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Three of Jack Rose’s walls lined with bottles of whiskey, with wooden tables in the center.
Jack Rose in D.C.
Jack Rose [official site]

D.C.’s Essential Whiskey Bars

Where to drink smoky scotch, spicy rye, and smooth bourbon

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Jack Rose in D.C.
| Jack Rose [official site]

To say D.C. is a whiskey town would be an understatement. Even the most unassuming bars tend to offer at least a middling selection of bourbon and rye, while others full-on specialize in categories like Irish whiskey or imported scotch. This map plots out the truly essential destinations for whiskey lovers.

Don’t see a personal favorite on the list? Sound off in the comments or shoot us an email (dc@eater.com).

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Smoke & Barrel

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2471 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 319-9353
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Drinkers can order barbecue with a side of bourbon at this Adams Morgan restaurant. There’s also rye, scotch, and a short list of whiskey cocktails. There are some interesting pours highlighted on the extensive whiskey list including Willet Family Estate Bottlings and selections from the Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project.

2. Jack Rose Dining Saloon

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2007 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 588-7388
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Jack Rose is not just the top whiskey destination in D.C. — it’s one of the best in the country. Bottles and bottles of rare varieties line the walls of the first floor of this Adam Morgan triple threat (it’s no slouch in the cocktail or beer department, either). Total number of whiskeys from which to choose? 2,700 at last count. This month, anticipated sister spot Imperial opens down the street.

The wall of whiskey at Adams Morgan, with bottles and bottles stacked in rows behind the bar
Adams Morgan bar Jack Rose boasts an extensive collection of whiskey.
Jack Rose/official photo

3. Boundary Stone

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116 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 621-6635
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Bloomingdale watering hole Boundary Stone boasts a diverse selection of whiskeys including bourbon, rye, scotch, Irish whiskey, and Japanese varieties. The two-page list has a particularly deep selection of bourbons.

4. Chicken + Whiskey

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1738 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 667-2456
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This speakeasy of sorts is located in the back of a hybrid Latin American eatery. Chicken + Whiskey’s 99-bottle list is well-edited and interesting, and diners are encouraged to pick their variety of choice and have it made into a classic cocktail as well. Bonus: drinkers can get Suntory highballs during happy hour for $7.

Crowds seated at the bar, including a man with a backwards red hat in the foreground.
The back bar at Chicken + Whiskey.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

5. Black Whiskey

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1410 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 800-8103
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More than 300 whiskies are available at this lively Logan Circle bar. The list emphasizes variety, including Taiwan’s KaVaLan, several Japanese whiskies and the Indian standby Amrut. Name a Pappy, and Black Whiskey aims to have it in stock. Small-batch American productions are a particular focus.

Three rows of wooden shelving, all containing bottles of whiskey
Black Whiskey’s bar
Black Whiskey/official photo

6. The Whiskey Room

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3125 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 751-2111
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The Whiskey Room above Rí Rá in Georgetown has one of the largest selections of Irish whiskey around. Find more than 70 Irish options alone, such as a $295 Knappogue Castle 1951, or 16 options from distillery Cooley.

The dimly lit whiskey lair in Georgetown.
The Whiskey Room at Ri Ra in Georgetown.
The Whiskey Room/official photo

7. Bourbon Steak

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2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 944-2026
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Sip whiskey in a luxurious atmosphere at this Georgetown hotel’s lounge. Bourbon is obviously the focus (more than 60 of these are available), but there’s plenty of Asian whiskey and a rare collection of scotches behind the shiny marble bar. Just ask for the bar’s drink bible.

8. The Dignitary

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901 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 824-9681
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If one were to imagine a stereotypical whiskey bar, it would probably look something like the Dignitary — a hotel bar decorated with leather chairs, warm colors, and wood and brick accents. Scotch whisky and bourbon are both a major focus here. The bar hosts semi-regular whiskey events and offers flights as well.

