Sometimes you need a drink with just a little more kick than one of Cleveland’s many fine local craft brews. Straight up or on the rocks, Cleveland has so many options for those looking for a smooth sip of Bourbon or an expertly crafted cocktail. Drink in these distillers and mixologists proud to serve The Land.
Using its proprietary rapid-aging process,Cleveland Whiskey distills unique blends of traditional bourbon whiskey and rye. The latest on the list: Wheat Penny 1958 Bourbon, so named after the last year the wheat penny was minted as well as to commemorate their first wheated bourbon.
Rye is the hot girl at the spirits dance, and Western Reserve Distillers has an amazing selection of handcrafted ryes. For those who prefer aged rye whiskey, try their 6 Year Straight Rye Whiskey in a cocktail at their Lakewood distillery, or snag a bottle for at-home sipping.
The bar program at Mabel’s BBQ includes the elder names in bourbon like Old Forrester and Old Crow, as well as contemporary kin Knob Creek. Even more impressive is the chance to take home a Bottle-Aged Manhattan made with another elder, Old Grand-Dad, and Angostino bitters.
Sophisticated Society Lounge is the place with all of the good hooch—from nostalgic brands to newer whiskey favorites, both from Cleveland and afar. Blanton’s Single Barrel still holds its own served neat for sipping, but that Macallan 15-Year-Old Scotch is tough competition.
Want to laissez les bon temp rouler all year long? Bourbon Street Barrel Room is the consummate ode to Louisiana in both food and spirits. Bulleit Bourbon rules in the form of Sazerac, Vieux Carre and classic Old-Fashioned cocktails. Just BYOB (Bring Your Own Beads).
Music, food and 400 whiskeys. Enough said. Not. Coventry Village has long been home to the area’s eclectic, eccentric class, and The Whiskey Bar continues in that vein. Ear hustle a great conversation while imbibing locally-crafted, domestic or imported whiskeys in a cocktail or straight up.
With the largest selection in Ohio, Lizardville Beer Store & Whiskey Bar offers a wonderland of 170+ whiskeys. Your mission, should you choose to accept: order a burger from Winking Lizard and a craft cocktail made with Hennessy Privilege VSOP Cognac, Grand Marnier or Tom's Foolery Applejack Bourbon.
A newish entry on the scene having opened in November 2019, Char Whiskey & Grillehas quickly made a name for itself thanks to a killer craft cocktail list and a fine dining menu to match. Support local with a “Maplehattan” featuring Western Reserve bourbon or place your bets on a Char Julep with Weller Green bourbon.
Find all the usual suspects like Evan Williams, George Dickel and Johnnie Walker at XYZ The Tavern, a welcoming neighborhood spot in Detroit Shoreway with 100+ varieties of whiskey and bourbon. Get sauced on BBQ Tuesdays with $10 platters or enjoy New York-style pizza fresh from the stone oven.
What’s Cleveland without an authentic Irish pub? We don’t want to know. Stone Mad is a gentle nod to the region’s strong Irish presence and history. The food and the drink tell a story of a people. Go in and ask for an old friend, Jameson, and the reply will be, “Which one?”
Voted one of “America’s Best Bourbon Bars” by The Bourbon Review, Oak and Embers Tavern is worth the trek to Chesterland. The smokehouse flavors of the food are complemented by the spirits—which include the best Kentucky has to offer in bonded bourbons, as well as Ohio and Tennessee whiskeys.