Sipping Spotlight: Portland’s Multnomah Whiskey Library

Portland is a town with a wealth of local watering holes ranging from some of the best craft beer in America to creative bartenders and cocktails. With literally hundreds of places to choose from, making an impression can be hard to do, but that’s exactly what The Multnomah Whiskey Library manages to do.

When The Multnomah Whiskey Library opened its doors in 2013, Portland had never seen anything like it.  A 6,000-square-foot converted piano store that now offered the old world charm of some of the best whisky bars in the world. With over 1,700 bottles and a cocktail list with well over 70 options, it was a grandiose vision that could only be successful somewhere like Portland.

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Getting into the Library is no small feat. The Multnomah Whiskey Library offers reservations only to its exclusive members, who pay upwards of $600 annually to be part of the club. Even just getting a membership can be difficult, there is a consistent waitlist just to be able to purchase a membership. Don’t worry it you don’t want to fork over that kid of dough, or if you are just visiting the city. The library welcomes walk-ins from the public (but expect to wait), and if you’re really set on going there is a one time $25 “hall pass” that can be purchased to make reservations.

With the overwhelming amount of options available, it may come as a surprise that the single most popular item on the menu is the Old Fashioned, but then again, for a bar this focused on its cocktail program, the Old Fashioned is going to be one of the best in the game.

There of course is also food service, which is a plus considering the lengths you’ll have to go to to get in here. The food is designed to be a social focal point, so plenty of share plates like oysters or charcuterie boards. For those with a little more of an appetite there are classic menu options like dry aged rib-eye and flank steak.

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Ultimately, going to the Multnomah Whiskey Library should feel like an event. This isn’t a “pop in on a Tuesday night, last minute” style of a place. It should feel like an occasion, something you take friends to for the evening to enjoy good conversation and great cocktails. There aren’t many places like this, so if you do get a chance to experience it, take it all in.

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