Portland's Best Whiskey Bars

by Alexander Frane on Jan 24, 2017 in Roundups

 
If you’re a Portlander, chances are you’ll be needing whiskey, lots of whiskey, to help get through these next four years. Luckily, Portland is packed with bars, and many of them have a solid whiskey/whisky lists. Still, only a few can truly be classified as “whiskey bars.” Here are our ten favorite bars in Portland for bourbon, scotch, Irish, and everything else. Let us know where you most like to drink the stuff on our Facebook or Twitter.

Pinky’s Bar Nowhere
Pinky’s Bar Nowhere may not have the level of notoriety a spot like The Whisk{e}y Library enjoys, but it has a dedicated group of locals, and for good reason. It’s more like a friendly, family owned pizza place that just happens to have an astonishing list of whiskey from all across the world, including an impressive Japanese presence. It’s also got gluten free pizza, for those avoiding the substance for whatever reason. (3990 N Interstate Ave.; 503-288-4453)

Loyal Legion
One of Portland’s best beer bars also happens to be one of the best places to find whisky, especially after the overhaul the menu received in June of 2016.  Alongside the 80+ taps of Oregon beers and cider you can find a long list of scotch, as well as bourbon, Irish, Canadian, and Japanese whiskies, all at reasonable prices. Spirits can be ordered as an ounce for a little more than half the price of a regular shot, which is all the better to sample a large variety. (710 SE 6th Ave.; 503-235-8272)

The Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library and The Green Room
It’s impossible to write a list of whiskey bars without mentioning the The Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library. It’s not just one of Portland’s best whiskey bars, but once of the country’s. With a massive selection of spirits, fully trained whiskey experts, and a beautiful, lush interior full of tufted leather, hardwood, and fireplaces, there’s a reason the MWL will always come up in discussions about whiskey bars. If the wait is too long for you, there’s always The Green Room downstairs, which doesn’t sport the same gargantuan list of spirits, but is still a beautiful bar on its own accord. (1124 SW Alder St.; 503-954-1381)

Swine Bar
The bar part of Swank & Swine Restaurant and Bar is worth a trip even if you are not staying in the Paramount Hotel, which houses the duo. Here you can find a godly amount of bourbon, scotch, and the rest, as well as a full cocktail bar and food menu. Try 30 different whiskeys of a set list (5 each bourbon, scotch, and rye, as well as 15 of any others) and join The Whole Hog Whiskey Club, which gets you a commemorative glass as well as 10% off all whiskey. Try 20 more after that and receive a Swank & Swine whiskey decanter and 15% off everything on the menu for life. Swine Bar regularly hosts whiskey dinners led by guest distillers, which is a fun way to learn more about a brand. (808 SW Taylor St.; 503-943-5844)

Old Gold
The Old Gold is a friendly neighborhood spot that with a sizeable whiskey list, primarily focusing on bourbon. Custom flights are available, as are cocktails of both the whiskey variety and other spirits. The Old Gold also happens to provide an excellent dining menu, full of hearty and creative sandwiches, salads, and bar snacks. Whiskey education classes are offered every month or so, on a variety of topics; they sell out quickly, but updates can be found on the site’s blog. (2105 N Killingsworth St.; 503-894-8937)

Paydirt
From the same team as Old Gold comes Paydirt, a stylish little whiskey bar set in the Zipper, a food hall and communal space. Much like its big brother, Paydirt’s slogan is “We Have Too Much Whiskey,” and it, too, focuses on bourbon, though there’s plenty else to be found here. What sets this bar apart is its location in the Zipper, surrounded by counter service restaurants, including Basilisk, which serves one of Portland’s best fried chicken sandwiches. The Zipper is getting even better soon, as the tragically shuttered Smallwares is set to reopen in the building, in a smaller form. (2724 Northeast Pacific St.; 503-233-3655)

Brooklyn Park Pub
The Brooklyn Park Pub is easily, and often, missed, as from the outside it appears a simple dive bar. Heading inside, though, reveals its true nature: a simple dive bar that happens to have an extensive whiskey menu. There are no specialized cocktails with fancy, hand-cut ice, just amazing whiskey at a low price. Try enough of a variety of whisk(e)y and you can can join the whiskey club, which means a dollar off all whiskey, as well as access to an exclusive whiskey menu. (3400 SE Milwaukie Ave.; 503-234-7772)

The Pope House Bourbon Lounge
A house converted into a cocktail bar, Pope House is great year round. In the winter, stay in the warm and cozy interior, while during the summer you can lounge on the tiered patio levels. Either way, you’ll be drinking some fantastic bourbons. Happy hour is a great way to sample some bourbon based cocktails, and for those who want to learn more about the spirit, Pope House offers a regular Bourbon class. (2075 NW Glisan St.; 503-222-1056)

Photo by Courtney DeKorte 

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