A toast to Victoria’s best whiskey bars

To a whiskey lover, a world of subtle flavours can be found in a single dram. If you want to drink and learn more about whiskey, these pubs are home to some of the best bottles in Victoria. With carefully curated selections and knowledgeable staff to guide you through your choices, here's where you want to go to raise a glass.

Argyle Attic

1
777 Courtney St, Victoria, BC V8W 3E6

The Argyle Attic has a whiskey selection impressive enough to bring in many local whiskey lovers, and it’s also perfectly designed to make them feel at home. Plenty of rich, wooden furniture gives the pub a rustic, West Coast feel, with enough light to let you truly appreciate your whiskey’s colouring. The list itself has selections from all over the world and the friendly, unpretentious staff can help you pick out the ones you’ll enjoy most.

The Bengal Lounge

2
721 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1W5

The Bengal Lounge is comfortably nestled in the Fairmont Empress and, as such, has a whiskey list that’s curated for the many international clients who walk through its beautiful halls. You can find whiskeys from all over the world on their list, but certain attention is paid to the tried and true classics, both in Scotch and small-batch bourbons. Comfortable, impeccably designed and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly beverage experts, this is the perfect spot for a well-deserved nightcap at the end of a long day.

Clive's Classic Lounge

3
740 Burdett Ave, Victoria, BC V8W 1B2

Like all great cocktail bars, Clive’s stocks the world’s best spirits to make their signature drinks. And while they‘ve made a name for themselves based on their cool cocktails, the bartenders at Clive’s also appreciate the art of a whiskey neat. Whatever your poison, be it small-batch bourbon or top-shelf Scotch, Clive’s can help you find a new favourite. And, if the mood strikes, you can even go for something a little more complicated.

Club 9one9

4
919 Douglas St, Victoria, BC V8W 2C2

The Strathcona Hotel is both a Victoria institution and a whiskey lover’s paradise. Depending on your mood, the giant building has a few different venues to try, ranging from the high-end business feel of The Clubhouse to the local pub vibe found at The Sticky Wicket. But for a truly unique Victorian experience, try Big Bad John’s. It may have the best whiskey selection of any self-described “hillbilly bar” in the world.

Little Jumbo Restaurant & Bar

5
102-506 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8W 1E6

As a proud sponsor of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Little Jumbo has access to Scotch whiskeys you simply can’t find anywhere else in town. The staff, and your fellow stool-mates for that matter, have an intricate knowledge of all kinds of whiskey and are happy to impart their years of experience to anyone willing to listen. If you want to learn more about the drink while having a great time, think of Little Jumbo as an unofficial whiskey school.

Irish Times Pub

6
1200 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1Y3

Despite being unapologetically Irish, this pub has one of the largest Scotch whiskey menus in Victoria. It’s so big that they’ve divvied it up into regions, so you can embark on a Scotch whiskey tour without ever getting on a plane. If you're in the mood for something else, Irish Times has a wide selection of American, Indian and, of course, Irish whiskeys as well.

Stage Wine Bar Ltd

7
1307 Gladstone Ave, Victoria, BC V8R 1R9

While Stage is best known for its substantial wine list and delicious small plate offerings, their whiskey list is curated with the same careful consideration and experience. They may not have the selection of a regular whiskey bar, but the bottles they do stock cover a wide range of styles, and each is a delicious choice. If your dining partner is more of a wine person, Stage offers the best of both worlds to keep you both satisfied.

Bard & Banker Public House

8
1022 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1X7

Owned by the same group as Irish Times, Bard & Banker offers a slightly higher-end experience while still sporting an amazing whiskey list. The selection differs somewhat from their sister bar, which gives extra-curious whiskey lovers yet another opportunity to try something different in Victoria. The bar also features a rotating nightly schedule that includes some very talented local bands. So if you love live music and tasty whiskey, you can enjoy both here.

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