Drinking whisky is so much more than just sipping on a glass, it’s a whole experience – from the swirling of the smooth liquor, to the clinking of ice cubes, and the heavy aroma as you take that first deep breath. To help you enjoy your single malt or blend, we present you with the best whisky joints Hong Kong has to offer.
Skyzone Deck & Lounge
Kavalan Classic has, and will always, hold a special place in our hearts because of its distinct flavour profile. The taste is fresh and clean, rich and smooth, with a hint of tropical fruit. Skyzone’s General Tasting Set offers a glass of Kavalan Classic Single Malt, Amrut Single Malt, and Macallan 12yr Sherry Cask for a reasonable $188. And, instead of cigars, Skyzone pairs the whiskies with different types of chocolate, taking the whisky game to a whole new level.
Skyzone Deck & Lounge, 30/F, Rosedale Hotel Kowloon, 86 Tai Kok Tsui Road, Kowloon, (+852) 3919 8338
Bitters and Sweets
With excellent cocktails and bar food, and delights such as the S’more ($108) and coffee-infused Smokey Joe ($180) on the menu, Bitters and Sweets earns a well-deserved spot on our list. There’s something rather soothing about watching the bartender lift up the glass covering your Smokey Joe, to release a cloud of spiraling smoke into the atmosphere. As you watch, you whisper to yourself “finally,” and you exhale and feel your shoulders soften, letting the tension slowly leave your spine and fade away. Heaven!
Bitters & Sweets, 1/F, 52-54 Wellington Street, Central, (+852 ) 2788 0103
The dim lights, oak floors, and leather chairs in Angel’s Share represent a seamless blend between industrial chic and classic luxury. If you’re looking for a cosy spot to enjoy a relaxed conversation, then the upstairs whisky bar in this stylish joint offers just that. Angel’s Share offers more than 250 whiskies from all over Scotland, Japan, USA, Canada, France, India, Ireland, and Taiwan. If you’re ready to challenge your taste buds, or not sure which whiskies are for you, the bar offers a range of four custom ones to try with prices ranging from $380 to $550.
Angel’s Share, 2/F, Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Road, Central, (+852) 2805 8388
ThirtySix Bar & Co
Located on the second floor of Amber Lodge on Hollywood Road, ThirtySix Bar & Co oozes 1920s nostalgia, with an elegant interior inspired by luxury train carriages from the Art Deco era, which proved to be popular settings in which to enjoy Highball cocktails while travelling across Europe. Those who appreciate tradition will enjoy a refreshing Highlander ($140) or zesty El Mismo ($100) Highball, while more adventurous punters might be tempted to try the smoky, mezcal-based 21st Century California ($140) served with a dark chocolate, or the B for Mayor’s Boilermaker ($120) topped with a layer of beer foam. While you’re there, be sure to check out The Vault, a luxurious, neon-bathed bottle keep where regulars are known to store their most precious spirits.
ThirtySix Bar & Co, 2/F, 23 Hollywood Road, Central, (+852) 2336 4498
Whisky & Words
Tucked away behind an easy-to-miss door on the steps of Shin Hing Street, this understated watering hole offers a laid-back, intimate vibe and purposely shies away from the grandeur of many of Hong Kong’s whisky bars in an attempt to make the spirit more approachable. With muted tones, a high ceiling, and wallpaper which resembles a library of books, the bar offers a refreshing take on the whisky experience, boasting a menu of expertly balanced cocktails without the flashy presentation, and a fantastic happy hour which features the likes of a Coffee Old Fashioned for a bargain $88. Regular drinks include the must-order Tangy and Smoky ($150) made with Talisker 10 year old single malt and topped with rich foam made from egg white powder, and – for those who love their gin – The Dr Dre ($140) which blends Hendricks gin with homemade rose orgeat syrup, lime juice, and green apple. The perfect spot to relax with friends with excellent drinks and zero intimidation.
Whisky & Words, 7 Shin Hing Street, Sheung Wan, (+852) 9889 8590
Safe Bubbles & Malt
Safe Bubbles & Malt is definitely a whisky bar that shouldn’t be missed. As you press the button at the entrance, the gigantic steel door slides open to reveal a safe containing some of the best whiskies you will find. Being a modern whisky bar, Bubbles offers more than 700 types, including some of the rarest on the market, meaning you will get to explore a taste you have never experienced before – we love the 21 Year Old Glenfarclas ($198), with its incredibly smooth and long-lasting notes.
