Anthony Bourdain’s Favorite Whisky Joints Around America

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Anthony Bourdain’s Favorite Whisky Joints Around America
Anthony Bourdain has had his fair share of experience within the food and beverage world, from being executive chef at Brassierie Les Halles in New York to hosting a CNN program that highlights cuisine and culture. But one of his latest endeavors is a first for the culinary expert: a partnership with a single malt whisky company, specifically The Balvenie.
By Nicoletta Richardson, AFAR Staff
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    Anthony Bourdain's 5 Favorite Whisky Joints Around America
    Now what do Bourdain and Scottish whiskies have in common, you ask? At this year's Rare Craft Fellowship Awards, which just happened this past week, the answer was as clear as day: a deep love for craftsmanship. Keeping that in mind, we asked Bourdain to share his top five whisky bars around the country. So read up, then drink up!

    Photo courtesy of Anthony Bourdain
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    1. Eire Pub in Boston, MA
    Bourdain says: “Barkeeps are still wearing uniforms, the sandwiches are thick, and the whisky and beer flow freely”

    We say: Located in one of the most historic neighborhoods in Boston, this old timey pub has surely maintained its charm over years of business. The wooden bar is the center of attention when you step inside, packed with regulars chowing down on the pub’s famous pastrami sandwich and sipping on seasonal brews or whiskys. Bourdain has made appearances at the joint, in addition to famous faces like actor Mark Wahlberg, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and political leaders like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

    Photo courtesy of Eire Pub/Facebook 
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    2. Flatiron Room in New York, NY
    Bourdain says: “They have over 700 bottles of rare and unusual whiskies on hand. Plus, you can’t go wrong with suggestions from the amazing Heather Greene, their whisky sommelier.”

    We say: Unique whisky is right. This fine spirits parlor prides themselves on their selection—from the Scotch blend Royal Salute 38-year-old Stone of Destiny, to The Balvenie 30-year-old single malt whisky. And right now at The Flatiron, Japanese whisky is booming with popularity, a partial reason as to why they’re holding a specific Japanese whisky tasting later this year.

    Photo courtesy of The Flatiron Room/Facebook 
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    3. Canon in Seattle, WA
    Bourdain says: “This is a self-described ‘whisky and bitters emporium’ serving up some impressive, classic cocktails.”

    We say: With over 3,500 spirit collection labels, it’s safe to say Canon has quite the variety. They list twenty uniquely blended cocktails at the beginning of their menu, in addition to other concoctions categorized under aged, carbonated, “lavish libations,” and “large format” that serves four. If you and a friend are in the mood to share some bourbon, try the Transfusion for Two—blended with cognac, bourbon, Crème Yvette, and anchor eyes mixed with raspberry, lemon, and bitters.

    Photo courtesy of Canon/Facebook 
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    4. The Violet Hour in Chicago, IL
    Bourdain says: “They take their whisky service as seriously as their cocktail program, but the house rules are meant to create comfort, not oppression.”

    We say: It's true; The Violet Hour means business with their extensive House Rules. The notice posted on their website clearly states proper attire is required (specifically no baseball hats), no advance reservations are allowed, and no cell phones inside the lounge—plus a light-hearted (but completely serious) comment at the bottom that reads “Do not bring anyone that you wouldn’t bring to your mother’s house for Sunday Dinner.”

    Photo courtesy of The Violet Hour
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    5. PDT in New York, NY
    Bourdain says: “A bar you enter through a phone booth, at which both excellent whisky and excellent hot dogs are available. If I’m in downtown Manhattan, this is where I want to be.”

    We say: Short for Please Don’t Tell, this bar reveals nothing on their website (no surprise there). Enter the well-known hot dog joint Crif Dogs to find a vintage phone booth with a pleasant surprise on the other side—a dim-lighted, brick walled cocktail lounge known as PDT. The speakeasy serves an array of classic cocktails with a twist, like an old-fashioned made from bacon-infused bourbon and maple syrup, that definitely has potential to go with a good hot dog.

    Photo courtesy of Please Don't Tell
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