Visit the Best Bourbon Bars in the Country

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While National Bourbon Heritage Month (aka September) may be over soon, we all know that we don’t need a specific month to drink bourbon. The only thing we need to drink bourbon is, honestly, a day that ends in -y.

Part of drinking bourbon, though, is doing it in the right environment. Sure, you may be able to get your hands on a bottle of something special, but is sitting alone really the most fulfilling way to drink it? Probably not. (Unless you’re into that, then go right ahead!)

The good thing is that, no matter where in the United States you are, you’re bound to find a place to sit back and enjoy the wonders of bourbon. We’ve picked out some of our favorite bourbon bars across the country where you can belly up to the bar and enjoy a pour of America’s spirit.

Bourbon Country

Derby Café – Louisville, Kentucky

bourbon bars the derby cafe

There might not be anything more closely-linked to bourbon in Kentucky than Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. This café is one of the best places to catch well-known bourbon celebrities while enjoying a bourbon cocktail.

The Old Talbott Tavern – Bardstown, Kentucky 


A classic in the purest sense when it comes to Bourbon Country. They’ve been pouring the good stuff since 1779. Located in the heart of region, you’re also close to where the magic happens. Stop here for lunch and a drink, then head back out to the distilleries.

The South

Southern Art and Bourbon Bar – Atlanta, Georgia


A wall of bourbon. A wall of it. Floor to ceiling. Need we say more? No, but it’s a hard thing to beat, especially when it’s within a hotel and you can indulge without having to drive somewhere else after.

Whiskey Kitchen – Nashville, Tennessee


The name says it all: whiskey and food. Delicious Southern fare is  paired with our favorite brown spirits for a truly Southern experience. Located downtown, you can make the Whiskey Kitchen the start of the end of your night. You’re in for a treat.

The Northeast

Brandy Library – Manhattan, New York


If you went here twice a week, every week for a year, it’d take you until December to make it through the extensive cocktail list. Add almost 1,000 bottles of spirits to that, and The Brandy Library could literally become a bar you never have to leave.

Jack Rose – Washington, District of Columbia


How can you not want to go to a place that shares its name with such an iconic cocktail? Jack Rose hosts the greatest whiskey collection east of the Mississippi. Also, the terrace is a great place to sit when the weather is nice.

The Midwest

Big Star – Chicago, Illinois


If bourbon is your No. 1 favorite thing in your life, and tacos are No. 2 (a killer combination to be sure), Big Star will be a haven for you. You’re not going to find anything but American whiskies here, so put your boots on and get ready to drink, partner.

Sanctuaria – St. Louis, Missouri


Yes, St. Louis is a beer city, but the last decade or so has seen it become so much more than that. Sanctuaria offers barrel-aged cocktails and cocktails on tap in addition to a wide range of other delicious offers.

The West

Rickhouse – San Francisco, California

(Photo Credit:Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Scott Schiller)
(Photo Credit:Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Scott Schiller)

The Rickhouse is a great place to indulge in an extensive bourbon list (or one of the bar’s famous punch bowls). If you are, for some weird reason, not feeling bourbon (first, speak to a doctor, it could be serious), then try the Fishouse, made with Appleton rum, cognac, peach liqueur, lemon juice, turbinado syrup, and seltzer.

Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium – Seattle, Washington


Canon sells itself as the largest spirits selection (2,800 bottles and counting) in the Western Hemisphere. If that isn’t enough to warrant a visit, consider this: There will be over 700 different whiskies at your fingertips.

Featured image courtesy of iStock/Getty Images.

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