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The best bars for whiskey in Boston

Bourbon or Scotch, neat or on the rocks—whatever your preference, here are the best places to drink whiskey in Boston

Olivia Vanni
Written by
Olivia Vanni
Written by
Gerrish Lopez
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Whether you’re a serious aficionado or merely curious, Boston is brimming with some of the best bars where you can wet your whistle with whiskey. With extensive selections of the brown stuff, these spots offer the unique opportunity to sip rare and special bottles as you socialize. Even if you don’t know the difference between rye and bourbon, Scotch and Japanese, the knowledgable staff at these hangouts will be happy to explain. Looking for a guaranteed whiskey-friendly atmosphere with fewer frills? You can always check out one of the best Irish pubs in Boston. Prefer drinking your whiskey in a fanciful form? Head to one of the best cocktail bars in Boston. And if you’re looking to pair your whiskey consumption with some suitable eats, chow down at one of the best steakhouses or burger spots in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Boston

Best places for whiskey in Boston

  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • Fenway/Kenmore
  • price 3 of 4

This modern neighborhood tavern behind Fenway has fresh beer on tap, craft cocktails, notable wine selections and elevated pub fare. The highlight, however is the list of more than 250 whiskeys (including single barrels crafted specifically for Citizen). The curated collection is always changing, with top-of-the-line and rare selections popping up frequently. Join the whiskey club to keep track of the whiskeys you try with a stamp card. Keep an eye out for special events like Irish Whiskey Awareness Month, with tastings, classes, giveaways and more.

  • Bars
  • Somerville
  • price 2 of 4

Blink and you might miss this bustling Davis Square bar, but follow the stream of hip yuppies and Rockwell show-goers down the stairs and you’ll find yourself inside this subterranean Elm Street establishment. With dark wood-paneled walls, rich leather banquettes and dimly lit lamps, Saloon looks every bit the part of a whiskey joint. Explore its list of more than 120 whiskeys on offer and you’re bound to stumble upon your pour of preference. Though you can have your whiskey mixed into an old-timey cocktail, many of the rarer brands here demand drinking them neat.

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  • Bars
  • East Boston

Situated across the harbor The Quiet Few is the place to go in Eastie if you’re looking for a good pour of screech. This self-described “neighborhood whiskey tavern” certainly lives up to its claims, offering more than 100 kinds of brown stuff that span the entire spectrum—bourbon, rye, Scotch, Irish, Japanese and everything in between. Pick your poison and play some shuffleboard before refueling with beautifully unrefined pub grub (like one of its celebrated smash burgers or the fully loaded, frito pie dog)… and then grabbing another round. 

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Fenway/Kenmore
  • price 3 of 4

While most noted for its selection of sushi and small plates, this modern izakaya also features a separate menu solely dedicated to Japanese whiskeys. The bar at this Fenway spot, which is located inside the Verb Hotel, can pour more than 20 different whiskeys, ranging from ​​Beniotome’s Fuk 3-Year-Old Single Grain to the now-discontinued Nikka Taketsuru 21-Year-Old Pure Malt. Don’t know too much about Japan’s rich whiskey culture? Not a problem. The knowledgeable staff here will guide you through the list and help you find the right brown stuff for your palate.

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  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Kendall Sq
  • price 2 of 4

Chef Andy Husbands is a world champion pitmaster and he knows that grilled meats and whiskeys aged in charred oak barrels are a perfect pair. The whiskey list, organized by region, includes more than 230 whiskeys and bourbons, from moonshine to classics to limited edition selections. Pair your barbecue with a flight (American classics, New England whiskeys or featured distillery selections) for smoky, Southern flavor.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • South Boston
  • price 3 of 4

Named after a 19th Century Saratoga Springs guest house, this South Boston modern American restaurant reflects the town’s horse racing culture. Fittingly, Worden Hall has an impressive list of more than 100 whiskeys. The list features bourbon, rye, scotch, Canadian whiskey, Irish whiskey, Tennessee whiskey, specialty whiskey and even a selection of moonshine.

  • Hotels
  • Downtown
  • price 3 of 4

Established in 1855 as the Parker House, our Omni is the oldest continuously operating hotel in the country. The Last Hurrah bar was a literary hangout for the likes of Longfellow, Hawthorne and Emerson. Sip a fine bourbon or whiskey from the extensive list as you enjoy the historic, museum-like surroundings.

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  • Restaurants
  • Back Bay

Enjoy Southern hospitality alongside Southern-style favorites like fried chicken, boudin, pork belly cracklins and house-made biscuits at this Back Bay spot. What goes well with these classics? It's right in the restaurant's name: bourbon. Choose from an extensive list of bourbons (Bookers, Cask Strength and Old Forester 1920) or well-crafted bourbon cocktails (from the classic Vieux Carre to new concoctions like the Garden District, featuring Old Forester, strawberry-honey, lemon and ginger beer).

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

This bar been firmly planted at the top of local and national cocktail-enthusiasts must-see lists for the personal approach to mixology. Name your spirit and flavor preferences and you'll be presented with the perfect cocktail. For whiskey lovers, youre sure to find a cocktail to enhance your favorite, whether bourbon, rye or scotch.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Roxbury
  • price 2 of 4

Paving the way for Boston’s modern craft distillery scene, Bully Boy makes a mean American Straight Whiskey right here in town. Using a mixture of corn and rye, this local liquor leans on both schools of thought—bourbon and rye—and blends them together to make a single, smooth and balanced product. While you can grab a bottle at just about any packie around, this booze is best enjoyed inside Bully Boy’s onsite tasting room. The intimate bar area offers lots of atmosphere via gothic wallpaper, velvet booth seating and a collection of Prohibition-era spirit bottles on the top shelf; the only nod to modernity is the large window overlooking the facility’s handsome 750-gallon copper pot still.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • South Boston
  • price 2 of 4

The flagship spirit at this Southie distillery is gin, but in honor of the neighborhood’s Irish heritage, GrandTen partnered with an Irish distiller to offer South Boston Irish Whiskey. As with all their spirits, the on-site bar offers cocktails crafted with the whiskey, including a classic Whiskey Smash and an Irish Old Fashioned.

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