- Photo by Cheryl Gerber
- Thomas Thompson pours a glass of whiskey at Barrel Proof.
From corn to rye and every grain in between, these bars have corralled the world's premium whiskeys.
With the rough hewn, spare feel of a distillery tasting room and a mile-long list of offerings, this bar appeals to whiskey geeks. Managing partner Liam Deegan has curated an array of sophisticated whiskeys by region, with a special focus on less well known, boutique American spirits. He's put together a fine craft beer menu, as well. 1201 Magazine St., (504) 219-1888; www.barrelproofnola.com, @BarrelProofNola
Dickie Brennan's clubby spot is known for its oyster bar, happy hours and whiskey gateway — one of the city's best bourbon milk punches. Imbibers can sample from more than 90 American whiskeys (and several whiskey-based cocktails created by Amber Peterson) on the list, and meetings of the Bourbon Society include distiller dinners. 144 Bourbon St., (504) 522-0111; www.bourbonhouse.com, @BourbonHouse
The Irish House
Chef Matt Murphy is in the process of doubling his stock, snapping up obscure Irish whiskeys to join the major brands offered at his rollicking pub (on the Scotch side, look for unique bottles like Glenfarclas 40-year). Try them at monthly tastings, when each shot of whiskey or Scotch is paired with a hearty sample from the food menu. 1432 St. Charles Ave., (504) 595-6755; www.theirishhouseneworleans.com, @IrishHouseNOLA
A roomy courtyard and deep whiskey list allow for custom tastings, a night of flights and food pairings attended by chef Jonathan Lestingi and bar manager Sonali Fernando. On the regular menu, many cocktails are whiskey-focused, and a Plastic Cap list breaks out the young whiskeys "your grandpa drank," Fernando says. 3162 Dauphine St., (504) 267-4776; www.oxalisbywater.com, @OxalisBywater
Tivoli & Lee
This bar has a reputation for a solid whiskey selection, showcased in well-balanced cocktails and monthly pairing dinners. The popular whiskey dinners will continue, says Stephany Saint-Faust, Hotel Modern's food and beverage director, and there always will be at least three whiskey-based cocktails on the list, as well as whiskey flights. The Hotel Modern, 2 Lee Circle, (504) 962-0909; www.tivoliandlee.com, @TivoliandLee
This chic spot carries nearly 90 different brands of American, Canadian, Scotch and Japanese whiskeys, including rare releases. Much of the list is vertical, so a Woodford Reserve lover, for instance, can try the brand's more complex Double Oaked and then move up to the distiller's experimental Master's Collection. W Hotel, 333 Poydras St., (504) 207-5016; www.gerberbars.com/whiskey-blue-new-orleans, @whiskeybluenola
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