A bottle of whiskey with a glass next to it
The Dignitary at the Marriott Marquis.
The Dignitary/Facebook

9. Crimson Whiskey Bar

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627 H St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 847-4459
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This basement whiskey bar inside the Pod Hotel houses about 150 varieties of bourbon.

10. The Next Whisky Bar

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2650 Virginia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037
(844) 617-1972
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This bar inside the refurbished Watergate Hotel could probably coast by on style points alone, thanks to a flashy design involving 2,500 illuminated bottles. But look beyond the surface and find a deep and diverse whiskey list (though it’s mostly geared towards high rollers). The bar also offer flights and pairings called “whiskey siblings” which showcase similar flavors.

Red plush seating next to a backlit angular wall of whiskey
The Next Whisky Bar at The Watergate Hotel
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

11. Kelly's Irish Times

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14 F St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 543-5433
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This Capitol Hill institution decided several years ago to devote an entire back bar to whiskey (including Irish offerings, of course) and put more than 100 bottles on the menu. One nice touch: the bar offers private whiskey tastings.

The front entrance of Kelly’s Irish Times, complete with outdoor seating and a green awning.
Kelly’s Irish Times
Kelly’s Irish Times/official

12. Barrel

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613 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 543-3622
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Find more than 200 varieties listed on the two-page “brown water” menu at this Capitol Hill mainstay. Bourbon may be the focus, but Irish, Japanese, and even Taiwanese whiskies are also featured.

13. MacMillan Whisky Room

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2920 District Ave
Fairfax, VA 22031

This relatively new addition to Merrifield’s Mosaic District has been drawing in drinkers for whiskey flights and well-made classic whiskey cocktails like the Penicillin. Hundreds of whiskeys are listed in the bar’s big book of spirits.

14. Union Street Public House (1986)

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121 S Union St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 548-1785
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A bar within a bar called 1986 is the redesigned back room in Union Street Public House. It has a group of about 100 whiskeys, and offers tastings and cocktails.

15. Cinder BBQ

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800 Upshur St NW
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 450-6795
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Petworth’s new barbecue joint pairs its meaty menu with with a global selection of about 100 different whiskeys from its square central bar. Special bourbon pours hail from Kentucky-based Willett distillery. A chalkboard spells out rare and limited releases.

1. Smoke & Barrel

2471 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Drinkers can order barbecue with a side of bourbon at this Adams Morgan restaurant. There’s also rye, scotch, and a short list of whiskey cocktails. There are some interesting pours highlighted on the extensive whiskey list including Willet Family Estate Bottlings and selections from the Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project.

2471 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

2. Jack Rose Dining Saloon

2007 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
The wall of whiskey at Adams Morgan, with bottles and bottles stacked in rows behind the bar
Adams Morgan bar Jack Rose boasts an extensive collection of whiskey.
Jack Rose/official photo

Jack Rose is not just the top whiskey destination in D.C. — it’s one of the best in the country. Bottles and bottles of rare varieties line the walls of the first floor of this Adam Morgan triple threat (it’s no slouch in the cocktail or beer department, either). Total number of whiskeys from which to choose? 2,700 at last count. This month, anticipated sister spot Imperial opens down the street.

2007 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

3. Boundary Stone

116 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

Bloomingdale watering hole Boundary Stone boasts a diverse selection of whiskeys including bourbon, rye, scotch, Irish whiskey, and Japanese varieties. The two-page list has a particularly deep selection of bourbons.

116 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

4. Chicken + Whiskey

1738 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Crowds seated at the bar, including a man with a backwards red hat in the foreground.
The back bar at Chicken + Whiskey.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

This speakeasy of sorts is located in the back of a hybrid Latin American eatery. Chicken + Whiskey’s 99-bottle list is well-edited and interesting, and diners are encouraged to pick their variety of choice and have it made into a classic cocktail as well. Bonus: drinkers can get Suntory highballs during happy hour for $7.

