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ipourbourbon
03-22-2007, 11:51
I work at a bar in DC and I am currious as to what the best bottle you have found in a bar is?

tmas
03-22-2007, 13:11
I work at a bar in DC and I am currious as to what the best bottle you have found in a bar is?

While I've never found anything really exotic in a bar, bars were instrumental in fostering my bourbon obsession. One of the first really impressive bourbons I had was Baker's which I had in a chain restaurant. They had a display of bourbons that looked nice and I couldn't think of what to order so I ordered a Baker's neat with ice on the side. Really impressed me and got my attention so I followed it up with my 1st Booker's which was great too! The rest is obsessive history!
Other rather nice bourbons I met in a bar for the 1st time are Rock Hill Farms, Blanton's & E. Craig 12. Tom V

cowdery
03-22-2007, 15:09
I had a pour of Wild Turkey Tribute at a bar in Brooklyn. Come to find out later it was a Jimmy Russell signed bottle that the owner didn't want opened (then why did the fool put it on the back bar?) and he fired the bartender for opening it.

On that same trip, I was pleasantly surprised to find A. H. Hirsch 16-year-old gold foil at the Jazz at Lincoln Center night club (which isn't at Lincoln Center).

TBoner
03-22-2007, 15:15
I haven't had too many great bourbons at bars, as most bars don't seem keen on providing a pour neat, though the Beam small-batch collection is most everywhere. However, at a jazz club in Chicago last week I had a very generous pour of Lot B served to me in a snifter. My first pour of that whiskey. I'll be buying a bottle. Soon.

camduncan
03-22-2007, 16:05
Old Rip Van Winkle 13yo Rye, Blantons Single Barrel and some Rye that I can't remember the name of, as well as Stagg, Sazerac and several others at The Bowery Bar in Brisbane.....
This bar by far leads the way for hard to find bourbon selection in Australia..

http://www.thebowery.com.au/drinks.2.html

ratcheer
03-22-2007, 16:44
I had Pappy 20-year old and Rock Hill Farms at a bar in Atlanta, but that was several years ago. That bar had a lot of very nice pours.

Tim

SBOmarc
03-22-2007, 17:38
Blanton's, RR 101 and Old Charter PR at the Mission Inn here in Riverside.

Old Pogue ( by accident ) according to the owner. When that is gone there will be no more.

OscarV
03-22-2007, 17:47
The Tavern in Bardstown KY. I had Pappy 20 and WT Rare Breed. And they have a lot of others, if you can't find one you like at The Tavern then you don't like bourbon.

brian12069
03-22-2007, 19:58
Pappy 20 is the best bourbon I have ever tried at a bar. You ready for this???...the bartender gave it to me for the ever low price of....free.

ILLfarmboy
03-22-2007, 20:22
Booker's and WT RB.

I once had a pour of Booker' in a bar/restaurant called Sneaky Pete's Cowboy Steaks, in Le Claire, Iowa. A very healthy pour alongside a 14 oz. 'wood fired' ribeye. The meat had a definite campfire flavor quite different from the Kingsford charcoal I usually use at home. Anyone who has cooked over wood coals knows what I'm talking about. It went soooo well with the Booker's I almost felt guilty.

CrispyCritter
03-22-2007, 22:26
I once had a pour of Booker' in a bar/restaurant called Sneaky Pete's Cowboy Steaks, in Le Claire, Iowa.

*makes note to self*

Dang, I drove through Le Claire last summer - and didn't even know what I missed.

On the other hand, last September I had the opportunity to take a steam train trip from the Quad Cities to Iowa City and back. They offered coach, first class, and premium tickets - I took first class, and it included some nice meals and beer as part of the package.

Atalissa, IA, Sept. 15, 2006 (picture taken by yours truly) (http://crispycritter.cc/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=208)

jspero
03-29-2007, 04:57
The best I've been able to find out my way is the standard WT and JB White. I went to a particularly good restaurant in Westminster last month and asked what kind of bourbon they had. The waiter responded "Any kind you can think of". Right. I asked for Eagle Rare thinking there was a least a CHANCE they had it. They had (you guessed it) WT and JB White (and JD which they thought was bourbon). Maybe that's all anyone else up here can think of?

Jay

ILLfarmboy
03-29-2007, 20:09
[quote=TBoner;84818]I haven't had too many great bourbons at bars, as most bars don't seem keen on providing a pour neat...quote]

Do you mean they were reluctant to serve it to you that way? And what was their reasoning? I've ran into a lot of ignorance regarding the word 'neat' but I've never been told I couldn't have it any old way I wanted it.

full_proof
03-29-2007, 20:46
[quote=TBoner;84818]I haven't had too many great bourbons at bars, as most bars don't seem keen on providing a pour neat...quote]

Do you mean they were reluctant to serve it to you that way? And what was their reasoning? I've ran into a lot of ignorance regarding the word 'neat' but I've never been told I couldn't have it any old way I wanted it.

