Finding whiskey at a bar in Portland, Oregon is easy. But if you’re a small-batch purist on the hunt for a single malt Scotch, or simply in the mood for a handcrafted bourbon cocktail, look no further. These spots are sure to have even the most expert of whiskey drinkers enthused.
Swine Moonshine & Whiskey Bar
Bar, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, American
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Swine Moonshine & Whisky Bar
| Courtesy of Swine
Decked out in deconstructed barn wood, Swine Moonshine and Whiskey Bar explores all that is whiskey. Behind the bar lies an authentic reclaimed copper whiskey still, and the whiskey list features an impressive array of single-barrel, reserve, and small-batch American varieties – Kentucky bourbon, rye, and local. The impressive menu includes other whiskeys from around the world alongside other hand-selected spirits such as moonshine. Join the Whole Hog Whiskey Club (for free) for first access to whiskey dinners, tastings, classes, and events, or head here on Wednesdays for $2 off the featured whiskey pour.
KASK, reopened by the Ox crew in 2016 after shutting its doors earlier that year, has seen a remarkable revival. Devotion to the craft remains, with the menu still dedicated to quality: creative, handcrafted cocktails and carefully curated bar snacks. The whiskey list boasts a high-profile roster of American single barrel and malts as well as an even longer selection of Scotch; the cocktails–served stirred and shaken–are accompanied by house-made syrups and obscure liqueurs. Find KASK nestled next to SuperBite, in a modern saloon-style space.
The Pope House Bourbon Lounge has been a longtime Portland favorite for whiskey drinkers. Set within a restored Victorian home, The Pope House maintains its cozy feel with a Kentucky-themed space, Southern-inspired menu, and bourbon-based concoctions. Whiskey flights are available, but for the most experienced of drinkers, opt for one of the Whiskey Classes: Bourbon 101 and Aristocrat Academy, a tasting course hosted at The Pope House speakeasy, The Aristocrat. On Tuesdays, get 20 percent off any whiskey over $20.
Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Pub Grub, American, $$$
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Paydirt | Courtesy of Paydirt
A somewhat newcomer to the Oregon scene, Paydirt has established itself quickly as a go-to spot for quality whiskey. Brought to you by the folks at The Old Gold, Paydirt’s whiskey list is beyond astonishing, featuring a collection of over a hundred different bourbons; the cocktails are a fusion of classic recipes with a bit of playful creativity. There’s no food at Paydirt, but as part of The Zipper – a new restaurant project by the Guerrilla Development – four neighboring micro-restaurants will offer food, which is allowed inside the bar.
Inside a two-story Victorian carriage house, find Raven & Rose: a British-inspired gastropub modeled after the warm and inviting public houses commonly found in the UK. But this isn’t your average pub. Here, sourcing local, high-quality ingredients is a priority, even in the beverage program where syrups, tinctures, and cordials are made in-house and juices squeezed by hand. The first floor houses the restaurant; the second floor features a casual bar with live music. Diners and visitors to The Rookery Bar can get their hands on single-barrel cocktails – a tasteful representation of the classics – and innovative new recipes.
Bar, American, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Pub Grub, $$$
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The Old Gold
| Courtesy of The Old Gold
For those people looking for a local watering hole to get their fix, The Old Gold is it. Booths, a chalkboard menu, and coasters make this casual space perfect for sipping on spirits while having conversations late into the evening. Considered to have one of the most extraordinary collections of whiskey in Portland – from bourbon to Scotch – The Old Gold is where whiskey lovers can go for a stellar cocktail or single malt, without the pretentiousness.
At Multnomah Whiskey Library, libations are never less than perfect. Bartenders are committed to delivering flawless technique and excellence, and the Library, a collection of over 1,500 distilled spirits, houses one of the most remarkable whiskey collections in all of Portland. The vintage-inspired space is reminiscent of a 1920s speakeasy, decked out with overstuffed leather chairs, brick walls, and a fireplace. Indulge in tableside cocktail service, or reserve a space at one of the pairing dinners or tastings.