Esquire Names Southeast Portland’s Scotch Lodge One of the Best Bars in America

“It’s simple: If you’re looking to have your mind expanded through whiskey, come here.”

If Esquire puts together a list of the best food and drink in America, best bet Portland is making an appearance.

In January, the magazine named a pair of local restaurants, Han Oak and Nong’s Khao Man Gai, as two of the “100 Restaurants America Cannot Afford to Lose.” Now, it has deemed Southeast Portland whiskey haven Scotch Lodge as one of the 27 best bars in the country.

Scotch Lodge opened in 2019 in the space formerly occupied by beloved Japanese izakaya Biwa. Helmed by Tommy Klus, curator of downtown’s Multnomah Whiskey Library, the bar “appeals both to hardcore whiskey drinkers and novices alike,” according to WW’s initial review, and is often packed “with swole 50-something CEO bros, polished gentlemen in fedoras and neckties and young dudes in pink button-ups you suspect voted for Trump.”

Here’s how Esquire describes it:

“It’s simple: If you’re looking to have your mind expanded through whiskey, come here. You’ll find everything from rare Macallans to obscure, soul-heating bourbons. Single-ounce pours mean you can really take a round-the-world journey. While whiskey bars with deep lists are nothing new, Scotch Lodge has a decidedly sophisticated yet unpretentious energy, impressive bites, and a cocktail list that is a master class in pushing what Scotch can do. Try the Islay daiquiri.”

Last year, Scotch Lodge pivoted to a takeout fish-and-chips pop-up called Oui Chippy to ride out the pandemic. It ended in October.

Check out the full list of bars here.