I've experienced the same level of ignorance. I've ordered bourbon neat only to get it watered down with ice :hot: . If I try to send it back I receive blank stares as if I'm rude or haughty. Most of the time (and no disrespect to youth) it's some underling at the bar with no clue, armed with some software on a PC with instructions on how to mix drinks--the ingredients and description for which he/she usually lacks comprehensive knowledge (yes, boys and girls, fine bourbon is complicated :lol: ). Reasoning? I've suspected the slight was from (1) trying to stretch profits from selling watered-down (mixed) drinks; or possibly (2) dram shop liability concerns about serving a customer straight bourbon. Who knows? Let's solve this problem now and open our own bar on the Gulf of Mexico! :cool:

TBoner
03-29-2007, 20:55
Well, a lot of Dallas bars are about the young, single woman. My wife is a young, attractive woman who enjoys bourbon straight, on the rocks, w/ginger ale, etc. But the assumption is that women want a Cosmopolitan or other vodka and sugar cocktail. At any rate, it's all about chicks here.
So, when it comes to guys, there's not a big emphasis on providing what you want. And bartenders seem intent on belittling guys in bars. For instance, the other night, my wife ordered a Sazerac and (at my suggestion) called her whiskey. The bartender laughed at me for suggesting a particular whiskey, but poured it. He was stunned she actually liked it (or stunned I/she knew what to request). Another time, at a pricey uptown bar, I asked what whiskeys were available. The bartender said, "We don't have whiskey. But we have bourbon." He then offered Jack Daniel's.
The point I'm making, I guess, is I don't always get what I ask for. I'm never told "no," it's just many waiters and bartenders don't get it because it's not what they're used to. For instance, I once got a whiskey with water, then on the rocks, and finally neat (2 wasted pours!:rolleyes:), when I asked for it neat in the first place.
That tendency, coupled with the fact that the whisk(e)ys generally offered are JD and (if you're lucky) Maker's Mark is what leads me to say most places don't seem keen on pouring neat. That said, Dallas has some terrific places to drink whiskey, if you know where to look. And it's generally not in the ritzier, trendy places. The best pours in town are actually at a place that I always thought was just a dive on a neglected street.

So no, no one has been reluctant to give me what I want. They just don't know what the hell I want when I ask for it. And they may or may not be able to figure it out and provide it.

ILLfarmboy
03-29-2007, 21:30
Well, a lot of Dallas bars are about the young, single woman. My wife is a young, attractive woman who enjoys bourbon straight, on the rocks, w/ginger ale, etc. But the assumption is that women want a Cosmopolitan or other vodka and sugar cocktail. At any rate, it's all about chicks here.
So, when it comes to guys, there's not a big emphasis on providing what you want. And bartenders seem intent on belittling guys in bars. For instance, the other night, my wife ordered a Sazerac and (at my suggestion) called her whiskey. The bartender laughed at me for suggesting a particular whiskey, but poured it. He was stunned she actually liked it (or stunned I/she knew what to request). Another time, at a pricey uptown bar, I asked what whiskeys were available. The bartender said, "We don't have whiskey. But we have bourbon." He then offered Jack Daniel's.
The point I'm making, I guess, is I don't always get what I ask for. I'm never told "no," it's just many waiters and bartenders don't get it because it's not what they're used to. For instance, I once got a whiskey with water, then on the rocks, and finally neat (2 wasted pours!:rolleyes:), when I asked for it neat in the first place.
That tendency, coupled with the fact that the whisk(e)ys generally offered are JD and (if you're lucky) Maker's Mark is what leads me to say most places don't seem keen on pouring neat. That said, Dallas has some terrific places to drink whiskey, if you know where to look. And it's generally not in the ritzier, trendy places. The best pours in town are actually at a place that I always thought was just a dive on a neglected street.

So no, no one has been reluctant to give me what I want. They just don't know what the hell I want when I ask for it. And they may or may not be able to figure it out and provide it.


Maybe its a Midwestern thing but most of the small town bars around here are probably 70% men (frustrating back in my single days). Night clubs in bigger towns like Peoria and the Illinois/Iowa Quad Cities area are a more 50/50 mix. I have never, even in my early twenties when I could have passed for a high school freshman, been belittled by a bartender/waitstaff member. I find that unconscionable! I've gotten poor service as a result of laziness or ignorance but never belligerence. We of course have "lady's night" etc. But bartenders don't snub the male clientèle. (that's just shocking!)

Cultural expectations do come into play but it's not unusual for women here to order "Jack and Cokes" etc. When my wife and I eat out and she orders a beer when I order an Iced tea or water sometimes the waiter/waitress will set the beer in front of me.

wingnut73
03-30-2007, 04:53
I was out with my wife last weekend at "The Bristol" here in Louisville and had a glass of Pappy 20 yr old. It was excellent, but a little pricey. They have a pretty good selection of bourbon in their bar. That is all.

Joe

Str8RYE
03-30-2007, 10:14
I'm reposting this from another thread. It still holds true IMHO now as it did last year. To all the people who haven't read and in turn think most bartenders are stupid please read in with an open mind.

Thanks




Quote:
Originally Posted by Str8RYE http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/red2black/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?p=65111#post65111)
Variety is the spice of life. I bartend and I watch everybody here rip bartenders because they make crappy whiskey drinks. :shocked: If I make 1 whiskey cocktail to 100 non whiskey cocktails a night, I would say I'm being nice to whiskey. I work at a trendy club and its the best $$ by far for a bartender. I've worked at classy restaurants and local bars, maybe the ratio there was 1 out of 50 cocktails were whiskey drinks. All the people I work with are 20 somethings and they all have a ton of shooters and cocktails in their catalog. They are all very good bartenders BUT they know almost nothing about whiskey.:bigeyes: Heres the thing now, it just doesn't matter anymore. We (us bourbon drinkers) are a tiny group in the world of bars and clubs. If you dint believe me, go to every bar and rest. in your area , even your local liquor store and look at the selection of whiskey. We are in a free-market and if it sold it would be there, wouldn't it. I can find every vodka everywhere I go because it sells.
I'm the goto guy when it comes to whiskey with my crew but I don't look down on them because the owner of the bars and rest. could care less about whiskey drinkers when vodka and rum cocktails and shooters make them a fortune as it is. WOW did I go off on a tangent. Heres my point. Whiskey cocktails aren't the craze We ( us whiskey nuts here) think they are. When you go to a bar or rest. most every bartender will never frown upon a guest teaching them a new cocktail and how to make it. Instead of looking down on the bartender because he doesn't know our version of a whiskey cocktail we love, stop and tell him how you would like it made.


