Whiskey is tricky. First, is it spelled whisky or whiskey? While it typically comes down to region, it's whiskey in America. Then there's ordering. Water, rocks, or neat? That depends on your palette. Finally, there's the way whiskey is made. Some prefer peaty scotch, others hanker for rye, and then there are those who concern themselves more with the distilling process.
Regardless of region, grain, or distilling, most drinkers can agree: When it comes to whiskey, variety is the spice of life. And we've rounded up several bars to give you that extra kick.
Winston’s Cigar Bar5041 North 44th Street
It’s hard to imagine a fine cigar in a stately chair without a decent drink. Good thing the entire south wall of Winston’s Cigar Bar is adorned with dozens of well-organized spirits on well-lit shelves. There is an overly generous whiskey, bourbon, single-malt Scotches selection. Just think of a brand. It’s probably there. And there's a more than helpful bartender if you need any guidance.
The Gladly2201 East Camelback Road
Famous for their Original Chopped Salad, The Gladly is an upscale and modern option for food fans and whiskey connoisseurs alike. Their whiskey list boasts hundreds of options separated by region and style. It's almost overwhelming, but if you know what you like, it's easy to find variations on your preferred style. If you don't know what you like, The Gladly provides a perfect opportunity to explore the myriad options available across the globe. Domestic, Irish, Scottish, Canadian, and Asian whiskeys abound.
Chambers705 North First Street
Formerly known as The Turf (another downtown Irish pub), Chambers has long been a pub staple in downtown Phoenix. A large whiskey selection and several large screen TVs make this a great location for mixing quality spirits with whatever game. But a bigger draw is the cozy yet urban patio. If your perfect evening involves sports and bourbon, then Chambers is your kind of bar.
Rula Bula Irish Pub401 South Mill Avenue, Tempe
Rula Bula's bar is a real slice of Irish heaven. Built to resemble a saddlery shop from centuries past, the bar transports you straight to the Emerald Isle as soon as you walk through its colorful facade. The whiskeys are plentiful and the environment playful at this Mill Avenue staple. In addition to a wide array of spirits, Rula Bula also has hearty meals, live music, and pub trivia.
Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar7137 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale
Formerly known as Kazimierz Wine Bar, Kazimierz reopened in 2019 with a new vibe and new whiskey program. Patrons can store their high-end whiskey in lockers and also choose from more than 500 whiskeys from across the world. Open till 1 a.m. most nights, this whiskey bar a perfect stop for the urban night owl.
Fox Cigar BarMultiple Locations
The smell of cigars hangs heavy and the walls are lined with bottle after bottle of brown liquor. Patrons peruse the wares in a glass room. Welcome to Fox Cigar Bar, a place to sit back, relax, and sink into creature comforts. The atmosphere is as versatile as its whiskey list, with people from all walks of life intermingling throughout the spacious bar. Each location has hundreds of whiskeys and scotches from which to choose.
Seamus McCaffrey's Irish Pub and Restaurant18 West Monroe Street
The old standard for any whiskey drinker worth their snuff is Seamus McCaffrey's. Located in the thick of downtown, Seamus has been serving patrons since 1991. If The Winchester from Shaun of the Dead had an American counterpart packed to the gills with whiskey ... well, this is that bar. The menu boasts "Arizona's largest whiskey selection," and based on the endless options it just might be right.
Haymaker is a larger operation, but it's still a warm, family-owned restaurant with a down-home feel. The food is locally sourced but the whiskey is brought in from all over the place. If you really want to get involved, show up on Whiskey Wednesday when they break out brands like Templeton Rye, Blanton's Bourbon, and Buffalo Trace Distillery. They also have a lengthy gluten-free menu. And though whiskey is inherently gluten-free, technically all of these bars and restaurants have a gluten-free menu.
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails2 East Jefferson Street
Classy, rustic, and perfect for a dinner date, Blue Hound has phenomenal food and an atmosphere to match. Their cocktail list has several delicious seasonal whiskey cocktails and their brown liquor list is lengthy. Whiskey die-hards should try the bourbon flights here, or three, 1-ounce pours ranging from $25 to $225. For fans of whiskey cocktails, order over the Blue Hound Signature Old Fashioned or signature drinks like The Machinist.
Hundred North Bar & Kitchen100 North Gilbert Road, Gilbert
This airy bar is just south of the main drag in downtown Gilbert. The environment at Hundred North is super-casual, with a wide-open floor plan, 30 beer taps, and a whiskey list that is literally the thickness of a novel. Rare whiskeys are rotated into the list, and once they're gone, they're gone forever. The options are almost overwhelming, but if you have a strong will and high tolerance, you're in for one hell of a ride.
Magnum’s Cigar Wine & Liquor731 East Union Hills Drive
The north Phoenix lounge is unmistakably a cigar bar first, based on aroma alone. However, the 450-square-foot humidor makes it bearable. Either way, the whiskey list, which reads like a book, is killer. Magnum's dimly lit bar offers hundreds of whiskeys begging for a neat order, as well as craft cocktails like the Fancy Monkey — Monkey Shoulder Scotch, honey, and walnut bitters.
Bourbon & BonesMultiple Locations
It’s right there in the name. Bourbon & Bones offers one of the largest selection of bourbons and whiskeys in Arizona. The bourbon and whiskey menu alone is three pages long, while a separate menu lists the in-house reserve whiskey and available whiskey flights (ranging from a $21 sampling of house whiskey to a $975 flight simply called Unicorn). The upscale steakhouse also offers the BNB House Manhattan if you don’t like the straight stuff.
Grey Hen Rx3620 East Indian School Road
Grey Hen Rx, one of three concepts by Barter and Shake Hospitality in the Century Grand building, is inspired by 19th century New Orleans apothecaries. More than 500 whiskey bottles await in what was formerly just The Grey Hen, which also doubles as a spirits shop. Sip straight bourbons and whiskeys from the curated menu or try something from the New Orleans inspired cocktail menu.
This story was originally published on March 27, 2019. It was updated on February 11, 2021.
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