Canon Whiskey and Bitters Emporium

Although we recently concluded our series of out-of-town whiskey bars, co-founder Chris Crow recently met up with former member Nate Delaney at the famous Canon in Seattle, Washington, an experience that gives us good reason to reopen the series.

Canon Whiskey and Bitters Emporium describes itself as a “small, intimate restaurant that can accommodate parties of 4 or fewer.”  That only begins to paint the picture of this quaint little Capitol Hill neighborhood bar that opened in 2011.

For Chris and Nate, they were greeted by the friendly and knowledgeable staff that showed them to a small cozy booth/table by the window.  It was 9:30 on a Sunday night, yet seating was already limited – it would grow to a thirty minute wait later in the evening.

Upon seating, they were immediately impressed with the tall wall of spirits stacked to the ceiling behind and around the bar. The entire facility had only around eight tables for small parties and seating at the bar for about another dozen.  Chris and Nate were provide a small pamphlet menu listing signature cocktails and recommended flights, along with a leather covered iPad that contained the Captains List containing a much larger and almost overwhelming selection.

The collection of spirits is unmatched.  Canon claims itself as the “Western hemisphere’s largest spirit collection,” with over 3,500 different offerings, and counting.  The collection is, quite obviously from the menu, not simply a gimmick.  The proprietors have procured bottles ranging from those released up to a century ago (or more), to nearly every desirable recent release.   Vintage spirits – gins, whiskeys and more – remind you that our hunt for recent releases is but a drop in the bucket to the many opportunities to sample amazing spirits.  Chris and Nate enjoyed Canon curated flights of Japanese Whisky and bourbon – both which offered lineups not always available in many markets.

Beyond the unmatched spirits which line the walls lies some of the country’s most acclaimed cocktails.  Included are pages upon pages of some of the most perfected versions of classic cocktails, along with Canon creations, all of which will impress even the most particular.  Also included in the selection are vintage cocktails.  By “vintage,” Canon is not simply referring to classic styled cocktail.  Instead, they will create for you a cocktail that will literally take you back in time, with base spirits and liqueurs bottled near the times of the particular cocktail’s heyday.  As an example, imagine a Sazerac cocktail with both vintage cognac (yes, it was originally created with cognac and not rye) and absinthe.

Oh, and they have food, should you choose to needless spend money on something other than spirits.

If you find yourself in Seattle, make yourself a reservation and head on over to the prospering Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Editor’s Note:

Canon has been an influential bar for several Flight Club members over the past few years.  Nate Delaney, one of Flight Club’s original members, moved during the Club’s first year from Wichita, Kansas to Seattle (where he resided until a recent move to Florida).  There, Nate continued his learning and spirit’s enjoyment by regularly visiting Canon.  Member Stephen Benson originates from Seattle, and often calls upon Canon when visiting home.   He has used his trips for inspiration in some of his monthly tastings.  Stephen Benson also gifted co-founder Scott Hill the Canon Cocktail Book.  Scott has tested many of the recipes and regularly uses it for inspiration and motivation.

This past weekend, Nate and his wife fled their new home in southern Florida to escape the infamous Hurricane Irma.  They traveled to Seattle, where, incidentally, member Chris Crow happened to be for work.  Meeting up at Canon was a no-brainer.

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