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Claire Jeffers

Claire Jeffers is a freelance writer living in Portland, Maine. Follow her on Twitter: @claireeats

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Posted: December 1, 2015

An extensive selection of Scotch whisky – plus music, trivia & events – at Bull Feeney’s in Portland

Written by: Claire Jeffers
A sampling of the extensive whisky selection to be had at Bull Feeney’s. Claire Jeffers photo

A sampling of the extensive whisky selection to be had at Bull Feeney’s. Claire Jeffers photo

Bull Feeney’s in Portland’s Old Port will turn 14 in a few months, and “new” seems to be how this authentic Irish pub stays in business in a city with an ever-growing number of restaurants.

Housed in a building that was constructed after the Great Fire of 1866, Bull Feeney’s looks and feels old, which is all part of its charm. The original gothic windows frame the upstairs dining hall, and virtually everywhere you look, whether it’s the exposed brick, arched walkways, or creaky wood flooring, this pub is seeping with Portland history.

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Best known for its varied entertainment schedule, featuring daily live music, and regular events like the “Geeks Who Drink” quiz night, comedy showcase, poetry slams and storytelling nights, this 244-seater (475 standing capacity) pub hall is bouncing with something new every single day. Not an easy feat.

While new and daily entertainment seems to be at the heart of Bull Feeney’s success, that’s only scratching the surface. You can spend hours here entranced in a live music session, but did you know this is where you’ll also find Maine’s (and potentially northern New England’s) most extensive selection of single malt Scotch whisky?

Tim Greenway/Press Herald file photo

Tim Greenway/Press Herald file photo

Bull Feeney’s features 102 single malt Scotch whiskys, 36 Irish whiskeys, 33 bourbons, two Japanese whiskys and one French. The bottles are prominently displayed behind the downstairs bar, and the bartenders are not only conversant with the selection, but enthusiastic to get patrons to try something new. Although some of the whiskies can be expensive ($33 a shot), the bar menu is being revamped to offer drams, or .75-ounce shots, in addition to the current ounce and a half option. This will make the robust selection more accessible, and aims to get more people in not just for entertainment and food, but to sample the goldmine of whisky options.

Studded with holiday decorations just a few days before Thanksgiving this year – holly and lights border the bar, a Christmas tree shines brightly upstairs – Bull Feeney’s is an excellent place to spend your holiday weekends this year. Check the pub’s Facebook page for the updated entertainment schedule, and call over to see if they carry your new favorite bottle of Scotch – there’s a good chance they do.


375 Fore St., Portland | 207-773-7210 |
HOURS: 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily; happy hour 4 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday
AMENITIES: Daily entertainment and events, copious seating, holiday decorations, superb service, wood burning stove, elevator, music stage
PARKING: On-street
BOTTOM LINE: Open for nearly 14 years, Bull Feeney’s is an authentic Irish pub and restaurant known for its daily entertainment, particularly live music and quiz games and competitions. The pub serves local craft beer, as well as imported brews, and features Maine’s most extensive selection of single malt Scotch whiskies. This is the place to spend your holiday weekends, both for the pub fare, as well as the fun atmosphere. It’s hard to go wrong at Bull Feeney’s.

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