The Causeway Bar is a hidden gem in Midcoast Maine for whiskey afficionados and bourbon enthusiasts. Learn more about the collection of rare and hard to find bottles. 

The Causeway Restaurant has a growing reputation as the ideal place in Midcoast Maine for a leisurely Sunday brunch, where folks listen to live music while diving into one of the most outrageous Bloody Mary menus around. It's the spot for super fresh local seafood like halibut and oysters, simply prepared. The Clark Bar is best for casual afternoon snacking and Clark Island beach day drinks and ice cream. And for guests of The Craignair Inn every morning is an opportunity for a divine, wholesome breakfast. 

But did you know the Causeway Bar has a not-so-secret distinction as a destination for whiskey drinkers? The owner's reserve is a tightly curated list of labels you aren't going to find on the shelves of other bars. Consider this your invitation to a world of whiskey normally reserved for private clubs and connoisseurs. Whiskey on the rocks just tastes better on the rocky coast of Maine, looking out romantically to sea. If you haven't visited Spruce Head for a pour or three of rye, it is time to make a night of it. 

A Kentucky Whiskey Tasting in Spruce Head, Maine

glass of whiskey and barbecue plate


When you ponder American whiskey you probably envision Southern moonshiners and craft distilleries in the hills of Tennessee. Recently, The Causeway invited the gracious experts from Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin County, Kentucky for a pairing dinner unlike anything Maine has ever seen.

The April event, the last Winter Passport pairing dinner in a series that runs at The Causeway Restaurant from November, was a beautiful night, a gathering both wild and refined. With seven courses of barbecue delights crafted by Executive Chef Gil Plaster, the dinner was as slow as a Texas brisket and as saucy as Carolina pulled pork. From the gallery to the deck, there was a collective uplifting, as guests toasted their good fortune to be part of something so shimmering and special. 

The restaurant opened the floor to host Master Blender, Drew Mayville, who guided us through pour after pour (after pour). It was educational and delicious to decipher the pleasure of each carefully crafted sip. With each course, subtle flavors and tasting notes were revealed; the whiskey complemented its paired food perfectly, sweet balancing spicy, smoky offsetting rich, with a sensual progression that could not have been built anywhere but The Causeway Restaurant at Clark Island. 

(photo credit: tide to pine creative)

Canva Design DAGFOrhC2sQ













Get Into the Spirit During a Craignair Inn Getaway

The Causeway Bar is a gathering place for kindred spirits, with a convivial vibe and prevailing sense of adventure. There you will meet afficionados with vast stores of knowledge and neophytes just learning what makes a rye distinct from bourbon, Irish whiskey different than Scotch, and why age matters. If you are curious about whiskey, come in. The cozy seaside setting The Causeway Bar fosters is the ideal jumping off point to start tasting. While one could certainly be academic about the pursuit of fine whiskey, its history and evolution, it's an experiential education that broadens the mind and heightens the senses. Start tasting; discover what you like; drink the whiskey that speaks to your soul. Consider this preview a small taste of what The Causeway Bar has on offer. Just last week a new bottle from Taiwan arrived, to the delight and surprise of many. 

Aged and Ready to Sip

Let's travel together around the world, to the places some of the most glorious whiskeys are made. From Canada, Lock Stock and Barrel is a rye old enough to order its own rye. Head to Ireland for a pour of Bushmills 16 or 21 year. Representing Scotland, there is a very fine Lagavulin 16 Year Islay rounding out the list. 

The Ageless

We think James Joyce would approve of the Writer's Tears Red Head from Ireland. Sojourn to Japan with glass of Nikka Single Barrel. Or make it a double with Johnnie Walker Blue from Scotland, of course. 

The Wicked Hard to Find

These domestic bottles will transport you to the American South, the Wild West, and even at least one label from our northern neighbor, Vermont. Whistle Pig is fabulous. Kentucky Owl Confiscated Release is a delight. And there's a Knob Creek that will knock your socks off. 

The Really Good Stuff

Are you a fan of Stranahans out of Colorado? Their Anejo Cask Whiskey is very special. Do you prefer to drink local? We've got a bottle from Split Rock, just down Route 1 in Newcastle, Maine, that we think you will adore. And the Eagle Rare 17 year is not to be missed!

Stuff Available Only at The Causeway (we think)

At the top of the menu, your eyes will alight on Heaven's Door Bootleg Edition V, a Tennessee whiskey that will have you quoting Bob Dylan or Dylan Thomas. Elmer Lee Single Barrel is so good you won't believe it. And Blood Oath, Pact 8 from Kentucky is a favorite of our pals at Daint's Place, the Maine island speakeasy where entire weekends get lost at sea. 

We don't want to ruin the surprise, but these are some really choice bottles; some you have to see for yourself to believe. 


The Craignair Inn by the Sea: Your Luxurious Bed-and-Breakfast and Whiskey Bar

Book a guest room at The Craignair Inn by the Sea for an all-encompassing Maine vacation, where natural resources meet civilized, epicurean experiences.