To many, it is a mere shot. A simple and quick thrust back, a swallow and a then a dirty look on a face.

To many, it is a mere shot. A simple and quick thrust back, a swallow and a then a dirty look on a face. But to others, it’s more. Something to savor and appreciate, it is a delight with one aspiration—perfection. Indeed, to many it is more than a plain shot of booze. To those who admire its complex character, it is whiskey.

There are quite a few realms within the world of whiskey, and perhaps none is more diverse than that of the intriguing world of Scotch. Every Scotch is unique and provides remarkable insight into the region from which it originated. Scotch is an expedition from the Isles of Scotland, up through the Highlands, onto the Speyside, and more. It is a taste of its mother country, providing the experience of Scotland in a bottle.

One of Portland’s best-kept whiskey secrets is the Leaky Roof. The pub has been serving the southwest Portland community around Goose Hollow since 1947. Within a few short minutes of stepping in the front door, it is easy to tell that this is more than a pub—it is a community. The atmosphere is simply friendly. And not in a forced or insincere manner, as one might find at establishments that attempt to manufacture the natural character of this bar, or any true-in-spirit neighborhood meeting spot. That’s right; one need not suffer at Applebee’s when the Leaky Roof is right in town.

The food is certainly something to write home about, but as previously implied, this bar knows its whiskey. Now while the Leaky Roof is a whiskey lover’s spot, they tend to keep more up on Irish whiskey. Their shelves are far more weighted with Irish whiskey than Scotch. This is not to say that they have not put forth the effort to stock a hefty Scotch selection, though much of the selection is admittedly commonly found, such as Johnny Walker, The Glenlivit, Dewars, etc.

But don’t let that deter you. They do keep a few nice surprises around. Straight from the Speyside, there are a couple of Balvenie vintages. Most bars will keep the basic bottle of major brands around. What I like about the Leaky Roof is that they serve a variety of lines under a brand. For example, while it might be easy to find the Highland taste of Glenmorangie at other establishments, this pub keeps a few lesser-found varieties of the single malt on hand, such as the Quinta Ruban or the Lasanta.

Now, if you really want to take a trek through the country via a trail of Scotch, one must take advantage of the Leaky Roof’s Scotch Whiskey flights. They took the time to choose an appropriate pairing of Scotches to provide a few tours. Their Highland tour, for example, is a simple offering of the Johnnie Walker Red, Black and Gold lines. They also have an option for the line of Glenmorangie they keep on the shelf. But the flights I prefer are the Tour of Twelves and the Scottish Royalty, each separately containing a mix of different brands and styles to compare next to each other.

The Leaky Roof is one stop on any whiskey admirer’s search through Portland’s pubs that must not be skipped. Now the search is on for the next peaty pub.?