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Wood Ear bar
Photograph: Courtesy Wood Ear

The best whisky bars in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is home to some God-dram good whisky bars and we pick out the best in town

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Edited by
Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Time Out editors
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Hong Kong is home to some of Asia's best bars serving up excellent cocktails, but if you're after some good old liquid gold, the city is chock-full of bars that specialise in whisky. Whether you enjoy it in a highball, cocktail, on the rocks, or neat – here's a list of must-visit whisky joints in Hong Kong with a great selection of tasting drams and whisky cocktails.  

RECOMMENDED: Stocking up for your home bar? Here's a rundown of the best whiskies to order online below $600

The best whisky bars in Hong Kong

  • Restaurants
  • Central

Located on the third floor of Landmark, newly opened whisky bar Wood Ear is the latest venue from the makers of Épure and Arbor. The bar shares a space with Parisian restaurant Ami helmed by chefs Nicolas Boutin and Eric Taluy. If you’re into rare whiskies then you’ll be pleased with Wood Ear’s collection of over 400 labels sourced from auctions and private collectors from all over the world. Along with a menu of whisky-based cocktails, guests can sample a range of rare whiskies, including Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt The Colored Joker and Glen Grant 1955 60 years old La Maison Du Whisky, Martin’s 1960s 12-year-old Circa, and Langs 1940’s Extra Special Old Liqueur.

Hidden in the fourth floor of a nondescript commercial building in Wan Chai, Mizunara is not the easiest bar to spot. But if you do, you'll find over 800 bottles of whiskies from Japanese, Scottish, American, and Irish distilleries, and enjoy various whisky cocktails on the menu. This Japanese-style bar is headed by award-winning Masahiko Endo who was originally from Fukuoka, Japan. Order from any of the signature cocktails on the menu or choose a classic cocktail and your preferred whisky bottle and they will create a custom drink specially crafted for you. Though the drinks here aren't on the wallet-friendly end of the scale, they're crafted with care, and you're unlikely to find similar drinks elsewhere in town.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Lan Kwai Fong

Escape the throngs of Lan Kwai Fong at Club Qing, on the tenth floor of LKF's Cosmos Building. This slice of zen is a cosy bolthole housing an impressive variety of whiskies from old and rare bottles, making it a go-to for whisky aficionados. But don't let their credentials intimidate you if you're new to whisky and just expanding your knowledge because their staff is friendly and will guide you to the proper tasting drams. Here you will find past and present Japanese whiskies from the likes of Yamazaki to Eigashima, and get to choose from a number of tasting flights if you're looking to explore various drams. They also have an impressive Scotch collection that boasts of rare and old expressions like the Bowmore 1957, Macallan from the 30s, and closed distilleries like Port Ellen and Brora, just to name a few.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Central

One of the newest whisky bars in the city. The bar houses an excellent collection of whiskies from Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, and other world whiskies. Veering away from the usual gentleman's leather den, House Welley Bar exudes a modern vibe that appeals to both whisky noobs and enthusiasts. There are no menus here and no bartenders in sight stirring up an Old Fashioned or highballs, only three convivial whisky enthusiasts and a few servers going to and from the shelves serving up drams upon drams of liquid gold. Expect to find single cask, limited edition, hard to find independent bottlings (IB), and distillery exclusive original bottlings (OB) from the likes of Yamazaki, Macallan, and vintage expressions from Bunnahabhain, Clynelish, Bowmore, including a 47-year-old Gordon & Macphail Glen Grant 1966.

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Nocturne sits on the quieter end of Peel Street, hidden away by its nondescript door. Glam and ambience marry with fine spirits in this candle-lit, jazz punctuated bar. Relax, be seated at the cement-topped bar, and witness a show of precision by the skilled bartenders. The bar specialises in whisky as well as wine, so if you like these two liquids, then it's the best place to visit. With over 100 Japanese and Scotch whiskies and more than 250 wine labels to choose from, the tasting possibilities are endless.

Located at the steps of Shing Hing Street, you'll find the bar's narrow wooden door with bold brass lettering of Whisky & Words at the front entrance. The area is intimate, and the interior is decked out in muted greys and faux wood decals. Their bottle collection includes rare and hard to find whiskies from Scotland, Japan, and Ireland. Aside from whisky, the bar also offers a selection of other spirits and cocktails that uses gin and vodka as base. 

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Central

Located on the first floor of the Mandarin Oriental, The Chinnery – named after the famous English painter George Chinnery – is an old school whisky den clad in upholstered armchairs, leather, and warm wood interiors. The bar serves traditional British cuisine so you can chow down on food before, during, or after a few drams from their stellar collection of single malt whiskies. They change their whisky menu monthly, so make sure to catch the latest addition to their growing collection. 

Tiffany’s New York Bar
  • Music
  • Tsim Sha Tsui East

Tiffany's New York Bar is a 1920s-style hotel bar located at the InterContinental Grand Stanford that houses a collection of over 250 whiskies. The bar didn't start off as a whisky-focused bar, but over the years, their continually expanding collection has been attracting whisky enthusiasts looking for more whisky varieties, especially when InterContinental began hosting the annual Hong Kong Whisky Festival which brings together whisky experts from around the world. The bar's whisky collection includes bottles from Scottish, Japanese, and American distilleries. And their cocktail menu offers a number of well-made classics and seasonal offerings. You can also enjoy bar grub together with your drams as they serve hearty dishes, barbecue ribs, burgers, and bangers.

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Housed just shy of Minden Avenue's rowdier strip of bars, this quiet, 20 seater den is one of the original whisky bars in Hong Kong. It is the first independent venture by master mixologist Masayuki Uchida, a man who used to shake and stir at some of the finest cocktail bars in Ginza, Japan. Aside from slinging perfectly balanced mixed drinks, Uchida also stocks an impressive arsenal of single malts and blended whiskies which he serves over crystal clear orbs of hand-chipped ice.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Located just above Butler, Japanese-style Bar Buonasera is the Hong Kong branch of the famous Osaka bar by the same name. Managed by Nick Tse and Ayako Miyake, the bar offers classic handcrafted cocktails and a great selection of whisky. Expect Japanese style mixology where every serving is done to perfection. Don’t miss occasionally opened bottles of rare Japanese whiskies and independent whisky bottling on the menu.  

More boozy options

  • Bars and pubs

Whether you want a fancy cocktail at a hidden bar, a bottle of biodynamic wine from a neighbourhood watering hole, a hazy IPA at a craft beer joint, a new bar to discover, or something else entirely, there’s something for you in the city. We’ve put our livers on the line to deliver you a definitive list of the 50 best Hong Kong bars to visit right now. 

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