Steve

cowdery
03-30-2007, 15:55
Good point which is, in a nutshell, get real. In a perfect world, every bartender in every bar would have a wealth of knowledge about every product they serve. In the real world, they're bartenders, not pharmacists.

If you are a whiskey drinker, the best way to get the best possible drink in a bar is to do the following.

First, get your drink yourself at the bar. Don't rely on a server to convey your instructions correctly.

Second, survey the back bar yourself to determine what's available. Don't rely on either the server or bartender to give you an accurate list of the American straight whiskeys on offer.

Third, talking directly to the bartender and knowing what is available, give your order with all the specificity necessary to get what you want. Don't hesitate to specify the glassware and additives.

I usually order my drink neat with water back or on-the-rocks, but specifying "go light on the rocks." This usually works. If the bar tender doesn't seem to know what "neat" means, I don't hesitate to say, "just pour it into a glass and give me a glass of ice water separately," or words to that effect. When you start getting specific, most bartenders will take the bait and ask you any additional questions necessary to get you what you want, type of glassware, for example.

Another tip. If any of the servers are wearing shooter belts, order a beer (or change bars).

TBoner
03-30-2007, 15:56
Umm..I don't see where I said bartenders were/are stupid. I just said that in Dallas, I often don't see bourbon on the menu or don't get what I ask for.

I understand I'm in a very small subset of drinkers, and I don't want to hijack the thread, but I don't think asking for a neat whiskey is a complex order. I also don't see where it's the bartender's place to laugh at me for calling my whiskey when it's right in front of me on the back bar. My comments were not a critique of bartenders generally, but of bars in Dallas.

Clearly, you took personal offense to a comment about a (as in one) bartender you don't know.

cowdery
03-30-2007, 16:02
Special reply to TBoner: I think you may need to reassess the bars you patronize. If a bartender ever mocked me for any reason I would either have a talk with the manager (if I really liked the place otherwise) or stop patronizing the place altogether. My personal experience with bartenders, which is considerable, is that 99 out of 100 will do whatever they can to give the customer what he or she wants. I've never experienced or observed a bartender belittling a patron under any circumstances. If this is a regular experience for you, I can't explain that, but it is completely outside my experience. And I have experience drinking in Dallas.

Stu
03-30-2007, 16:18
I rarely drink in bars. I have a much better selection here at home (including glassware). When I do go to a bar (usually at a professional meeting or some other social function) I look over the selection of whisky and glassware and say something like "pour some .... in that small brandy snifter and give me a large glass of ice water back'. For me that has worked almost every time. This also usually results in a larger pour because 1 oz. looks like nothing in a snifter or a tulip shaped wine glass. Now that I've said that, it probably won't work any more. As to selection, I've never been in a place where I couldn't find something to satisfy my appetite.

TBoner
03-30-2007, 16:27
Chuck,

You're right. This particular bar has been scratched off my list, and the proprietor knows about my experience. And I do think most bartenders do what they can to help clientele. In fact, I stated in an earlier post that Dallas has great places to drink whiskey, if you know where to look. And it's not a regular experience for me to be belittled. I just told the story as an illustration of the wider truth that I don't often get a good pour of bourbon neat in any of the "upscale" or trendy bars here in town because it isn't available. I was in a bar the other night with nine different vodka brands (some in varying proofs and/or flavors) and three American whiskeys...and I ordered a beer.

But,

Tipperary Inn
Old Monk
Louie's
Whiskey Bar
Libertine
Idle Rich
Greenville Bar & Grill
Dubliner
Stan's Blue Note
The W

and a host of others provide great whiskey and ambience to boot.

I didn't mean to ruffle any feathers. But I won't back off saying that a good pour of good whiskey the way you want it is the exception and not the rule here.
And I have more experience than I should drinking in Dallas.;)

ILLfarmboy
03-30-2007, 19:40
Good point which is, in a nutshell, get real. In a perfect world, every bartender in every bar would have a wealth of knowledge about every product they serve. In the real world, they're bartenders, not pharmacists.

If you are a whiskey drinker, the best way to get the best possible drink in a bar is to do the following.

First, get your drink yourself at the bar. Don't rely on a server to convey your instructions correctly.

Second, survey the back bar yourself to determine what's available. Don't rely on either the server or bartender to give you an accurate list of the American straight whiskeys on offer.

Third, talking directly to the bartender and knowing what is available, give your order with all the specificity necessary to get what you want. Don't hesitate to specify the glassware and additives.

I usually order my drink neat with water back or on-the-rocks, but specifying "go light on the rocks." This usually works. If the bar tender doesn't seem to know what "neat" means, I don't hesitate to say, "just pour it into a glass and give me a glass of ice water separately," or words to that effect. When you start getting specific, most bartenders will take the bait and ask you any additional questions necessary to get you what you want, type of glassware, for example.

Another tip. If any of the servers are wearing shooter belts, order a beer (or change bars).


I know I probably complain about bartenders more than I should. It is a lot to expect one person to keep up with all the trendy cocktails (which is what most people order) and at the same time be versed in all the classics. Most bartenders are young and youth alone accounts for a lot of the ignorance I see. I don't mean that as a pejorative. Inexperience and ignorance is not shameful. On this point I can sympathize with young bartenders especially, but on the other hand when I go to other businesses say like the Dairy Queen I don't expect to have to teach the girl behind the counter how to make a Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard.

