Last year, when we published a list of top bourbon bars, we heard from lots of readers about all the other establishments that should be recognized for their whiskey selections. So, in honor of National Bourbon Heritage Month, we’ve decided to run a follow-up story with more watering holes you need to check out. Cheers!
Aero Club, 3365 India Street, San Diego, 619 297 7211:
The Aero Club is arguably the best-stocked dive bar in the world, with more than 600 whiskies. Its sprits list is 52 pages long with tasting notes for each bottling. The place was founded in 1947 by a pilot, which explains its name and amazing neon sign.
The Bar at Husk, 76 Queen Street, Charleston, S.C., 843 577 2500:
What was once a crumbling wreck of a building attached to award-winning Charleston restaurant Husk has been turned into this stylish establishment, whose more than 50 bourbon options include special house bottlings of Knob Creek and Jefferson’s. It only makes sense since Husk is owned by whiskey-obsessed chef Sean Brock.
Bourbons Bistro, 2255 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, 502 894 8838:
This joint’s more than 130 bourbons certainly got our attention. It’s also one of Heaven Hill whiskey ambassador and Bourbon Whiskey: Our Native Spirit author Bernie Lubbers’ favorite bars in his hometown of Louisville. Who are we to argue?
Bourbon House, 144 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, 504 522 0111:
Talk about setting up great expectations: Not only is this place called Bourbon House but it’s also located on Bourbon Street. Fortunately, the New Orleans hotspot delivers with an impressive drinks list. And it boasts a Bourbon Society that hosts spirited events and offers members a free dram of each month’s featured bottling.
Brandy Library, 25 North Moore Street, New York, 212 226 5545:
Despite its moniker, this elegant TriBeCa spot boasts dozens and dozens of rare American whiskies, along with delicious mixed drinks. That’s, of course, in addition to its fine cognacs, Scotches, tequilas and rums.
Canon, 928 12th Avenue, Seattle, 206 552 9755:
All-star bartender Jamie Boudreau claims to have built the western hemisphere’s most extensive liquor collection at his joint Canon (pictured above) in Seattle. And we’re inclined to believe him. The library even includes vintage whiskies like an I.W. Harper from 1917. He has put together an excellent cocktail menu with barrel-aged, carbonated and large-format tipples as well.
Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th Street Northwest, Washington, D.C., 202 588 7388:
If you’re inside the Beltway, head to the Jack Rose and clear your schedule. The Saloon has a big range of bourbons from the major brands and from independent bottlers—nearly 200 in all. And that’s not to mention the vast assortment of rye whiskies, Scotches, Irish whiskies and white dogs.
Mac McGee, 111 Sycamore Street, Decatur, Ga., 404 377 8050:
While Mac McGee might technically be an Irish pub (and it promises to serve a good helping of craic), it stocks a more whiskies from the US than Eire. Its specialty is bourbons from craft distillers across America, like Koval in Chicago and Balcones in Texas. In all, 17 states are represented on the menu, including plenty of choices from Kentucky.
St. Charles Exchange, 113 South 7th Street, Louisville, 502 618 1917:
This establishment in downtown Louisville has an old-world feel with a long, beautiful bar complete with mirror, tufted-leather banquettes and even a wall made from used barrel staves. There are plenty of spirits to try, plus craft cocktails and hearty dishes.