Big Star, Chicago, Ill: Looking more like a dive bar in West Texas, than perhaps the hottest spot in the Wicker Park neighborhood, Big Star uses a unique combination of tacos, $3 Bourbon shots and 1950’s country music to drawl in its standing room only crowds at night. It also offers only American made whiskies and at one time, offered 11 private barrel selections to the Bourbon geeks that visit.
Sanctuaria, St. Louis: Move over Anheuser-Busch, Sanctuaria is turning St. Louis into a Bourbon city. The spirits program is ran by Bourbon nut Matt Seiter, who regularly buys his own barrels from Kentucky distilleries. Although Sanctuaria tries to sell itself as a dive cocktail bar, Larry Rice says it’s no dive bar. “One of the first bars in the country to offer cocktails on tap and barrel aged cocktails,” says Rice who is a respected bartender in Bourbon Country. “This place is a gem in any city.”
Century Bar, Dayton, OH: In what could be the most underrated Bourbon bar in the country, the Century Bar takes you back to 1862 with its 150-year-old back bar. The home of the former Kette & Sons Rye Whiskey Distillery, Century Bar packs 87 Bourbons and regularly holds blind tastings. It’s the sort of place every Bourbon drinker should visit at least once in his or her life.
Sable, Chicago, Ill
The Barrelhouse Flat, Chicago, Ill
Longman & Eagle, Chicago, Ill
Delilah’s, Chicago, Ill
J.O.B. Public House, Springfield, MO
Japps Since 1879, Cincinnati, OH
Best Bourbon Bars in America: Midwest Region