The 8 best places for Whiskey and Bourbon in Manchester

When I think of whiskey I think of Mike Baldwin, de-cantering some into a glass while Alma discloses that she's had an affair with Don Brennan and now he's obsessed with her.

By Ben Brown | Last updated 19 May 2018

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When I think of whiskey I think of Mike Baldwin, de-cantering some into a glass while Alma discloses that she’s had an affair with Don Brennan and now he’s obsessed with her.

To be fair though, my outdated, ignorant perspective means nothing as the dark drink has experienced a bit of a renaissance in the city recently; with plenty of places offering a staggering selection of Scottish, Japanese and American bourbons – probably best drunk with a cigar and smoking jacket while sat next to an open log fire.

Britons Protection
I’ve written quite a lot about the Briton’s Protection recently – but to be fair it does have a lot to offer and is a cracking traditional pub. Not only do they have a rather dashing rear beer garden, they can also boast to stock over 300 whiskeys at any one time. Even the most die-hard whiskey fan will likely find something to sup here – from the bog-standard bottle of Bell’s that you’d find in a ditch in the park right up to some proper rare Scotch and Single Barrelled Jack Daniels. Get involved in their whiskey tasting sessions too and you’ll be able to bore your mates with your tasting notes next time you’re out.

The Briton’s Protection, 50 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5LE
0161 236 5895


The Range
For somewhere that aims to provide an elegant members club experience, it will come as no surprise to learn that The Range offer a rather impressive range of whiskey in which to sip while you practice your swing or just strut about wearing those ridiculous trousers. It must be said that their Salted Caramel Old Fashioned is up there in my top 5 cocktails of 2018 and is a drink even the staunchest teetotaller would struggle not to try after smelling it’s sweet, nutty aroma.

The Range, Leftbank, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3AN


Bunny Jacksons
If you are after some serious New Orleans style dive bar action then look no further than Bunny Jacksons. In case you were wondering, the name comes from a mental jazz/blues performer the owners met in Louisiana one time, and in his honour, Bunny’s know what they are doing when it comes to whiskey. Naturally, they have an impressive selection of Bourbon whiskeys from the states for you to get stuck into, as well as one of the best Old Fashions in town. They have some cracking cocktails too, many of which are whiskey based- which all come with a little nugget of knowledge about where they came from- which I think is a great touch.

Bunny Jacksons, 1 Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester M15 4RA


The Whiskey Jar
Like everyone’s favourite TV show host – Roy Walker – say what you see with the Whiskey Jar in the Northern Quarter. This place obviously specialises in whiskey, with over 300 on offer as well as a great selection of ales, wines and cocktails. Like a room at the UN, the list of countries involved is truly staggering including some wildcards such as the Icelandic Floki 1st Edition (£8) or Nomad (£3.50) from Spain. Whiskey Jar has been a regular fixture on our Friday night drinks for a few years now – it’s a great place for a proper chat and always has a great atmosphere. On top of this you can head downstairs for a proper boogie later on too – which considering I’m a lazy sod – is perfect.

The Whiskey Jar, 14 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF
0161 237 5686


The Automatic Cafe
In case you don’t know, Automatic is a bar and restaurant in Bury which is located in The Met – the town’s thriving theatre and arts centre. It’s a pretty sound place to go for drinks and food – with a massive selection of ales (from the Silver Street Brewery down the road) as well as the most important one – over 100 whiskeys and bourbons. If you find yourself in Bury, mouth dryer than a bag of sand, then you’ll be a silly sausage not to head here and give them a try.

Automatic Cafe, Market St, Bury BL9 0BW
0161 763 9399


Harvey Nichols
I’d probably go as far as saying that Harvey Nichols is the best shop for booze in the city, featuring a wide range of exclusive (and exotic) tipples for you to buy and drink at home. From super-special bottles of Jack Daniel’s No.27 Gold Whiskey right up to bottles of Johnny Walker which will cost you more than a house – they have everything. Not only that but nip into the Second Floor Bar & Brasserie and feed the thirst with one of their excellent cocktails. I’d personally recommend their Cherry Cola Smash.

Harvey Nichols, 21 New Cathedral St, Manchester M1 1AD


Dusk ’til Pawn
The die-hard whiskey drinkers out there might have a go at me about this article because of the amount of Bourbon places in here. I’m sure that the sweet stuff from the U.S of A is not truly considered to be a ‘proper’ whiskey – but for the purpose of equal opportunities – I’m promoting inclusion and acceptance. That’s why we have Dusk ’til Pawn – the pawn shop fronted ‘speakeasy’ over in Stevenson Square – not only do they have a long list of cocktails but they have a fantastic selection of bourbons available with which you can mix with your Diet Coke and suck through a straw. The jukebox is pretty mint here too.

Dusk Til Pawn, Northern Quarter, Manchester M1 1FB
0161 236 5355


Roc & Rye
Since opening last year Roc & Rye have been plying many a Mancunian with a range of excellent cocktails, mostly revolving around whiskey & bourbon. They love the stuff and their Signature Cocktail is the Lost at Sea which combines Cooper’s Croze Jameson Whiskey with avant-garde drink making techniques. The intricate concoction features a cherry and grapefruit shrub, made by fermenting grapefruit and black Italian cherries with a sherry-based vinegar, which is then blended with a classic cherry liqueur, smoky Mezcal and sweet vermouth. It’s a beauty!

Roc & Rye, 60 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 2BQ