1738 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

5. Black Whiskey

1410 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Three rows of wooden shelving, all containing bottles of whiskey
Black Whiskey’s bar
Black Whiskey/official photo

More than 300 whiskies are available at this lively Logan Circle bar. The list emphasizes variety, including Taiwan’s KaVaLan, several Japanese whiskies and the Indian standby Amrut. Name a Pappy, and Black Whiskey aims to have it in stock. Small-batch American productions are a particular focus.

1410 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20005

6. The Whiskey Room

3125 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
The dimly lit whiskey lair in Georgetown.
The Whiskey Room at Ri Ra in Georgetown.
The Whiskey Room/official photo

The Whiskey Room above Rí Rá in Georgetown has one of the largest selections of Irish whiskey around. Find more than 70 Irish options alone, such as a $295 Knappogue Castle 1951, or 16 options from distillery Cooley.

3125 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007

7. Bourbon Steak

2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Sip whiskey in a luxurious atmosphere at this Georgetown hotel’s lounge. Bourbon is obviously the focus (more than 60 of these are available), but there’s plenty of Asian whiskey and a rare collection of scotches behind the shiny marble bar. Just ask for the bar’s drink bible.

2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

8. The Dignitary

901 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
A bottle of whiskey with a glass next to it
The Dignitary at the Marriott Marquis.
The Dignitary/Facebook

If one were to imagine a stereotypical whiskey bar, it would probably look something like the Dignitary — a hotel bar decorated with leather chairs, warm colors, and wood and brick accents. Scotch whisky and bourbon are both a major focus here. The bar hosts semi-regular whiskey events and offers flights as well.

901 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

9. Crimson Whiskey Bar

627 H St NW, Washington, DC 20005

This basement whiskey bar inside the Pod Hotel houses about 150 varieties of bourbon.

627 H St NW
Washington, DC 20005

10. The Next Whisky Bar

2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037
Red plush seating next to a backlit angular wall of whiskey
The Next Whisky Bar at The Watergate Hotel
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

This bar inside the refurbished Watergate Hotel could probably coast by on style points alone, thanks to a flashy design involving 2,500 illuminated bottles. But look beyond the surface and find a deep and diverse whiskey list (though it’s mostly geared towards high rollers). The bar also offer flights and pairings called “whiskey siblings” which showcase similar flavors.

2650 Virginia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037

11. Kelly's Irish Times

14 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001
The front entrance of Kelly’s Irish Times, complete with outdoor seating and a green awning.
Kelly’s Irish Times
Kelly’s Irish Times/official

This Capitol Hill institution decided several years ago to devote an entire back bar to whiskey (including Irish offerings, of course) and put more than 100 bottles on the menu. One nice touch: the bar offers private whiskey tastings.

14 F St NW
Washington, DC 20001

12. Barrel

613 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

Find more than 200 varieties listed on the two-page “brown water” menu at this Capitol Hill mainstay. Bourbon may be the focus, but Irish, Japanese, and even Taiwanese whiskies are also featured.

613 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

13. MacMillan Whisky Room

2920 District Ave, Fairfax, VA 22031

This relatively new addition to Merrifield’s Mosaic District has been drawing in drinkers for whiskey flights and well-made classic whiskey cocktails like the Penicillin. Hundreds of whiskeys are listed in the bar’s big book of spirits.

2920 District Ave
Fairfax, VA 22031

14. Union Street Public House (1986)

121 S Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314

A bar within a bar called 1986 is the redesigned back room in Union Street Public House. It has a group of about 100 whiskeys, and offers tastings and cocktails.

121 S Union St
Alexandria, VA 22314

15. Cinder BBQ

800 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Petworth’s new barbecue joint pairs its meaty menu with with a global selection of about 100 different whiskeys from its square central bar. Special bourbon pours hail from Kentucky-based Willett distillery. A chalkboard spells out rare and limited releases.

800 Upshur St NW
Washington, DC 20011

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