Food & Drink

The 10 Best Whiskey Bars in LA

Published On 02/12/2014 Published On 02/12/2014
The Stave (click here for address and deets)

Long Beach
This classy, wood-laden bar's got three-whiskey flights every Wednesday, plus specials on call-your-own Old-Fashioneds and Sazeracs from their selection of nearly 100 brown boozes.

Seven Grand
Seven Grand (click here for address and deets)

The granddaddy (wokka-wokka?) of LA's whiskey scene, this brown-spirit bar's still tops, with a huge range of whiskies, a dark vibe that's both date- and hanging-with-the-boys friendly, and even a "Whiskey Society" where they teach you about rare whiskies via monthly tastings.

213 Nightlife
Jackalope (click here for address and deets)

Think of this as Seven Grand's younger brother: a former private-room back area, Jackalope is now its own speakeasy-style, 18-seat bar with its own entrance (marked by a light, with instructions on how to enter in both Japanese and English), its own booze selection (including rarities like Balvenie Tun 1401), and just three cocktails: an Old Fashioned, a Manhattan, and a Highball.

Neat (click here for address and deets)

There are no menus at Aidan Demarest's award-winning Glendale bar -- just bottles and bottles (and bottles! AND BOTTLES!!!) of great booze, including rare ryes and Scotches, all of which can be drunk, uh, neat, or served with sides of house-curated mixers and produce.

Thirsty Crow
Thirsty Crow (click here for address and deets)

It's crazy to think that this classy, throwback bar used to be a novelty truck-stop, PBR-slinger called Stinkers. Now it's worlds away from that, with shelves full of options for discerning whiskey drinkers and mixologists who know what to do with them (see: photo above).

10 Pound (click here for address and deets)

Beverly Hills
Hidden away atop the Montage, is this unsurprisingly ultra-classy, itty-bitty bar dedicated specifically to variations of The Macallan Single Malt. If you've got thousands of dollars to burn on a single shot, this is definitely your spot, but if you're looking to sip $20's-worth of booze, you can do that too: they'll even hook it up over an ice sphere made of frozen water that's imported (really!) from Scotland.

Blind Donkey (click here for address and deets)

The mastermind behind The Surly Goat -- one of our favorite beer bars -- is also one of the dudes behind Pasadena's best ode to barrels; they've got a stellar selection that's dozens-deep of American, Irish, and Scotch varieties.

Rosewood Tavern (click here for address and deets)

Is this a steak restaurant? A gastropub? A whiskey bar? Kind of yes, yes, and yes, with enough shelves of Scotch to require a ladder to reach the top couple. Bonus: the new chef (who's done time at Animal and Bouchon) is happy to let you know what grub pairs best with their booze.

The Daily Pint
The Daily Pint (click here for address and deets)

Santa Monica
This long-time dive on the Westside may not look like much, but whiskey aficionados know their range may be the best in the West(side), with selections from Australia, India, and Japan.

MessHall (click here for address and deets)

Los Feliz
Not only does MessHall have one of the greatest burgers you've never had, but they also have eight of the 10 best small-distillers in the country -- as well as the largest collection of Willett's single-barrel bourbons in SoCal. They've also got a slew of rarities, like 18-year Thomas Handy rye and, yes, Pappy -- all five variations.

Jeff Miller is the Senior City Editor of Thrillist LA. You can follow him at @thrillistla on Twitter and @jeffmillerla on Instagram.