon Heritage Month (or any month) at one of these bars featuring outstanding collections of America’s home-grown whiskey.

1. Barrel Proof, New Orleans

Image: Rush Jagoe

This new-ish venture from the Sylvain team in NOLA’s Lower Garden District focuses on whiskey and beer. There’s no cocktail menu here, but the bartenders will make what you please.

2. Canon, Seattle

Image: Flickr

The “whiskey and bitters emporium” lays claim to the largest selection of American whiskey in the world. Plus, it’s beloved as a cocktail institution.

3. The Franklin Room, Chicago

With a subterranean speakeasy vibe and “turn-of-the-century-inspired” American tavern fare, this River North newcomer has a strong brown spirits list and equally strong cocktail chops.

4. Hard Water, San Francisco

From Charles Phan and the team behind Slanted Door, this Embarcadero spot is famed for its horseshoe-shaped bar and Southern seafood–heavy menu. Try the Bourbon Lift (Buffalo Trace bourbon, St. George NOLA coffee liqueur, orgeat, Straus organic cream, soda water​).

5. Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Washington, D.C.

The bar keeps count on its website of how many bottles of whiskey are on the shelves (2,225 last we checked), including a staggering backlist of bourbon. Don’t forget to text ahead for entry to the buzz-y basement speakeasy, Dram & Grain.

6. Julep Cocktail Club, Kansas City, Missouri

Look for the whiskey sign out front for this “cozy and convivial” spot, which offers nearly 100 bourbons, a list of Julep variations as well as a happy hour featuring 25-percent off all whiskey. A must-add to your itinerary for those headed to the Paris of the Plains cocktail festival (Sept. 10–13, 2015).

7. Maysville, New York

Though we’re still mourning the recent closure of Brooklyn’s Char No. 4, Manhattan offspring Maysville keeps the bourbon flowing, plus plenty of farm-to-table eats to soak it all up.

8. Multnomah Whiskey Library, Portland, Oregon

Image: Dina Avila Photography

The 1,500 bottle options on the “library” shelves are just staggering. They’ve become known for refined tableside drinks service and lengthy waits, so plan ahead.

9. The Silver Dollar, Louisville, Kentucky

Only Kentucky whiskey is carried in this laidback bar in the heart of bourbon country, including plenty of bourbon (of course) and some proprietary single-barrel offerings you can’t find anywhere else.

10. Southern Efficiency, Washington, D.C.

Note the URL: whiskeyhome. That pretty much says it all. Because lauded bartender Derek Brown is one of the masterminds behind the operation, bourbon-soaked cocktails like the Mint Julep on tap are the way to go.

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Discussion

  • Skybot posted 7 months ago

    Make a trip to Medford Oregon. We have hundreds of bottles of whiskey here at Jefferson Spirits!

  • quasarkitten posted 11 months ago

    The Fountainhead in Chicago also has a huge collection. They aren't really a great place for amazing cocktails, but they know their whiskey and have great food. Love Franklin Room too!

  • carpevino posted 2 years ago

    Check our Husk, in Nashville. A great collection of very old rare Bourbon, and a great environment.

  • carpevino posted 2 years ago

    Check our Husk, in Nashville.

  • chris.1572af3 posted 2 years ago

    Great to see so many "Whiskey" bars/restaurants listed. Being a Louisvillian, it is great to see The Silver Dollar among the Top 10. However, the best & broadest selection of Bourbon in Louisville is found at The Tasting Room at Westport Whiskey & Wine. Over 270 different #Bourbons available to taste. Just thought the author, Kara Newman, might like to know.

  • Liberty posted 2 years ago

    What a great list! There's surely the well-known bars on this list to heap upon their already well-deserve good press.

    Here at Liberty, we've been collecting great whisk(e)y for almost a decade now. We have long since had over 300+ quality bottles of American whiskey, much of it dating back to pre-prohibition, now long defunct distilleries, and a 50+ cocktail list, many being American whiskey, both classics and house-created.

    It's great now, after so many years, working with our customers to have them look over a back bar for the ever-expanding list of quality American to see articles like this celebrate such great whiskey.

  • dancepig posted 2 years ago

    too bad you didn't mention the Blue Grass Tavern in Lexington, Kentucky. More than 350 bottles of Whiskey, most of them Bourton, and all of the bartenders we met knew where they were located, where they came from and interesting information about the distillery. http://www.thebluegrasstavern.com
    I call this Tavern - Nirvana


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