There’s whiskey in the bar!

Oh whiskey, you’re the devil. You’re leading me astray to all the bars in Portland, from Goose Hollow to Roseway.

Oh whiskey, you’re the devil. You’re leading me astray to all the bars in Portland, from Goose Hollow to Roseway.

Few things are more pleasant than a nice place to sit back in and enjoy a dram of whiskey—and Portland has its own share of pubs, bars and holes in the wall where enthusiasts can take delight in the juice of the barley.

65 SW Yamhill St.

True whiskey aficionados need look no further to get their fix. Paddy’s carries an awe-inspiring selection of whiskey adorning a bar so extensive, they need a rolling ladder just to navigate it. It may be a tighter fit on busier nights, but it is well worth the trip. The variety of food is notable, ranging from your average bar food appetizers to United Kingdom-inspired fare.

Paddy’s takes whiskey seriously. Their menu goes as far as to organize their spirits from single malts to blends and even separating Scotches by region. The menu of whiskey offered is extensive to say the least. It’s safe to say that they have the best collection of whiskey in the city. If you want it, chances are they have it, something very similar or something new for you to discover. If whiskey is your weakness, then this is your bar.

112 SW Second Ave.

It’s hard to live in Portland and not know Kells. Housed in a beautiful building deep in the heart of downtown, Kells provides an Irish atmosphere stocked with plenty of whiskey options. It does get busy on the weekends when it can draw the downtown club-hopping crowd—making a tolerable evening free of douche bags prowling the meat market a bit difficult.

Despite the smoking ban, they still operate a cigar room in the basement, so Scotch drinkers can take pleasure in complementing their favorite Scotch with a fine cigar. Another benefit is their viewing of European soccer games on early weekend mornings, providing another excuse to drink whiskey outside of normally accepted drinking hours. Live music has also been known to fill their hall with the sounds of Ireland. All in all, it’s whiskey served with a pleasant social setting on the side.

The Leaky Roof
Southwest 16th Avenue and Jefferson St.

What started nearly 60 years ago in a trailer across the street from its current location, The Leaky Roof now stands as a neighborhood bar reminiscent of an Irish village pub. “Irish” seems to be the key term here as their whiskey selection definitely emphasizes this region. Whereas most bars just stock Jameson, they carry Jameson’s other lines as well as selections most bars don’t carry, such as the Clontarf line.

The staff is friendly and very welcoming. Within minutes of my first visit there, I was deep in a nice conversation with the bartender. You can tell that the Leaky Roof is a home-away-from-home for many of its patrons. Aside from a laidback atmosphere, it’s just comfortable.

Branch Whiskey Bar

2926 NE Alberta St.

Branch certainly takes being a whiskey bar to a fancier level. Part yuppie and part hipster, whiskey is sipped with the pinky out here. Rock and folk classics are heard as photographic artwork hangs across its walls, dimly lit by the table candles.

American whiskeys dominate the menu and it even lists a few I was unaware of. In keeping with its hip urban-ambiance, prices run a little more expensive at Branch, though flights are all fixed at $18, which can actually end up saving you some change. Food is also a considerable high point at Branch. Something as simple as a Caesar salad is brought to a whole new level. The perfect place for a refined-yet-hip evening with a nice bourbon.