Its not always possible to survey the back bar. Recently I ordered an Old Fashioned at the bar in a Ruby Tuesday. The bar was L shaped. All seats were taken on the side with the bourbon and other whiskeys on the back bar. Also a crowd of people were taking up space behind the seats on that side.

In a noisy night club when the bartender(s) are rushing about and there is a line of other costumers behind you, it's not the best time to teach 'em how to make a proper Manhattan. In fact as soon as you say: I'll have a X they are off (oftentimes now out of earshot) making their version of what they think a X is, before you can add any further instructions.

My experience in bars, restaurants and nightclubs has been mixed but generally good. When bar staff are not pressed for time and the crowd is light that is the best time to ask for a classic cocktail that may take some explaining.

smokinjoe
03-31-2007, 10:48
My experience is that it's iffy ordering something "neat". Probably 50/50 the waitress or bartender knows what that means. I have no idea why the problem, but it's there. So, I've gone to "straight up--no ice". It's a little redundant, but short and to the point. Batting pretty much a thousand with that one. Had to use a baseball reference, as Opening Day is right around the corner. :woohoo:

JOE

ThomasH
03-31-2007, 22:33
I don't really drink much when we go out to eat. I hate paying some jacked up price for a mixed drink made with an ordinary, dull whiskey. I have yet to find a bar/restaurant in my area with a selection of bourbon that even comes remotely close to my home bar. Most don't even touch my home bar as far as whiskey selection period, no matter what type. My wife used to get mad at me for buying some of the more expensive bottles I have until I pointed out that even though she might pay 3.00 for a beer in a bar, she still ends up with a Bud Light. That same 3.00 gets a great drink of whiskey at home!

Thomas

cowdery
03-31-2007, 23:33
So, you're charging your wife for drinks at home? Great idea!

Edward_call_me_Ed
03-31-2007, 23:35
Here in Sapporo, good service is the rule and I get exceptional service more often than I get poor service. Selection is another matter. A restaurant may have only one or two Japanese whiskies a cheap one and maybe another middle shelf one. They may have one bourbon, Early Times or JBW. I have to order very clearly if I want my whiskey to arrive neat. "Neat, no ice, no water." Often they will bring me a beaker of water and a tub of ice on the side.

One nice custom here is called 'bottle keep.' You buy the bottle and they put your name on it. Thereafter, when you visit that establishment, you only have to ask for your bottle. I have a bottle of Early Times Bourbon at one place I go to regularly. I hadn't drunk much of it before, but it is really starting to grow on me.

The places that have a good selection usually have a great selection. My favorite place has Pappy 20, WT 12, Eagle Rare 13 year old, Elijah Craig, both the 12 and the 18 year old, Black Maple Hill, I don't know what age, Noah's Mill, Blanton's, Old Fitzgerald 12 year old, OGD 114, and a number of other middle shelf bourbons. Their scotch selection is very good, too. I get great pours in nice glassware and they sometimes shave a bit off the bill, too.

Ed

TBoner
04-01-2007, 06:37
The places that have a good selection usually have a great selection. My favorite place has Pappy 20, WT 12, Eagle Rare 13 year old, Elijah Craig, both the 12 and the 18 year old, Black Maple Hill, I don't know what age, Noah's Mill, Blanton's, Old Fitzgerald 12 year old, OGD 114, and a number of other middle shelf bourbons. There scotch selection is very good, too. I get great pours in nice glassware and they sometimes shave a bit off the bill, too.

Ed

By the beard of Zeus! I would fall over dead from joy if I saw that collection sitting on a back bar...or even on my liquor store shelf.

ThomasH
04-01-2007, 07:43
So, you're charging your wife for drinks at home? Great idea!

I don't charge my wife for drinks at home. I'm sure I could make some good bucks doing this in the short term, until the bills from some divorce lawyers started rolling in!

Thomas

Brennan77
04-06-2007, 08:52
Most of the better restaurants here in New Orleans have pretty darned good whisky selections. And judging by some of your reports, they are great selections. Of course the Bourbon House has a fairly comprehensive list. Drago's also has a nice shelf the last time I was there. Another one that comes to mind is Clancy's. As I recall, I spent a considerable few moments deciding on what I wanted there. Also, I've never had a problem getting a neat pour in a snifter. Then again, I always clearly spell out what I want, assuming bourbon ignorance is the rule. It's not meant to be rude or condescending, I would just rather get exactly what I want the first time around.

Edward_call_me_Ed
04-06-2007, 09:02
Most of the better restaurants here in New Orleans have pretty darned good whisky selections.

The place in Sapporo that I was talking about styles itself as a New Orleans bar. It is called Buddy Buddy.

I know other places that have very good selections, another that has a back bar full of rarities but the prices aren't as good. The big hotels have a good selection of upper middle to top shelf bourbons, and of course scotch, but the prices are sky high and the pours are dinky.

Ed

ILLfarmboy
05-28-2007, 13:13
I thought it might be interesting to post a link http://www.copiamartini.com/index.html to the bar with the best selection I have come across in my area. Actually, it's a 40 minute drive. Here is their list of bourbons:
• Blantons - $10.50
• Bookers - $11.50
• Evan Williams Single Barrel - $10.00
• Jack DanielsSingle Barrel - $7.50
• Knob Creek - $5.75
• Makers Mark - $4.50
• Woodford Reserve - $9.50
• Wild Turkey Rare Breed - $12.75
• Basil Hayden - $7.75
• Bakers - $8.75

Not listed on their web site, but I know they carry the ubiquitous JD Black label, JB White and WT 101. No JB Black though, at least not the last time I was there several months ago.

