There’s no one denying that Chicago has some great features; the lakefront, the skyline, the sports teams (mainly the Blackhawks), and the nightlife. In my opinion, one of the best features Chicago has are the whiskey bars. There are a number of bars in the city that display the speakeasy feel that most of us in Chicago tend to enjoy.
Notable Mentions: The Monkey’s Paw, Longman & Eagle, Drumbar, Watershed, The Library, The Office.
Without further ado, let’s get to the top ten.
This bar is a great neighborhood bar with a great cocktail list. This one snuck in the top ten, but has a very respectable cocktail list with gin and whiskey-featured selections.
#9 The Whistler
Currently featuring the “Two Weeks Notice” with Bonded Bourbon, Amaro Abano, Ramazzotti, Angostura, Maraschino and Absinthe. What needs to be said?
#8 Paramount Room
A lounge that is at the corner of Milwaukee and Kinzie with a “no crap on tap” philosophy (thanks, Eater.com), this bar doesn’t skimp on their cocktails or whiskey. Try the Boulevardier.
Pairs as a concert venue, the Hideout is a great spot to enjoy a spirit or beer. Great selection, you’ll just need to experience this one.
#6 The Barrelhouse Flat
When you walk into the downstairs of this bar, you won’t really get the vibe that many enjoy. Walk to the back and ask for a spot upstairs. The hostess will walk you upstairs and take you to a great spot that you would find in Al Capone’s very own home. They’ll give you a great spirit list with a featured drink. Try the Old Fashioned. It’s delicious.
#5 Clark Street Ale House
Go here: http://clarkstreetalehouse.com/ then scroll down to beers and whiskies and tell me your finger doesn’t get tired. As you might think, this place is great for beers, but it’s a fairly delicious whiskey. Try an Old Fashioned with Noah’s Mill.
#4 The Drifter
A secret bar below the Green Door Tavern, this bar is made just for those that fit for people who meet the term this bar is named after. With world class cocktails, this is a must try. Once you get past waiting to be the 45th person in this bar, you’ll notice that all of the cocktails are on playing cards. Enjoy the whiskey ones. “Not all who wander are lost.”
Not sure if the second floor is for people who want the speakeasy feel, however if you are feeling a little adventurous, Delilah’s a great place with plenty of whiskies.
This place north of the city on Montrose has a great whiskey and beer selection. The have plenty of private barrels, and even some with their own name on it, especially the Fountainhead Angel’s Envy and Four Roses Barrel Strength. A rare one that I like is the Old Pogue 9yr.
#1 Untitled Supper Club
Untitled is a restaurant, whiskey room, club that is just that untitled. The only way you’ll know where it is would be the numbers 111 above a door on Kinzie Street downtown. The whiskey room is particularly the place to be if you like whiskey. With just over 470 whiskies and bourbons, you’ll be able to make an old fashioned with all of them. This bar can get a little crazy on Friday and Saturday past 10pm, so I would suggest going on a bit of an off night to get the full experience of the room.
Remember, don’t discount any of the notable bars. Please check those out as well.
Unrelated, but for those that also love the bar scene. I have to share this Thrillist that shows some of the other secret whiskey bars in Chicago. Feel free to take a look: https://www.thrillist.com/drink/chicago/how-to-get-into-secret-bars-in-chicago.
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