Discover the Top Whiskey Bars in Boston with the Best Selections

extensive selection, knowledgeable staff, whiskey bars

The Best Whiskey Bars in Boston

Bourbon or Scotch, neat or on the rocks—our city’s bars have it all

Whether you’re a serious aficionado or merely curious, Boston is brimming with some of the best whiskey bars where you can wet your whistle. With extensive selections of the brown stuff, these spots offer the unique opportunity to sip rare and special bottles as you socialize. Even if you don’t know the difference between rye and bourbon, Scotch and Japanese, the knowledgeable staff at these hangouts will be happy to explain. Looking for a guaranteed whiskey-friendly atmosphere with fewer frills? You can always check out one of the best Irish pubs in Boston. Prefer drinking your whiskey in a fanciful form? Head to one of the best cocktail bars in Boston. And if you’re looking to pair your whiskey consumption with some suitable eats, chow down at one of the best steakhouses or burger spots in Boston.

1. Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar

This modern neighborhood tavern behind Fenway has fresh beer on tap, craft cocktails, notable wine selections and elevated pub fare. The highlight, however, is the list of more than 250 whiskeys (including single barrels crafted specifically for Citizen). The curated collection is always changing, with top-of-the-line and rare selections popping up frequently. If you’re serious about learning more about this spirit, stop in for Citizen’s School of Whiskey, a monthly event where different distillers will teach guests about their product (and maybe pour a dram or two).

2. Saloon

Blink and you might miss this bustling Davis Square bar—but, if you follow the stream of hip yuppies and Rockwell show-goers down the stairs, you’ll find yourself inside this subterranean Elm Street establishment. With dark wood-paneled walls, rich leather banquettes and dimly lit lamps, Saloon looks every bit the part of a whiskey joint. Explore its list of more than 120 whiskeys on offer and you’re bound to stumble upon your pour of preference. Though you can have your whiskey mixed into an old-timey cocktail, many of the rarer brands here demand drinking them neat.

3. The Quiet Few

Situated across the harbor, The Quiet Few is the place to go in Eastie, if you’re looking for a good pour of screech. This self-described “neighborhood whiskey tavern” certainly lives up to its claims, offering more than 100 kinds of brown stuff that span the entire spectrum—bourbon, rye, Scotch, Irish, Japanese and everything in between. Pick your poison and play some shuffleboard before refueling with bougie pub grub that ranges from the Simple Smash Burgers to the Big Papi (a spread of caviar, hot dogs, French onion dip and chips… plus a pitcher of of beer).

4. Hojoko

While most noted for its selection of sushi and small plates, this modern izakaya also features a separate menu solely dedicated to Japanese whiskeys. The bar at this Fenway spot, located inside the Verb Hotel, can pour more than 30 different whiskeys. Don’t know too much about Japan’s rich whiskey culture? Not a problem. The knowledgeable staff here will guide you through the list and help you find the right pour for your palate.

5. Rowes Wharf Bar at the Boston Harbor Hotel

Located inside the luxurious waterside Boston Harbor Hotel, the Rowes Wharf Bar is opulent and reminiscent of a private club. The plush surroundings are the perfect setting for a fine scotch, and the list here is one of the city’s most extensive, including rare single malts. Sip, savor and pair with savory bar bites created by the hotel’s head chef.

6. The Smoke Shop

Chef Andy Husbands is a world champion pitmaster, so he knows that there are few combinations that can compete with a plate of smoked meat and a glass of whiskey. At his Smoke Shop restaurants, the bar list includes more than 230 whiskeys and bourbons—from moonshine to classics, to limited edition selections. Pair your barbecue with a flight and you’ll be in hog heaven.

7. Worden Hall

Worden Hall is named after a 19th-Century, Saratoga Springs guest house, and the decor at this South Boston restaurant reflects the aforementioned town’s rich horse racing culture. Fittingly, this Southie spot has an impressive list of more than 100 whiskeys. The list features bourbon, rye, scotch, Canadian whiskey, Irish whiskey, Tennessee whiskey, specialty whiskey and even a selection of moonshine.

8. The Last Hurrah at Omni Parker House

Established in 1855 as the Parker House, our Omni is the oldest continuously operating hotel in the country. The Last Hurrah, the bar located within the landmark hotel, was a literary hangout for the likes of Longfellow, Hawthorne and Emerson. Just as extensive as the list of historic clientele, the whiskey list at Last Hurrah is one of the city’s most impressive (the spot has even been internationally recognized by Whiskey Magazine). Post up in one of the bar’s leather armchairs and sip a fine scotch solo, or book The Barrel Tasting Experience for a expertly guided outing.

9. Buttermilk & Bourbon

Enjoy Southern hospitality alongside Southern-style favorites at this Back Bay spot. What do these classics call for? It’s right in the restaurant’s name: an accompaniment of bourbon. Choose from a long list of bourbons to enjoy your drink straight, or select one of the well-crafted bourbon cocktails (i.e. the Creole Old Fashioned, made with Maker’s Mark Private Buttermilk & Bourbon Select Barrel, crawfish boil bitters, creole bitters, cornichon and a cocktail onion).

10. Bully Boy Tasting Room

Paving the way for Boston’s modern craft distillery scene, Bully Boy makes a mean American Straight Whiskey right here in town. Using a mixture of corn and rye, this local liquor leans on both schools of thought—bourbon and rye—and blends them together to make a single, smooth and balanced product. While you can grab a bottle at just about any packie, this booze is best enjoyed inside Bully Boy’s onsite tasting room.

11. GrandTen Distilling

This Southie distillery has perfected not one, not two, but three delicious craft whiskeys. In addition to its California-distilled single malt, this Andrew Square establishment also offers its South Boston Irish Whiskeys as a nod to its surrounding neighborhood. Feeling a little nutty? Try the Godather, which features the addition of Amandine. As with all GrandTen’s spirits, the on-site bar offers cocktails crafted with these three whiskeys.

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