Whiskey, with roots as early as the 13th century, has become a significant part of the cocktail culture, and with the rise in popularity of distilled spirits, bottlers are now using different grains, barrels and filtration techniques, increasing competition in a competitive market. Whether you’re a cocktail connoisseur on the hunt for a solid whiskey, or just a fan of the single malt, there’s no short of whiskey bars and cafes right here in Toronto – read on to discover the 13 best places to get your whiskey on.
At The Emmet Ray, the whiskey list is long. From Canadian, American, ryes and bourbon to international, Irish and single-malt or blended scotches, there’s plenty to choose from. If you’re feeling fancy, go for a ‘top shelf’ spirit – or, keep it simple and opt for the originals like Collingwood, Buffalo Trace or Knob Creek.
The Emmet Ray, 924 College St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 792 4497
The Caledonian is Toronto’s answer to the best scotch in the city – the menu here is almost 18 pages long, boasting a long list of scotch whiskeys divided by regions in Scotland; Highlands, Speyside, Lowlands, Campbeltown, Islands and Islay. All of the scotches here are aged no less than three years in oak barrels, and the length of aging is listed next to each scotch along with a description of the nose, palate and finish, making it that much easier for guests to decide what they’re in the mood for. There’s also a number of blends and malts from other countries and scotch flights that are bound to have any scotch lover leave singing.
The Caledonian, 856 College St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 547 9827
Jura Brooklyn. The Scotch Whisky not 'made' in Scotland or thereabouts. Master distiller of @jura_whisky, Willie Tait travelled to Brooklyn with six cask samples and returned with a blend decided upon by the chosen folk. An inspired limited edition blend by a bustling borough. "Aged in American White Oak Bourbon, Amoroso Sherry, & Pinot Noir casks, our newest marriage boasts flavors of smoke, roasted coffee beans, lush berries, and honey." // #denverandliely ・・・ Follow us on Instagram @denverandliely. Click the link in the profile to shop now! ☝ ・・・ #brooklyn #nyc #whisky #blended #whiskey #limited #willietait #위스키 #viski #ウィスキー#singlemalt #scotch #Scotland #usa #canada #whiskybar @thecaledonian #instagood #instadram #drinks #makeswhiskybetter
1602 may be difficult to find, but this hidden gem is well worth the search. The vibe is cozy and the atmosphere casual – feel free to enjoy your spirit with ease. There are over 300 whiskeys and bourbons to choose from, so ‘ask and you shall receive.’ What could be easier than that?
1602 Dundas West, 1602 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 885 9298
Although Toronto Temperance Society may be ‘members only,’ it’s a big contender in Toronto’s world of whiskey. Located above Sidecar, this spot is a classy establishment meant for only those world-class cocktail enthusiasts. The list of whiskeys is extensive; from single malt scotches (divided regionally) and blended scotches to bourbons and American, Canadian and Irish whiskeys, it’s no wonder this spot is a sought-out place for drinks. Note – go get yourself a friend who is a member (members can bring outside guests), or apply to be a member yourself – it’s well worth it, we promise.
SpiritHouse is just that – a little house tucked down Portland Street in the heart of downtown, offering one of the largest and most diverse spirits list in all of Toronto. There are bourbons and American whiskeys like Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select, Canadian and Irish whiskeys like Forty Creek Barrel Select and Bushmills as well as single malt and blended scotches. The list changes often, so guests never get bored and can always experience something new.
SpiritHouse, 487 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 277 1187
The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve Three unique casks and copper pot stills bring this regal expression to your glass. Aged in white American, oloroso, and Cabernet Sauvignon casks, the Cigar Malt is a distinct dram that lingers long after the last drop. #toronto #spirithouse #whisky #dalmore #cigarmalt