Today, we’re looking at the top 5 whiskey bars in New York City and what makes them special.
Speakeasies, rooftop bars, bars made entirely of ice, victorian saloons —every theme has its day then the trend fades but the whiskey bar is a mainstay in NYC. Here are five that you must visit.
“Show me the way to the next whiskey bar, Oh don’t ask why, Oh don’t ask why.” Jim Morrison (Alabama Song -The DOORS)
Copper & Oak – Lower East Side – Open Wed-Sat 5PM-1AM
If dark liquor is what you crave, look no further —that is the specialty at this Lower East Side bar. There are no cocktails on the menu and although it is a tightly kept secret —mixers are available. Each week the bar features two tasting specials, perfect for those learning the art of sipping whiskey. The most rare offering is a rare Karuizawa whiskey from Japan.
The atmosphere is rustic and cozy. This tiny bar features decor constructed of oak barrels with fixtures and accents fashioned from old copper stills. More than 600 bottles of golden spirits line the walls and fill every niche. The menu is slight, proving once and for all —it is all about the Whiskey here.
The Gibson – Williamsburg Brooklyn – Open Daily 2PM-4AM, Weekends doors open at Noon
Owner Geoff Weber made a lot of people in the neighborhood happy when he took over the space, previously a hip-hop joint that played music loudly into the wee hours each morning. With The Gibson, Weber pledged to offer a tasteful neighborhood bar. He over-delivered to everyone’s delight. That was in 2008, since that time The Gibson has become one of Brooklyn’s favorite watering holes.
Open late, The Gibson offers a reverse Happy Hour from Midnight until 3AM. A haven for the service industry, after-work, crowd, and let’s face it ﹘those guys know all the best places to unwind. The menu is not to be dismissed, they offer more than traditional pub grub but it is the pulled pork sandwich keeps people coming back.
The whiskey selection is impressive with hundreds of styles to choose from including some fine aged small-batch bottles. One of the few bars in NYC bold enough to include a 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle —yes, THAT venerable bourbon, on its menu. The bar itself is spacious and perfect for large gatherings.
Hudson-Malone – Midtown – Open daily until 4AM
At Hudson-Malone you will find an old-world saloon serving rustic, comfort food and an impressive menu of sipping whiskey, rare bourbons, and classic cocktails.
Owner (and sometimes bartender) Doug Quinn has won numerous awards and accolades during his 25 years in the saloon business. The culture of camaraderie is evident. The staff is quick to offer a handshake and will probably know your name before the night’s end.
Maysville – Midtown Manhattan – Open daily until Midnight, Weekends until 2AM
Named after the birthplace of Kentucky Bourbon, Maysville, is everything you would expect. The menu redefines southern chic with crispy grits and hay-smoked oysters.
The atmosphere is solidly “American Tavern” with aged whiskey barrel decor. The whiskey selection is impressive with over 170 offerings. We’ve heard they make a killer old fashioned and the other whiskey cocktails on their menu range from traditional to inventive. If you are a novice whiskey drinker or it is a skill you are wishing to hone, Maysville offers a full schedule of whiskey tasting classes.
Noorman’s Kil – Brooklyn Weekdays 5PM-4AM, Weekends doors open at 2PM
An offering of over 400 types of Whiskey makes the Noorman’s Kil collection perhaps the most impressive in NYC. No matter how eclectic your taste, you will find something to please your palette here. This is not meant to deter the novice, as the knowledgeable staff is helpful, unpretentious and quick to recommend the perfect first sip. Check out their events calendar for the whiskey tastings which are open to the public.
With the tagline: Whiskey and Grilled Cheese, you know what is in store. They currently offer seven of the finest and most mouthwatering grilled cheeses you could never imagine.