They bill themselves as a retro-rat pack kind of joint. One of the few places you can ask for your bourbon neat in a snifter (and no one bats an eye) or a well made Manhattan. You do have to specifically request bitters, though. Prices aren't too bad and pours are always quite large, especially if you ask for it in a snifter. They use fairly large ones and fill to the proper level laying the glass on it's side and pouring up to the lip.

You can order a number of wines by the glass or the bottle. They have a nitrogen preservation system (at least that is what I think it is) for open bottles which are placed in a glass display as part of the back bar. It's really as swanky a place as your gonna find out here in the pucker brush.

If you check out their 'martini menu' the no#2 called a Dino is really a Manhattan made with Makers without the bitters. Perhaps we should start calling Manhattans bourbontinis. Maybe they would become wildly popular with the trendy croud.:grin:

TBoner
05-28-2007, 20:23
I was in Minneapolis this weekend at the Four Points Sheraton. I stopped into the hotel bar expecting, well, not much. Two great microbrews on tap, scanning for more, nothing, nothing, but there, hidden behind overpriced vodka, I spotted WTRB. It was a dusty bottle, WT-01-99, and hadn't been opened. I had two pours, about 3-4 fingers each, for $6.25 apiece. It was my first taste of that batch of Rare Breed. It's not as complex as the current stuff, but still very good, rich, whiskey. And inexpensive at this bar.

Russellc
05-29-2007, 11:06
I work at a bar in DC and I am currious as to what the best bottle you have found in a bar is?
Bar at Trezo-Mare restraunt in KC. Pappy 20, eagle rare 17, I havent tripped those guys up yet! While not bourbon, they even have louie tre in there!

russellc

ggilbertva
05-29-2007, 11:43
I would be curious to know which Bar in D.C. ipourbourbon works. There are two Bars in DC that specialize in Bourbon and Whisky. First is a restaurant/bar callled Bourbon and on the menu are a number of out of production and hard to find selections, for instance:

Wild Turkey Tribute (US release)
Wild Turkey 17 year
ORVW 15 year
ORVW 10 year
Hirsch 16 year
Hirsch 20 year
Pappy 15, 20 & 23
WTKS
Wathens
Bakers
Bookers
EWSB various years
OFBB various years
Old Fitz
Weller Antique.......
etc, etc.

The bar has an extensive menu but there may be items that are out of stock. For instance, I asked for ORVW 15 and they said it was on back order. I commented that it isn't made any more. The bar tender smiled and said "oh, we know where to get more".

The other bar in D.C. is Old Glory and they claim 80 different bourbons on the menu. I haven't seen it yet so can't say what they have.

mgilbertva
05-29-2007, 20:09
At Bourbon in Washington D.C. (Adams Morgan branch), 3 of us dropped by one night recently. I tried the Michter's 10yr Rye Whiskey and Pure Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey XO 10yr. Loved 'em both, although the Michter's was very woody.

At Serafini in Frankfort, KN (recommended by the BT people) I tried the William Larue Weller, Thomas Handy Sazerac, and A. H. Hirsch 16 YO (gold foil, I think).

I had the Handy with their braised pork shank. Amazing combo.

Both of them are great places.

mgilbertva
05-29-2007, 20:29
Now I would like to offer some thoughts on the sub-threads.

Bartenders: it's a profession and there's bartenders out there that treat it as such. However, they're hard to find and most restaurants (chains, in particular) do not, as a rule, pay the true professionals better than the rookies. So, the motivation to know your craft might not be as strong in the typical restaurant as it is for some in many other professions.

That being said, there's no excuse for the following:



Another time, at a pricey uptown bar, I asked what whiskeys were available. The bartender said, "We don't have whiskey. But we have bourbon." He then offered Jack Daniel's
[...]
I once got a whiskey with water, then on the rocks, and finally neat (2 wasted pours!:rolleyes:), when I asked for it neat in the first place.

The management is just as much at fault in this scenario as the hourly employees for not training them correctly or for even hiring them in the first place. This is not a place that takes their job seriously, unless this was an exception because, e.g., the main staff called out and they had no one else to use except untrained substitutes. So, no, that is not a complex order and it should be handled with the same knowledge you expect when you go to your mechanic and ask him to put 10-30 weight oil in the car.

So why don't more bars carry a decent whiskey selection? Steve had it right:


Quote: Originally Posted by Str8RYE http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/red2black/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?p=65111#post65111)
We are in a free-market and if it sold it would be there, wouldn't it. I can find every vodka everywhere I go because it sells.

I work at a high-end steak house and handle the liquor ordering. Gray Goose vodka alone outsells all whiskeys combined, rail and top shelf.

Friends, we are in a small, and if I may say so, elite minority. (The elite part helps me feel better about my clearly deranged commitment to and expenditures for bourbon :grin:).

ILLfarmboy
05-30-2007, 20:12
Now I would like to offer some thoughts on the sub-threads.

Bartenders: it's a profession and there's bartenders out there that treat it as such. However, they're hard to find and most restaurants (chains, in particular) do not, as a rule, pay the true professionals better than the rookies. So, the motivation to know your craft might not be as strong in the typical restaurant as it is for some in many other professions.



In my experience which is mostly in my little corner of the world, Northwestern ILL./ Eastern IA most bartenders, whether in restaurants, hotel bars, small town watering holes and nightclubs, though nightclubs to a lesser extent, are mostly young; early to mid 20's. To them it is a job not a craft. A transitional job; something to earn money for school or till they find out what they want to "be when they grow up". Sad but true.

mgilbertva
05-30-2007, 21:56
Well, I wish you luck finding some "real" bartenders out there. I'm fortunate enough to work with a few.

