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The Whisky Parlor Even if you're not a fan of whisky, you'll find something you love here

The Whisky Parlor

608 Woodward Ave., Floor 2, Detroit, MI 48226
  • Neighborhood: Downtown
  • Price Level:   
  • Vegetarian Options
  • Cards Accepted

Tags: cocktails, downtown, Small Plates, bourbon, the-whisky-parlor, whisky, scotch

Pay attention to the details and you’ll uncover a subtle travel theme going on in the Whisky Parlor. Globes of all sizes pop up around the room, along with maps, street signs, stacks of old books and other meticulously curated knick knacks. It’s as if a well-travelled explorer scoured the world in search of exotic libations and brought the best home here, to the Whisky Parlor.

The lounge is located in the second floor space above Grand Trunk Pub, once occupied by Motor City Wine. A portion of the dropped ceiling has been removed, revealing a raw brick wall and mysterious staircase that leads up to an unseen third level – all lit in a pale purple glow. It has a really nice effect, the whole place seems a little brighter, larger. The lounge itself is lit with soft golden lamps and a bit of natural light coming in through the Woodward-facing windows. You’ll find a mix of cafe tables and plush leather couches among the eclectic seating.

The Whisky Parlor specializes in flights and shareable plates. The flights, too, are great for sharing. You can build your own from their vast selection of scotches, bourbons, ryes or Irish whiskeys, let your bartender or server craft one for you, or choose from several pre-selected flights. They have more than 80 bottles in all, offering everything from a $4 glass of McClelland Highland up to a $41 Balvenie Doublewood, aged 17 years. The servers are incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, and will help you pick out just the right selection for your tastes and preferences.

Even if you’re not into whisky you’re bound to find something you like among the wine flights and other spirits. Don’t overlook the cocktail selection; there are some delicious gems here. We’re fans of the Boom Boom Washington: an ingenious twist on the classic margarita. St. George Green Chile vodka is paired with Gran Gala (an orange liqueur that tastes a bit like Triple Sec), pineapple juice, simple syrup and fresh lime.

If you long to be on a beach somewhere sipping a fruity umbrella drink, look no further than the Whisky Parlor’s Bourbon Daiquiri. This cocktail mixes banana-infused Buffalo Trace bourbon with Creme de Banana, cane sugar and fresh lime. The Disco Kid is also a fun – if less fruity – choice, combining Redemption Rye with simple syrup, fresh lemon and orange, and frothy egg white in a sugar rimmed glass.

It’s unwise to drink all that booze without something to nibble on, so make sure you order a plate or two from the succinct selection of shareable bites. The menu has several items that sound fancy – caviar, Iberico ham, cream-filled burrata, truffle oil – but are served in a relaxed, comfortable way so it’s not intimidating at all.

The Henry C. Weber, a shareable ploughman’s platter, is a smart choice. The undisputed star of this plate is a hand-carved serving of melt-in-your-mouth Iberico Serrano ham (this stuff wasn’t even available in the U.S. until 2007). It’s paired with a whiskey cheddar, mustard-ale cheese, smoked bleu cheese, house-cured olives and a medley of crackers. It’s basically dinner for two, for $24.

You could also opt for a tartare flight, a plate of crispy pork “wings” with a soy-bourbon glaze, or a luscious vanilla bean cheesecake with house-cured bourbon cherries. And just because the plates are shareable does not mean you have to share (keep your hands away from our crispy pork, thank you very much).


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