As you know (or maybe not if you don’t follow my adventures on social media –
some of you may not be interested in seeing my cat sleeping in a frying pan after all...) I spent a weekend in the beautiful capital of The Nertherlands a few weeks ago. Alongside the crazy storm (leaving me soaked to the bone wandering for hours in the paved streets of Amsterdam with an embarrasing pink rain poncho), I still found my way to the next whiskey bar, ho don’t ask why….
Here’s a shortlist of Amsterdam’s Whisky Hotspots!
L&B Whisky Café
Location : Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 82, 1017 RD Amsterdam, The Netherlands
“Outside, fogged and white-framed windows reveal a typical Dutch brown bar – cozy and brimming with character. Inside, the award-winning Whiskycafé L&B is a soothing and resoundingly mellow spot that practically begs for a snort or two of whiskey to accompany it.
Luckily, there’s a whiskcrapload on hand.
Nearly 1,500 whiskey bottles line the walls, hang from the ceiling, and overflow from the few glass cupboards squeezed into the small bar. The menu includes a dozen pages of its signature libation compiled by region or theme, and the vibe is straight out of the Cary Grant era, when after-work drinkers favored singles or doubles on the rocks.
Maybe it’s the whiskey boxes posing as books on the shelves, but the scene seems more attuned to the philosophical type who enjoys sipping Blue Label rather than downing Daniels (though both are offered).
The thick menus and large drinks lists scrawled on the walls can be a little overwhelming, but the bartenders are very friendly and can offer helpful advice in picking the proper poison.
The setting at the bar is also very social and naturally encourages a flow of small talk that travels from the people at the bar to those at the tables to the milling wallflowers.
Patrons pour outside and fill the benches on weekends, when beer lovers from the surrounding Leidseplein bars tend to crowd in and displace the weekday “intellectuals.”
Nonetheless, it doesn’t take a genius to realize Whiskycafé L&B is probably the best bar in town to grab a little scotch-infused R&R.”
2. J.D. William’s Whisky Bar
Location : Prinsenstraat 5, 1015DA Amsterdam, The Netherlands
“The ever-so-sweet burn of whisky running down the back of your throat is a feeling like no other. Complex like a riddle, whisky challenges your pallet, striking up hours of debate about its makeup. Where to tangle with this unrivaled spirit is where J.D. William’s lends a hand.
Nestled in Amsterdam’s beautiful Jordaan neighborhood, J.D. William’s is a concept bar that focuses on whisky and whisky cocktails in an industrial chic setting. Our aim is quite simple: we want to spread our passion for whisky! Whether you are an expert looking for one of Scotland’s rarest single malts or a novice looking to try whisky for the first time, J.D. William’s is the place.
We serve all of our whiskies in Glencairn crystal tumblers with water at its side. At J.D. William’s, quality over quantity reins supreme.
The full bar experience is what completes our concept. Our Pan-Asian kitchen is a gastronomy delight as all of our ingredients are sourced from local and sustainable farmers. This consistent, thoughtful approach to food is the perfect complement to our drink menu.”
3. Skylounge at Hilton Doubletree
Location : at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station, Oosterdoksstraat 4, 1011 DK Amsterdam,
This one is a bit different – not exactly your usual watering hole filled with dusty bottles from the last century. The view over Amsterdam is priceless – they offer a small cup of spiced popcorns alongside the drinks (must admit that’s where they had me…) and a nice selection of whiskies including Highland Park 18 (and here’s the other reason I chose to shortlist this bar in my selection)
The whisky menu is quite short but the selection is still pretty legit with some mainstream names such as Macallan, Bowmore, Glenmorangie… The kind of spot you can bring your vintage old taunt as well as your new hipsterish boyfriend (you just met on Tinder) !