Putting the shoe on the other foot, for a moment, the following is a link to a blog written by a bartender that's hilarious. It's sort-of the mirror image of what we've been complaining about. Very funny and worth a read.

Your Bartender Hates You ... Here's Why (http://dcdrinks.blogspot.com/2006/09/your-bartender-hates-you-heres-why.html)

Pappy's Friend
05-31-2007, 19:53
I had a disappointment a couple of weeks ago at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Houston (my alltime favorite hotel). A buddy and I stopped in the bar to have a drink before dinner. I asked the bar maid what bourbon they had. She responded "what bourbon don't we have?" I asked for any Van Winkle - no go. I then asked for any Weller (yes, I'm partial to wheaters!) - again, no go. I finally settled on Woodford Reserve. What a bummer!

mgilbertva
06-01-2007, 22:57
So apparently you were able to answer her question as to what bourbons they don't carry. Two out of three correct ain't bad. ;)

OscarV
06-02-2007, 06:59
So apparently you were able to answer her question as to what bourbons they don't carry. Two out of three correct ain't bad. ;)

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: good one!

jburlowski
06-03-2007, 15:38
Just came back from a weekend in Louisville... Even though I line in (northern) Kentucky, it was delightful to see a much wider / deeper selection of bourbons at the bars there.

We stayed at the Seelbach Hotel which has an outstanding bar. Some 44+ boubons, including all of the BTAC's and other, harder-to-get pours.

Bob O.
06-04-2007, 15:59
Well, I wish you luck finding some "real" bartenders out there. I'm fortunate enough to work with a few.

Putting the shoe on the other foot, for a moment, the following is a link to a blog written by a bartender that's hilarious. It's sort-of the mirror image of what we've been complaining about. Very funny and worth a read.

Your Bartender Hates You ... Here's Why (http://dcdrinks.blogspot.com/2006/09/your-bartender-hates-you-heres-why.html)



That is funny...

Bob O.
06-04-2007, 16:00
I had a disappointment a couple of weeks ago at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Houston (my alltime favorite hotel). A buddy and I stopped in the bar to have a drink before dinner. I asked the bar maid what bourbon they had. She responded "what bourbon don't we have?" I asked for any Van Winkle - no go. I then asked for any Weller (yes, I'm partial to wheaters!) - again, no go. I finally settled on Woodford Reserve. What a bummer!

Maybe next time she will just politely ask if you were looking for something in particular.

Gillman
06-04-2007, 16:08
That was funny, but then too I think in the end most bartenders, and bar owners, take the good with the less good, as anyone must who works in or owns a business. Customers are the lifeblood of any business, let's face it. I try to be a good customer but I suppose I have my moments too (e.g., when I "note" that a real ale is intended to be served clear, as always in England, its home, and not looking like pigs wrestled it in (not my expression, I admit)). :) It comes with the territory, in other words.

Gary

ILLfarmboy
06-04-2007, 19:46
I once overheard a young man who had aperantly just turned 21 atempt to order "whiskey". The bartender took the time to explain: "we have many types; scotch, bourbon, Canadian, blended. I felt bad for him. It was like a scene out of a movie where a young Amish boy explores the big city. But he wasn't Amish and it wasn't a big city.

BourbonJoe
06-05-2007, 07:05
We stayed at the Seelbach Hotel which has an outstanding bar. Some 44+ boubons, including all of the BTAC's and other, harder-to-get pours.

The Seelbach has a nice bar but cigar smoking is not allowed. I won't be back no matter how many bourbons they have.
Joe :usflag:

boone
06-05-2007, 09:35
Here's the selection at Churchill Downs race track (pretty sucky in numbers) There are many bars. They all looked the same.

Smoking is allowed by the track, paddock, parking lot--outside only.

doubleblank
06-05-2007, 09:44
Hey Pappy's Friend.....I've posted many a time here that when in Houston and you want a good bourbon, make it to 10 Downing Street. 10 mins from downtown. Full size cigar store inside the bar. You'll find many Van Winkles, most of the BTAC, WT Tribute, probably at least 50 to 60 different bourbons. Their "whisky" selection is also large. Its at Westheimer and Kirby.

Randy

ggilbertva
06-05-2007, 09:53
Here's the selection at Churchill Downs race track (pretty sucky in numbers) There are many bars. They all looked the same.

Smoking is allowed by the track, paddock, parking lot--outside only.

I like the plastic cups and the bag of peanuts next to the bourbons....very classy.

boone
06-05-2007, 10:06
I like the plastic cups and the bag of peanuts next to the bourbons....very classy.

Hey...When in Kentucky do as the "Kentuckian's" do :lol: :lol: :lol: Cliff was one of "us" this weekend, staying at his "Kentucky home"... A friend of mine had "special seats" at Chuchill Downs...she invited us to join them for a day of racing at Churchill :grin: :grin: :grin:

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!! We had a great time, but we knew the selection was going to be on the "short" side...we made a few "adjustments"...

Here a shot of our "Kentucky style bar" :grin: :grin:

Note the "strip stamps" on those bottles? :grin: :grin:

ggilbertva
06-05-2007, 11:37
Hey...When in Kentucky do as the "Kentuckian's" do :lol: :lol: :lol: Cliff was one of "us" this weekend, staying at his "Kentucky home"... A friend of mine had "special seats" at Chuchill Downs...she invited us to join them for a day of racing at Churchill :grin: :grin: :grin:

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!! We had a great time, but we knew the selection was going to be on the "short" side...we made a few "adjustments"...

