On the rocks: Three intoxicating New York whiskey bars

by Andrew Hickey on February 24, 2010

Whiskey Ward bar in New York City

Whiskey Ward bar in NYC's Lower East Side

Whether you like it on the rocks, with a little soda, cold, or warm, there is nothing better than a good glass of whiskey (or whisky, as Scots seem to prefer). New York City is home to a plethora of wonderful booze locales that serve up a mean glass of single malt scotches or fine whiskeys. These NYC bars feature an extensive selection of the adult beverage that is perfect to sip on a cold winter night.

The Whiskey Ward: Located just three blocks from the Williamsburg Bridge, this Lower East Side saloon is decorated with many whiskey jugs and barrels that really do a good job to set the drinking mood. The amazingly extensive list of whiskeys include bourbons, rye, Irish whiskey, single malts, un-chill filtered scotch, and many more. The scene is a mixture of serious sippers and amateur drinkers and the prices are reasonable. 121 Essex Street. Stay nearby at the Hotel on Rivington or the Thompson L.E.S.

The Dead Poet: Walking down the often times bustling Amsterdam Avenue in the Upper West Side, one might miss this literal literary hole-in-the-wall if they blinked. But the Dead Poet is a must visit destination for whiskey drinkers that also happen to enjoy good literature. Why, you ask? Because the owner of this tiny bar is a former English teacher who has decorated the space with verses by his favorite writers. Enjoy a glass — or twelve — of some Irish whiskey and then squeeze by the 20-foot bar area to enjoy a quick game of pool or a fistful of popcorn. 450 Amsterdam Avenue. Stay nearby at the Lucerne Hotel.

d.b.a.: With two locations, one in New Orleans and the other in the East Village, d.b.a. (which has been rumored to stand for “drink better ale” and “don’t bother asking”) is a serious drinkers destination. With roughly 250 different beers on tap that range from the usual names to boutique micro-brews and 60 tequilas, it is the mind boggling collection of 90 single-malt Scotches that have most customers smiling and sipping. During the warmer months be sure to step outside and enjoy your adult beverage on the covered patio area. Avoid d.b.a. during the workweek after-hours or else you will be waiting a little longer for that refill due to the busy crowds. 41 First Avenue. Stay nearby at GEM Hotel SoHo.

- Andrew Hickey of The Brooklyn Nomad


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