Food & Drink

Seattle's 10 best whiskey bars

Published On 04/30/2014 Published On 04/30/2014
whiskey
Chona Kasinger

You can drink whiskey pretty much anywhere -- dive bars, beer bars, bars where you inevitably make bad decisions -- but that doesn't mean you should, especially not if someone were to assemble a list of Seattle's 10 best whiskey bars for you. Oh, WAIT!

Canon Whiskey & Bitters Emporium

Canon Whiskey & Bitters Emporium
Central District
It's got 1) the largest selection of American whiskey in the world, 2) a 94-page spirits menu with nine pages worth of rare whiskeys, 3) space-age devices like centrifuges to make cocktails with, 4) a bar where every piece of wood is stained with Angostura bitters, 5) next-level 'tails like the Skull & Blackberries (made w/ their own Double Double Rye, dark rum, Rossbacher, blackberry & blueberry smoke), and 6) you on a barstool, presumably, after you finish reading the first five.

9 Million in Unmarked Bills

9 Million in Unmarked Bills
Fremont
The giant, neon sign that reads “PRESCRIPTIONS” looming above the bar is perfectly appropriate when you consider they've got a sick selection of whiskeys -- sourced from Kentucky (natch) and as far away as Japan -- that you can self medicate with, enjoy in one of The Town's stiffest Mint Juleps, or pair with some badass bar bites including popcorn shrimp, and mac & cheese w/ white truffle oil & white cheddar BĂ©chamel.

Chona Kasinger

Radiator Whiskey
Downtown
Helmed by the dudes behind Matt's in the Market across the hall, this barrel-aged cocktail specialist doesn't overlook the water like Matt's, but it does have tremendous views of... um, someplace with tremendous views (Showgirls!), some seriously sweet down-home vittles (half a pig's head, pork cheek stew, etc.), and a slew of creative ways to swill whiskey, including can't-miss Bourbon Margaritas.

Kickin’ Boot Whiskey Kitchen

Kickin’ Boot Whiskey Kitchen
Ballard
There’s no kick in the pants quite like a short glass of firewater, which is why this Ballard behemoth doesn't settle for an awesome view of the water and some badass BBQ, but instead serves up over two pages of hand-selected whiskeys (including local stuff like Oola), eight different tasting flights, and a selection of new and old-school bourbon-based cocktails, like the Kentucky Gentleman w/ apricot, lemon & sugar.

Americana

Americana Restaurant 
Capitol Hill
This just-off-Broadway boozer is helmed by a chef who grew up in the South, and boasts a correspondently large selection of the South's favorite spirt and some creative 'tails, like the Seattle Sour, which is made by suggesting the 49ers are in any way better than the Seahawks, or by combining Fremont Mischief whiskey, Manny’s Pale Ale & lemon juice.

Chona Kasinger

Old Sage
Capitol Hill
Dressed up like an old-school drinking club (right down to shelves stocked with second-hand books and an ironic portrait of a teetotaling city father), this place pairs incredibly attractive smoked meat/seafood dishes, with a huge range of smoky, Scotch-based cocktails. Our sage advice? Try this Summer Smash w/ peach, Amontillado sherry, lemon & Demerara.

Tavern Law

Tavern Law
Capitol Hill
Already on countless "best bar" lists (in America, let alone Seattle), this brown liquor-specialist from the guys behind the aforementioned Old Sage boasts a Prohibition-style space, in which some of the city's best bartenders are slinging classic 'tails and custom numbers made with traditional techniques, freshly squeezed juices, and house-made syrups and tinctures.

The Whisky Bar

The Whisky Bar
Belltown
A place called The Whisky Bar has to be on our list, right? Right?! Right, 'cause whatever it's called, it's still got over 50 bottles of the water of life, along with smoked duck, veal shoulder, and other meat-tastic drunchies.