Safe Bubbles & Malt, Shop 2, 1/F, Manhattan Avenue, 225 Queen’s Road Central, (+852) 2505 9988
Enjoy your glass of whisky surrounded by hundreds of lush, green plants at The Pawn’s Botanical Bar. Alternatively, you can have it overlooking the passing trams, while lounging in one of the venue’s leather chairs. The Pawn has some of the best and most unique cocktails in town, but what perhaps you didn’t know is they also have an impressive selection of whisky, from 12 Year Old Highland Park ($130) and Monkey Shoulder ($150), to Old Malt Cask, Sherry Butt ($270) and 12 Year Old Hakashu ($300).
The Pawn, 62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, (+852) 2866 3444
Concrete walls, wooden furniture, leather sofas – Ginger is more than your regular whisky bar. Owner Tony Leung is highly knowledgeable and passionate about whisky, and travels the globe to learn about how to customise the different tasting sets (prices here range from $120 to $ 480). If you like smoky whisky, then you have to try the Islay Island with Port Charlotte Scottish Barley – Heavily Peated, 12 Year Old Caol Ila, and Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2014.
Ginger, G/F, 12 On Wo Lane, Central, (+852) 2868 0486
Mizunara: The Library
Dark wood, dim lights, and jazz – Mizunara: The Library definitely stirs up a good Old-Fashioned, if tradition is what you’re after. You can choose your whisky from its impressive collection of over 700 bottles, and the cocktail comes with a sugar cube at the bottom of the glass, which slowly melts for slow-releasing sweetness. But if you’re after something a little different, the Smokey Manhattan ($250) is a must-try. Then it’s time to sit back, relax, and sip the night away in style and comfort.
Mizunara: The Library, 4/F, Kiu Yin building, 361-363 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, (+852) 3571 9797
Hidden down a small alleyway in Central, Stockton will charm you away with its dark, elegant, and comfy atmosphere – not to mention its incredible selection of fine whiskies. If you’re up for some quirky whisky-based cocktails, be sure to try the Psycho Bunny. Personally, though, we like to keep it simple with a glass of Hibiki 21, while sitting quietly on the sofa and listening to the live music.
Stockton, 32 Wyndham Street, Central, (+852) 2565 5268
Executive Bar is the place to be if you’re looking for a relaxing drink after work. All you need to do is describe your ideal whisky to Ichiron, the bartender, and he’ll take you a step further to finding your perfect whisky. Offering over 300 imported whiskies, including a great range from Japan, each one is served with a hand-chipped ice cube in a whisky tumbler. It gives you the most incredible sensation when you swirl your glass of Ichiro’s whisky blend Hou-Oh while looking at Hong Kong’s epic skyline.
b.a.r. Executive, 27/F, Bartlock Centre, 3 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay, (+852) 2893 2080
Chin Chin Bar
Chin Chin Bar at the Hyatt Regency boasts a cosy lounge bar area with one of the most unique traditional Chinese-style interior designs, as well as a cool, minimalist outdoor patio. Kick back with a glass of Auchentoshan Three Wood ($125) or Benromach Sassicaia 2004 ($125) as you overlook the bustling streets and neon lights of Tsim Sha Tsui. This is truly an amazing place to unwind and relax while having a chat with your friends.
Chin Chin Bar, Hyatt Regency, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, (+852) 3721 7722
A well hidden whisky bar with some top-notch, rare whiskies, Club Qing offers whisky lovers the chance to explore different styles and distilleries in the heart of Hong Kong Island. If you want to be impressed, then try its Hanyu Playing Card whisky series – it’s delightful!
Club Qing, 10/F, Cosmos Building, 8-11 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, (+852) 9379 7628
Though Nocturne is a small bar, it certainly doesn’t lack in atmosphere and great whisky. The venue gives whisky lovers a sense of relaxation and tranquility that is most needed at the end of the week. The Brun Steward whisky tasting set ($380) is one of the best on offer, as you get to enjoy a 12 Year Old Deanston single malt, 10 Year Old Tobermory, 12 Year Old Bunnahabhain, and 10 Year Old Ledaig. The subtle hint of sweet cinnamon and twist of orange from the Deanston 12 Years Old is unforgettable, while the soft, sherry, and nutty coastal freshness of the Bunnahabhain lingers on your taste buds.
Nocturne Wine & Whisky Bar, 35 Peel Street, Central, (+852) 2884 9566