Here a shot of our "Kentucky style bar" :grin: :grin:

Note the "strip stamps" on those bottles? :grin: :grin:

:slappin: :slappin: :slappin: That's awesome. I especially love the sock/pint caddy....very nice. Sounds like you had a great time.

tango-papa
06-05-2007, 13:25
:slappin: :slappin: :slappin: That's awesome. I especially love the sock/pint caddy....very nice. Sounds like you had a great time.

And the only thing missing is a garter strap!:slappin:

boone
06-06-2007, 07:15
:slappin: :slappin: :slappin: That's awesome. I especially love the sock/pint caddy....very nice. Sounds like you had a great time.

Great time is a understatement :grin: :grin: :grin:

Here's a picture of our group in front of the famous "twin spires" :grin: :grin: at Churchill Downs race track :grin:

Cliff's wearing his Bourbonian of the Year 2007 shirt with matching cap and I'm wearing mine!...We represented Straightbourbon.com very well that day!

barturtle
06-06-2007, 08:00
The Seelbach has a nice bar but cigar smoking is not allowed. I won't be back no matter how many bourbons they have.
Joe :usflag:

Come July 1st, all places of business go smokefree in Louisville, this includes bars and restaurants. Everywhere except Churchill and the tobacco plant.

barturtle
06-06-2007, 08:03
Hey...When in Kentucky do as the "Kentuckian's" do :lol: :lol: :lol: Cliff was one of "us" this weekend, staying at his "Kentucky home"... A friend of mine had "special seats" at Chuchill Downs...she invited us to join them for a day of racing at Churchill :grin: :grin: :grin:

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!! We had a great time, but we knew the selection was going to be on the "short" side...we made a few "adjustments"...

Here a shot of our "Kentucky style bar" :grin: :grin:

Note the "strip stamps" on those bottles? :grin: :grin:

Don't tell me you were there on Sat! I was there Sat! Millionaire's Row (not all it's cracked up to be, though the air-con is nice)

boone
06-06-2007, 13:13
We were there Sunday afternoon...Guests of the "Mayor" :grin: :grin:


Don't tell me you were there on Sat! I was there Sat! Millionaire's Row (not all it's cracked up to be, though the air-con is nice)

Barrel_Proof
06-06-2007, 14:54
We were there Sunday afternoon...Guests of the "Mayor" :grin: :grin:

We did indeed have a great time. It's always great to hang out with the Boones and the Cecils!

Our pre-tamper proof, strip stamp bottles for the day were an Old Heaven Hill BIB and an Old Fitzgerald Prime.

You gotta do this pony thing right, you know. :cool:

ggilbertva
06-11-2007, 09:24
We did indeed have a great time. It's always great to hang out with the Boones and the Cecils!

Our pre-tamper proof, strip stamp bottles for the day were an Old Heaven Hill BIB and an Old Fitzgerald Prime.

You gotta do this pony thing right, you know. :cool:

Cliff,

Was the Prime the 80 or 90 proof?

Joeluka
06-11-2007, 11:11
Cliff,

Was the Prime the 80 or 90 proof?

I have two Primes that are 86.8 proof and one thats just 86. Boy they had trouble making up their minds.

mier
06-11-2007, 12:15
In Holland Jack D and 4 roses are the most common American whiskeys luckely in my hometown is a well equipped bar with over 300 sms and a great choice of American/Canadian brands;BT,old Pogue,4 roses single barrel,Pappy van Winkle 15 yo&20 yo,Blanton etc.etc.My favorite is Pappy van Winkle 15 yo:drink:.Eric.

ggilbertva
06-13-2007, 05:55
I have two Primes that are 86.8 proof and one thats just 86. Boy they had trouble making up their minds.

Hmmm....I guess they did. I've recently come across two Primes; one at 80 and another at 90. I haven't tried either one but some responses I've received from my posts indicate the 90 is very nice. I picked up another Prime 80 last Sat but left two whole cases behind. I want to try it before I pick up any more.

Joe - if you've tried them, what are your impressions? Also, what's the UPC on the back or your bottle(s)? I have 1 1.75L with 88508 and some 500's with the same number. The one I picked up on Sat has 88076.

adirondack
06-25-2007, 02:05
I had my first pour of Old Charter PR at the bar 9 Maple in downtown Saratoga Springs (which also has the best top shelf and bourbon selection in the entire state of New York).

scopenut
06-25-2007, 14:03
I recently returned from a short trip to Charleston, S.C. At the Embassy Suites where I was staying, I notice the hotel bar served liquor only in miniatures. I asked the BT why, and he thought it was an old restriction that was instituted to ensure the quality and quantity of a pour.

A bonus was that they had both Knob Creek and Booker's in the mini's. A sight for sore eyes.

-Kevin

TNbourbon
06-25-2007, 15:26
I recently returned from a short trip to Charleston, S.C. At the Embassy Suites where I was staying, I notice the hotel bar served liquor only in miniatures. I asked the BT why, and he thought it was an old restriction that was instituted to ensure the quality and quantity of a pour.

A bonus was that they had both Knob Creek and Booker's in the mini's. A sight for sore eyes.

-Kevin

That bartender must be a little behind the times -- or is trying to use up a backlog of minis previously stocked. South Carolina approved 'free pours' during the November 2006 election, effective this past January. Earlier this month, I had a very generous taste of Midleton Very Rare, poured from a full-sized bottled, in North Myrtle Beach.
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Quirks/2005/12/30/s_carolina_dumps_minibottles/2368/

mgilbertva
06-25-2007, 18:50
I've never had the Middleton. I'd be interested to read your impressions.

