Kansas City: The Five Best Places to Drink Whiskey

It seems every time you turn around, a new brewery is opening in Kansas City (not a bad thing). But for those of us that appreciate the fine art that is distilling, I have compiled a list of the top five places in Kansas City to drink whiskey.

 

1. Julep | 4141 Pennsylvania Ave #104, Kansas City, MO

 All photos by Benjamin Fuentes. 

All photos by Benjamin Fuentes. 

Julep describes themselves as “more than just a local watering hole” and with just under 600 whiskies on their menu they definitely have something for everyone, regardless of taste or budget. Stepping into Julep you first appreciate the rustic-chic décor that is accentuated with their grand chandeliers showcasing their extensive liquor shelf. Do not worry if you see something you would like on the top shelf– the stylishly dressed staff is extremely friendly and more than will to accommodate any request. If you are feeling fancy, feel free to inquire about their Old Rip Van Winkle 25 year, just be careful– it will set you back $750 an ounce. Make sure to follow Julep on social media as they often hold various events, ranging from whiskey tastings to whiskey/dinner pairings.

 

2. Harry’s Country Club | 112 E Missouri Ave, Kansas City, MO

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If you would like to stay a little closer to downtown to enjoy your whiskey, Harry’s Country Club is the place for you. With just over 450 whiskeys to choose from, they will soothe the taste buds of any whiskey aficionado. Harry’s also features a beautiful patio in case you want to enjoy your whiskey al fresco. They often feature live music and have a great menu to calm those tipsy cravings. If you are looking to impress your date, order up a glass of the Pappy Van Winkle 20 year; it will only cost $200 an ounce.  

 

3. Repeal 18th Bar & Bistro | 1825 Buchanan St, North Kansas City, MO

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The Northland. Yes. I am recommending you go north of the river. I lived in the Northland for several years and I greatly miss the hidden oasis that is North Kansas City (North Kansas City is an actual city, separate of Kansas City). North Kansas City is growing extensively; ranging from breweries to craft cocktails bars. I discovered Repeal 18th Bar & Bistro after a fun night at Chicken N Pickle (another place you definitely need to check out). We were on our way home when the sweet sound of acoustic notes filled my ears. We stumbled into Repeal 18th and discovered an extensive seasonal-cocktail list. I ordered up my go-to drink, Old Fashioned, and we spent the rest of the night drinking delicious cocktails and listening to live music. One fun aspect of Repeal 18th is that they partnered up with Woodford Reserve Bourbon and they crafted their own barrels. Make sure to ask about their Barrel Program cocktails.

 


4. Tom’s Town Distilling Co. | 1701 Main St, Kansas City, MO

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If you are looking for a whiskey rich with tradition that screams Kansas City, look no further than Tom’s Town. Tom’s Town takes their name from the infamous Tom Pendergast, political boss and bootlegger extraordinaire. Pendergast’s philosophy was simple, “the people are thirsty.” Tom Town’s bourbon is made right on Main Street in downtown Kansas City. What Tom’s Town might lack in an extensive whiskey list, they make up for with taste, history and master-distilled spirits.  They create handcrafted cocktails that pair perfectly with their Chef-Selected Charcuterie and Cheese Board with locally sourced meats and cheese, house-made pickles and spreads. Located near the heart of downtown, it is a great location to start off any night.

 

5. O’Dowd’s | 4742 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO

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Some of the bars on this list are present due to their extensive selections while others feature spectacular whiskey cocktails. O’Dowd’s makes the list for location, patio and specials. O’Dowd’s, located in the heart of the Country Club Plaza features a spectacular rooftop patio that overlooks Brush Creek. Their rebrand emphasizes craft cocktails and a chef-driven menu, which can be seen and tasted in their Whiskey Burger. My favorite part of O’Dowd’s is their Wednesday night Whiskey Happy Hour. From 9 PM to close, you can order up any whiskey or scotch and be happy to know that it will be half off. This is a great deal as O’Dowd’s does feature some higher end whiskies and scotches.

The beauty of whiskey is that it is no longer just a “man’s” drink. I have drank and discussed whiskey with people of all backgrounds, genders and ages (21+ of course). The popularity of whiskey is growing, and that is something I can definitely get behind. If you drink a whiskey you do not like, move on to the next one. I truly believe there is a whiskey out there for everyone. I am a strong believer that you should drink liquor the way that you like best. And although the whiskey snob may cringe when you pour a Coke into a 20 year whiskey, drink up. It’s your drink and “the people are thirsty!”

I hope you have enjoyed my list of The Five Best Places to Drink Whiskey in Kansas City. Make sure to follow me on Instagram at @KansasCityFoodieFinds for more great food and alcohol recommendations.

Cheers,

Benjamin Fuentes