5 Off the Beaten Path Whisky Bars [East Coast]
February 22, 2023 –––––– Lauren Stone
Big-name restaurants and bars with extravagant cocktail programs can be a real treat, but there’s something special about discovering an out-of-the-way whisky spot that hits the mark. From New York City rooftops to Boston’s classic Irish pubs, the East Coast offers a wide variety of venues for sipping whisky. Here are five lesser-known bars that won’t be on most people’s bucket lists, but they each offer a different kind of experience–in addition to excellent whisky lists.
913 Whiskey Bar
Located near the University of North Carolina’s Greensboro campus, 913 Whiskey Bar features nine different Old Fashioneds that highlight various kinds of whiskies, 25 preset flights, around 300 bottles, and a staff of whiskey experts, 913 Whiskey Bar showcases the versatility of whisky in a cozy, speakeasy-like environment. Featuring standouts like King of Kentucky, Blanton’s Gold, and Eagle Rare 17 year old, with prices for a 1.25 oz pour ranging from $5.50 to $100.
Farmer and The Cow
Situated near the downtown Wilmington Amtrak Station, Farmer and The Cow welcomes many travelers who are pleasantly surprised to find a vast selection of around 500 whiskies, primarily American. The bar’s exposed brick and rowhome feel create the illusion that you’re in a city like Manhattan or Philadelphia, and the friendly staff make you feel like you’ve been coming there for years. Their 2 oz. pours range from $8 to $148 for their top mark, WhistlePig Boss Hog IX Siren’s Song. 1 oz. pours and flights are available upon request.
Photo by Andrew Cebulka
The Gin Joint
Charleston, South Carolinatheginjoint.com
In this small, cozy bar, patrons can expect to find a menu of culinary and mixology masterpieces, along with over 200 bottles of whisky. The whisky-loving couple who owns The Gin Joint loves to discuss their favorite pours and talk shop with their guests. Featuring 12 pages of whisky, including Highland Park Odin and Michter’s 20 year old, the bar's pour prices range from $3 to $120/.5oz.
The MacMillan Whiskey Room
Open since 2019, this cozy neighborhood bar provides an upscale, yet approachable feel with classic American bites and a lively atmosphere. Within its robust selection of about 500 whiskies, The MacMillan Whiskey Room offers private barrels selections, current picks including Rittenhouse Rye, Four Roses, and Old Forester. Prices for a 1 oz. pour range from $3 (Black Velvet) to $500 (Macallan 30 year old).
The Whiskey Jar
Crafted with reclaimed heart pine from a local 19th-century school master’s home and home to The Whiskey Society of Central Virginia, The Whiskey Jar’s familial charm is enhanced by nightly live music and southern eats. The welcoming spot has about 200 whiskies on its shelves and represents 13 distilleries from Virginia alone. Prices range from $6 for Old Grandad to $500 for a 2 oz. pour of Balvenie 30 year old.