Chona Kasinger

Bourbon and Bones
Fremont
The Southern-inspired Bourbon and Bones might fool you into thinking you’ve stepped into a red state, thanks to its out-of-this-world fried chicken, brisket, tacos, etc. Oh, and did we mention a slew of whiskey drinks, aptly served in mini Mason jars? We have now.

Chona Kasinger

Liberty
Capitol Hill
Sure, Liberty's a coffee house, and a sushi restaurant... but it's also one of Seattle's best cocktail destinations, thanks to a huge selection of local spirits including Woodinville Whiskey Company’s White Dog, its pioneering barrel-aged cocktails, and some seriously knowledgeable bartenders who're at... sorry'boutthis!... liberty to create one-off custom 'tails just for you.

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1. Canon 928 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

This snug bespoke whiskey bar and bitters emporium makes up for its cozy quarters with an astounding collection of wine and spirits (peep the 94-page menu!). If that weren't reason enough to check out this Capitol Hill spot, Canon Whiskey holds the title for having the largest selection of American whiskey in the world... score!

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2. 9 Million In Unmarked Bills 3507 Fremont Pl, Seattle, WA 98103 (Fremont)

This laid-back Fremont boozer has a spacious patio and serves up specially crafted 'tails using fresh ingredients like muddled lemons & oranges, orange-spiced black tea-infused whiskey and rhubarb bitters.

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3. Radiator Whiskey 94 Pike St, Ste 30, Seattle, WA 98101 (Downtown)

Radiator Whiskey is a brewpub in Downtown that's dishing out barrel-aged, gravity-poured cocktails as well as American classics that may or may not include Fritos.

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4. Kickin' Boot Whiskey Kitchen 5309 22nd Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)

In a repurposed warehouse with custom everything, you'll find Kickin' Boot. The menu's built around classic BBQ offerings like fried chicken served w/ a buttermilk biscuit and half & whole racks of baby back ribs. KBWK's also slinging steakhouse classics (a center-cut New York w/ smoked cheddar tasso grit sticks), sandwiches, and apps like the spicy beer butter sauce'd Kickin' Shrimp. To drink, there's a massive wine list, scratch-made sodas, and old-school Southern imbibables like the gin/Lillet/orange curacao/absinthe Corpse Reviver,

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5. Americana 219 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102 (Capitol Hill)

Americana’s Kentucky Gentleman, made with Maker’s, muddled ginger, and mint syrup is just one of the many creative 'tails that await you in this Cap Hill drinkery. Located just off Broadway, Americana also serves flights, so you have no excuse not to order the maple-glazed pork belly, because you've got loooootssss to wash it down with.

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6. Tavern Law 1406 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

This classy Cap Hill boozer has won many accolades, and for good reason. Try their egg-white whiskey cocktail, or pretty much anything else their expert bartenders recommend.

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7. The Old Sage 1410 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

A sweet seafoodery where they'll smoke your underwater eats all the way up to your table, then pair them with delicious Scotch-based cocktails.

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8. Whisky Bar 2122 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 (Belltown)

With weekly live bagpipe music (!), The Whisky Bar lives up to its name with over 50 bottles of the aforementioned spirit, along with eats like smoked duck, veal shoulder, and other meat-tastic bar bites.

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9. Bourbon & Bones 4350 Leary Way NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (Fremont)

Boasting "smoked meat, fried chicken, and whiskey," Bourbon & Bones is serving up everything you need to have an authentic BBQ experience in Fremont. What's better than whiskey cocktails? Whiskey cocktails served in mason jars.

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10. Liberty 517 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112 (Capitol Hill)

Sushi and craft cocktails make a great pair at this Capitol Hill neighborhood eatery. Run by the President of the Washington State Bartender’s Guild/Vice President of the Washington Distillers’ Guild, this spot has a lot to live up to libation wise, and it delivers with a nice selection of well-made classic cocktails, house standards, and an extensive array of whiskey, vodka, tequila, and bourbon. Comfy couches make up for limited bar seating.

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