Top 5 Whiskey Bars: Quality, Value + Drinking Scotch and Bourbon Neat
The Neat Bar
For the whiskey drinker who is well-learned but not well-earned, we thought we'd find some bars that combine an unyielding selection of quality spirits with great prices. Some perks are cost-related and include irresistible happy hour or free parking; others help you build a better palate with extensive tasting options, flights and knowledgeable bartenders.
Whiskey and cocktails may be trendy now, but a growing number of malt worshipers are dedicated to protecting their prized bourbon and Scotch from the follies of passing trend. These bars are the likeliest places for you to find like-minded drinkers. It may have been your grandpa's favorite drink, but this is not your grandpa's whiskey. Turn the page for five local whiskey bars.
Township Americana Saloon
Still new, and still working out kinks, we know Township is doing one thing right -- its whiskey list. Close to 100 selections of American whiskey to choose from, with a game on and room at the bar.
Bonus: Not only is the all-American drink list reasonably priced, parking is free! In Hollywood! 6612 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 464-5700.
The Thirsty Crow
Enjoy a selection of more than 100 whiskies, at least half of which are small-batch bourbon. Not sure about taking it neat? The clever cocktail program won't disappoint and you will be in the hands of a capable bartender. Don't delay -- this place fills up quickly and the intimate ambiance of Wednesday after work becomes stifling by Friday night.
Bonus: Whiskey flights with detailed instruction and tasting notes are available Sundays from 8 p.m. to close, along with $4 Buffalo Trace. Stop in Wednesdays and pay only $5 for a premium whiskey. 2939 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 661-6007.
Seven Grand Bar
With an unforgettable menu featuring more than 375 selections, Seven Grand is everybody's answer to the question of where to get whiskey. Seasoned bartenders will help you navigate the menu, so don't be afraid to push your boundaries.
Bonus: Perhaps the widest whiskey menu in all of Los Angeles, the Scotch list is especially seductive. Reach outside your comfort zone. Get there before 7 p.m. and get $2 off spirits and cocktails. 515 W. Seventh St., downtown; (213) 614-0736.
Daily Pint Scotch
This place oscillates between being an ultimate destination for the Los Angeles whiskey lover and a no-frills craft beer bar. Today we recognize it for 300-plus selections of Scotch, at very reasonable prices. Tomorrow we'll know it as the perfect place for a quiet, local pint.
Bonus: Valuing connoisseurship over trend makes this bar stand out in L.A. Who you're with is irrelevant and designer apparel is overlooked. All that counts is drinking well. Check out the website for frequent complimentary Scotch tastings. 2310 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 450-7631.
If you haven't made it out to Glendale for a visit to Neat, make it a priority. This unassuming, casual yet quaint whiskey bar is serving from a list of more than 300 bottles. If you order a cocktail, don't be alarmed that your spirits sit beside your mixer: This isn't an obstacle, it's an opportunity. Sample nuances in the finely crafted alcohol before plunging it into the neighboring glass. Or treat yourself, and order it neat.
Bonus: Perhaps the most drastic Happy Hour on the grid. Every drink is half-priced. Dying to try George T. Stagg? You can finally afford to do so. Look forward to knowledgeable bartenders and friendly regulars. 1114 N. Pacific Ave., Glendale; (818) 241-4542.
Get the Squid Ink'd Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly food newsletter, which features top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips and a link to our print review.