Whet Your Whistle: 8 Cool Whiskey Bars


By Shannon Boland

As the temperatures drop, there is one surefire way to ward off the Windy City chill: Whiskey! 

Capone knew it and now you do too! Since the prohibition days, Chicago has never had a shortage of hooch. Here is a list of some of my favorite places to cozy up with whiskey in Chicago this winter: 

Chicago Q

This Gold Coast southern BBQ joint has celebrity Chef Art Smith at the helm. Their food pairs perfectly with their hand crafted cocktails. For more adventurous folks, ask for Beverage Manager Ben. He is happy to offer a curated guide to some of the most uniques whiskeys and bourbons in town. He may even pull a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle for you to try from the top shelf! 


No whiskey lover’s list would be complete without a trip to Delilah’s. This Chicago institution has over 800 (Yes, you read that right) whiskeys from 15 different countries.  The rock vibe paired with the knowledgeable barkeeps, make it the perfect place to tuck away from the cold this winter!

Franklin Room

Staying in Chicago for a while? The underground Franklin Room features what they call their “Whiskey Keep”. Purchase an exclusive bottle of Whiskey and they will keep it under lock and key for you to sip upon whenever you’re in! Doesn’t get more personal than that!

The Monkey’s Paw

Looking to get out of downtown and explore? Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, this family-owned mother and son duo features farm-to-table cuisine and an extensive collection of rotating whiskeys. Sample of different kinds with their daily whiskey flights. 

Bar on Buena 

This cozy Uptown haunt boasts a fantastic collection of 300 different whiskeys, domestic and imported! They feature 4 flights daily, but head there for Thursday Night Flights and sample an impressive 12 different flights! After Bar on Buena, head a mile north to the legendary Green Mill Jazz Club to round the perfect Uptown night.

Other Concierge Picks:

The Gage

Philippe Gills – Langham Hotel

I love The Gage for its coziness in the midst of the Loop and duality with bourbon and scotch thanks to owner Billy Lawless. Try a featured flight with some of the world’s finest whiskeys or pick your favorite from their lengthy menu.


Eric Loughlin – theWit Hotel

Just walk into the whiskey library at Untitled! They need a full ladder to get to the highest shelf.  Bourbon list here is probably the best one in the city, oh and they have a great restaurant, oh and they have a show lounge where they do everything from big band swing to burlesque. Just go.

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