TNbourbon
06-25-2007, 21:07
I've never had the Middleton. I'd be interested to read your impressions.

Note that this is based on a three-week-old memory, but I found it much fruitier than I'd found in other Irish. Think Juicy Fruit gum, though subtler. Caramel and vanilla, too, and very easy to drink.
There is a retailer locally who has a bottle priced reasonably for the label, and my sampling did nothing to knock it off my 'things to try/buy' list.

mgilbertva
06-25-2007, 22:06
Sounds like an unusual taste profile for an Irish.

What usually holds me back from buying Irish Whiskeys - including Middleton - is a triple distilled whiskey just is not as interesting. For my taste I like the increased flavor from double distillations.

bigtoys
06-26-2007, 23:35
On vacation in Napa Valley, so I'm sticking to wine this week. Went over to a restaurant called Redd in Yountville for dessert and they had an incredible bar: Pappy 20 was $24, more than Don Julio 1942. They also had Sazerac 18 and WT Rare Breed, along with other bourbons. They also had all the fancy Johnnie Walker colors--green, blue, gold.

scopenut
06-27-2007, 09:13
That bartender must be a little behind the times -- or is trying to use up a backlog of minis previously stocked. South Carolina approved 'free pours' during the November 2006 election, effective this past January. Earlier this month, I had a very generous taste of Midleton Very Rare, poured from a full-sized bottled, in North Myrtle Beach.
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Quirks/2005/12/30/s_carolina_dumps_minibottles/2368/
Sorry, I didn't tell the whole story. Yes, indeed they can now pour from full-sized bottles. The BT implied that it continued to serve the mini's since that's what the shelving in the bar was set up for. I would imagine in time they will renovate.

-Kevin

Yellowjacket
07-01-2007, 13:52
Sounds like an unusual taste profile for an Irish.

What usually holds me back from buying Irish Whiskeys - including Middleton - is a triple distilled whiskey just is not as interesting. For my taste I like the increased flavor from double distillations.

The Jameson/Middleton distillery in Cork County is predominately a pot still distillation, which is a mixture of malted barley and unmalted barley. The Jameson mix is, I believe, about 70% malted and 30% unmalted. This tradition began in Ireland over a hundred years ago in order to reduce taxes, which were leveled at the time only against the malted grain that was used. The result is a whisky that tends to be somewhat zesty and sharp with a distinct spiciness. With Jameson you also tend to get a fruitiness with toffee and vanilla flavors. I tried the most recent Middleton Very Rare a few weeks ago at Downing Street Pub here in Houston, which had a very distinct banana flavor with underlying citrus fruit flavors and subtle hints of the pot still spiciness (this is the only Middleton VR that I’ve tried; supposedly each year’s version is a little different). I thought it was very good but very pricey. For much less (but still expensive), the Jameson 18 yo is similar (more citrus fruit than banana) and very good. For a real treat, for me anyway, try the Redbreast 12 yo, which is a Pure Pot Still style and costs around $50. You might be pleasantly surprised

thecrackup
07-12-2007, 00:48
I was just at a bar in Montreal. To my surprise, they didn't have a single bourbon. This was a first.

Gillman
07-12-2007, 06:06
I've noticed this myself in certain bars and restaurants in Quebec. It depends where though in Montreal; in, say, the English language-oriented Crescent Street area downtown, most bars would carry one or two brands of bourbon (apart that is from Jack Daniels). In the more francophone-oriented establishments, there will be less chance to find bourbon because it is not a well-known drink amongst the Quebec population at large. For this reason too, you see little bourbon sold in the Provincial liquor store monopoly.

The situation would be similar to, say, what you might find in a large provincial city in France, or even many places in Paris.

Spirits in general in Quebec have I think a more limited appeal today. Wine and beer are the main drinks, in keeping with the continental European orientation. (Quebec has become more European in outlook in the last decades, including its French part). True, cognac is well known, but as a digestive, so it is not a bar staple really either (as an aperitif or pre-dinner drink).

Canadian rye whisky sales were always lesser in Quebec than Ontario and the choice of Canadian rye to this day in Quebec is more restricted than in Ontario or the other big English Provinces.

Quebeckers originally certainly did enjoy spirits though. Whisky (the Canadian style, including unaged "whisky blanc" and the related Hollands gin) was enjoyed, so was London dry gin, and gin still has a respectable sale there, and of course vodka does as everywhere. But scotch whisky and bourbon, and dark rum and Canadian whisky, have a relatively small market, at least that is my understanding, I haven't lived there for a while.

I will be going there later in August and will report on the bourbon selection at the liquor board, but I doubt there will be very much choice.

Gary

ILLfarmboy
08-26-2007, 19:37
This place looks interesting http://clubcabaret.com/index.html I just looked at a map and Creve Coeur is located just south west of Peoria; perhaps an hour and ten minute drive. (Correction it's south of Peoria, South West of East Peoria)

part of their web site isn't working. The "pictures gallery" where I thought I might get a view of the back bar doesn't want to load up. Or maybe it's my computer?

They have a wine list (a pdf file) but they don't list spirits. Very few places do:smiley_acbt: I might telephone them to find out what bourbons and other whiskeys they stock.

Anyhow, this is the kind of place I wish I would have had my bachelor party. A swanky joint where you can get an eye full, a snoot-full and a belly-full and then a shuttle service to "one of many area hotels".:bowdown:

Hmm. I wonder if the wife is going to take some vacation time to go visit some "out-of-town relatives anytime soon.:grin: Just kidding. I'm a good boy. Honest, you can even ask my mom.

cowdery
08-26-2007, 23:47
Interesting web site. I wonder if "hand car wash/oil" is a euphemism.