Each year, The Bourbon Review combs cities and towns across the country to find the Best Bourbon Bars in America. In partnership with Buffalo Trace, we’re thrilled to announce our winners for 2019!
Bars on our list don’t just have expansive whiskey menus. Well okay, they definitely do, but there’s more to being one of America’s Best Bourbon Bars than that. We look for creative cocktail and food menus that use bourbon in unexpectedly delicious ways. We look for private barrel selections, showing the personalized palates on each team. And most importantly, we look for staff members who are passionate about sharing their wealth of bourbon knowledge with their guests.
America’s Best Bourbon Bars are spread across every corner of the US. With 33 bars in Bourbon Country, 15 in the Northeast, 20 in the Midwest, 21 in the South, and 20 in the West, our 2019 list is our biggest year yet. The bourbon boom means fans all over the country can find a local watering hole with an emphasis on whiskey, and we’re here to help you hunt down yours. First up – Bourbon Country.
The bars of Bourbon Country have a leg up on most – they’re next door neighbors with the distilleries crafting America’s favorite bourbons. The obsession with whiskey isn’t new in Kentucky, and some of these bars have been open for decades, (or in the case of The Old Talbott Tavern, centuries) quietly pouring drams of dark liquor for locals and travelers alike. As Bourbon Country becomes a destination, bars like Bluegrass Tavern and Newberry Bro.’s Prohibition Bourbon Bar (each with close to 1,000 whiskeys on their menu) become as much a part of the itinerary as a distillery tour.
Our list of the Best Bourbon Bars in Bourbon Country features not just old school favorites, but modern newcomers like Bottle & Bond, the only bar on our list attached to a distillery. The team their has a huge variety of talents, with professional chefs, mixologists, and more collaborating to make their blends of bourbons the perfect pair for meals and mixed drinks. Then there’s Belle’s Cocktail House, where guests can find a hunt club vibe with hundreds of bourbons downstairs, or cool off upstairs on a rooftop oasis with bourbon slushies. In Bourbon Country, there’s a special spot for everyone – come find yours this year!
The Amdsen Bourbon Bar, Versailles, KY
Belle’s Cocktail House, Lexington, KY
Bluegrass Tavern, Lexington, KY
Bourbon on Rye, Lexington, KY
Goodfellas Distillery, Lexington, KY
OBC Kitchen, Lexington, KY
Merrick Inn, Lexington, KY
Justins’ House of Bourbon, Lexington, KY
Whiskey Bear, Lexington, KY
Bourbon’s Bistro, Louisville, KY
Doc Crows, Louisville, KY
Down One Bourbon Bar, Louisville, KY
Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen, Louisville, KY
Proof on Main, Louisville, KY
The Silver Dollar, Louisville, KY
Butchertown Grocery, Louisville, KY
Bourbon Barrel Tavern, Louisville, KY
The Miller House, Owensboro, KY
The Blind Pig Bourbon Speakeasy, Bardstown, KY
Bottle and Bond, Bardstown, KY
The Old Talbott Tavern, Bardstown, KY
The Rickhouse, Bardstown, KY
The Old Owl Tavern, Harrodsburg, KY
Jane Barleycorn, Danville, KY
Prohibition Bourbon Bar, Newport, KY
Tousey House Tavern, Fort Mitchell, KY
Bourbon Haus, Covington, KY
Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar, Covington, KY
Goodfellas Mainstrasse, Covington, KY
Libby’s Southern Comfort, Covington, KY
Rich’s Proper Food & Drink, Covington, KY
The Globe Covington, Covington, KY
Freight House, Paducah, KY
Click through the links below to see the next four regions on our list!