Vancouver’s best whisky bars for sipping spirits

You don’t need to travel to Scotland or Ireland to taste some of the finest whiskies and scotches the world has to offer – just ask the bartenders at these renowned whiskey bars, which are all located right here in Vancouver. [Photo courtesy of Shebeen/Photo credit: Allison Kuhl]

Shebeen

1
210 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J1

Shebeen Whiskey House is an accessible establishment for spirit snobs and first-time sippers alike. Located at the very back of the Irish Heather in Gastown, the sophisticated, narrow bar is dedicated to stocking – and educating others about – the world’s finest of whiskeys. More than 200 international varieties are available, including bottles produced right here in Vancouver. Instead of choosing just one, guests can order a tasting flight of three glasses, with samples tailored to suit your personal tastes by knowledgeable staff.

Fets Whisky Kitchen

2
1230 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3X4

Family owned and operated since 1986, Fets Whisky Kitchen on Commercial Drive has a uniquely down-home, Southern vibe, which is ideal for a relaxed night with close friends. In addition to serving dozens of whiskey and bourbon varieties, the bar also offers food that’s actually infused with the spirit. Pair your preferred liquor with an order of fried chicken with whisky gravy or an organic steak topped with bourbon butter.

The Irish Heather

3
210 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J1

An institution on Vancouver’s whiskey scene, this Gastown pub offers just as many whiskeys its counterpart Shebeen Whiskey House (both bars are under the same owner), but with a more relaxed, informal atmosphere. Classic pub fare such as fish and chips or steak and fries complement any whiskey choice, and upbeat music and a young clientele make this venue an ideal stop on any pub-crawl.

Blackbird Public House The

4
595 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2E8

Located in the heart of Vancouver’s financial district, The Blackbird is a great bar for post-work drinks with colleagues. The decor is classy with an edge, while two floors ensure you’ll most likely find a seat, even on the busier weekend nights. A designated scotch and whiskey bar offers more than 80 varieties, and each is rated according to Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible; the reference document (created between 2013 and 2015) can be found behind the bar, if you’re curious about Murray’s process.

The Narrow Lounge

5
1898 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3B7

Mount Pleasant’s not-so-secret Narrow Lounge is known for its namesake – and its delicious whiskeys. This very, very narrow bar’s mysterious atmosphere is evocative of a private London club. If you’re having trouble finding the bar’s non-descript entrance, look for the red light emitting from the doorway, and follow the smells of whiskey within; dozens of varieties are available here.

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