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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    May 2012
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    Glendale, AZ
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    531

    Ordering bourbon (or any whiskey) in a bar

    I was hoping some advice from my fellow bourbon lovers on what to expect when ordering bourbon at a bar... Apologies if this should have gone in the 'new to SB' sub forum.

    Basically... just curious on the basics. The amount and the approximate cost.

    For instance, several months ago, I went out to eat with my wife at a nice restaurant. They charged me $8 for a Woodford Reserve single, neat. Is this normal? I can't imagine ordering a double for $16. In a separate night out, I also ordered a Johnnie Walker Black and a Glenlivet 12yr single, and they were $7 and $9 respectively, iirc.

    And that brings me to the next question. Singles vs doubles. Is the general rule 2oz for a single and 4oz for a double? Is the price always literally 'doubled' on the doubles?

    It would be great info if you guys have some examples of bourbon or any whiskey that you've ordered recently and it's price. It's hard to shop around for whiskey prices at bars, so it'd be nice to know when we're not getting ripped off.

    Thanks in advance!

    -Joe

  2. #2
    Trippah and Admin
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    Feb 2008
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    Northeast Ahia
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    Re: Ordering bourbon (or any whiskey) in a bar

    The bar where I bowl charges 2.50 for a single and 3.75 for a double of Buffalo Trace. I think their standard pricing is a 50% discount on the "second".

    I don't drink whiskey often when we go out since the average joint in my area carries Beam White, Maker's and occasionally WT101 or Woodford. I won't pay a premium for bourbon that I won't drink at home, so I stick with beer.
    My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
    I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?

  3. #3
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2011
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    Sutton, Massachusetts
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    1,225

    Re: Ordering bourbon (or any whiskey) in a bar

    Depends where you are, type of restaurant etc. I paid $11 for a Blanton's (single) neat outside of NYC, and around $8-$9 for a KC on the rocks. The KC on the rocks had an "up charge" of $1.50, presumably because there was a bit more poured when on the rocks vs. neat.

    At a dive, however, I paid around $6 for an extremely generous pour of WT101 neat ...
    Mark

  4. #4
    Connoisseur
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    Mar 2010
    Location
    Columbia. South Carolina
    Posts
    867

    Re: Ordering bourbon (or any whiskey) in a bar

    I rarely order any whiskey because of price and limited selection. I usually get beer or wine and drink whiskey before or after at home.

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
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    Apr 2011
    Location
    Toledo, OH
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    809

    Re: Ordering bourbon (or any whiskey) in a bar

    Quote Originally Posted by sutton View Post
    Depends where you are, type of restaurant etc. I paid $11 for a Blanton's (single) neat outside of NYC, and around $8-$9 for a KC on the rocks. The KC on the rocks had an "up charge" of $1.50, presumably because there was a bit more poured when on the rocks vs. neat.

    At a dive, however, I paid around $6 for an extremely generous pour of WT101 neat ...
    I'm a cheap old geezer who buys bourbon by the handle. At $11 a shot, a 750 of Blanton's costs about $200; $8 KC = about $145; a "generous pour" of WT had better be about 1/4 to 1/3 of a bottle. For the price of a couple drinks in a bar, I'd rather have a whole bottle of AAA or VOB or OWA or BT or....
    If God made anything better than bourbon he must have kept it for Hisself.

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kilgore, TX
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    Re: Ordering bourbon (or any whiskey) in a bar

    Usually doubles are cheaper than two singles, on the rocks depends on the place, they may charge for ice or not.

    I usually get a double, on the rocks, and when it's about 1/4 full I get a fill-up for the same price as a single if I'm sitting at the bar and they just fill it up without asking. If they ask it'll be the cost of a double. Good way to determine where to return, and whom to tip well.....
    Last edited by Young Blacksmith; 05-11-2012 at 17:51.
    "this hobby is supposed to be fun. When it stops being fun, check yourself, because you're doing it wrong." Charles Cowdery

  7. #7
    Disciple
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    Jun 2010
    Location
    Northern Indiana
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    1,661

    Re: Ordering bourbon (or any whiskey) in a bar

    At a restaraunt, usually you say "neat", and receive a blank stare. Then you say "no ice, no water", and they don't bring you an ice water that everyone else at the table gets, while still putting ice in your whiskey.

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
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    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lexington, MA
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    506

    Re: Ordering bourbon (or any whiskey) in a bar

    While most bars will be completely honest about the size of their pours, the size of pour they use will depend on a number of factors, including local law and tradition, the character of the bar or restaurant, the character of the owner and/or management, etc. You may get 1, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75 or two ounces. If the bartender likes you or if it's the end of a bottle, you might get a little extra. Some jurisdictions require automated measuring.

    The heavy shot glasses with a line are a measured pour that is to be measured looking down at the inside of the glass; looking at the outside of the glass, it always looks a little more full.

    If I recall correctly, Massachusetts does not allow "doubles", or certain kinds of all-liquor drinks (like "Manhattan Iced Tea"). They also don't allow "happy hour" price discounts.

    The price you pay is also to pay the overhead of rent, payroll, electricity, licensing, taxes, some profit on the business, etc.

    I'll sometimes enjoy a bourbon at the start of dinner, and sure, Maker's Mark costs $8 or so for a shot, not including tip, but it's part of the overall experience. Since most places don't know what water on the side would be for, I often order it "with a cube".
    Last edited by Kalessin; 05-12-2012 at 09:34.

  9. #9
    Connoisseur
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    Mar 2010
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    Columbia. South Carolina
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    867

    Re: Ordering bourbon (or any whiskey) in a bar

    I went to a Hootie benefit for Pets Inc. about a year ago with a cash bar. They usually hire inexperienced bartenders. I asked for bourbon neat. She proceeded to put ice in the glass and pour Maker's on it. When I explained I didn't want ice she poured it out in the sink and filled up the glass (about 12 oz.) with straight bourbon for $7. When I explained it was too much she started to pour some of it out so I said it was OK I would take it. I love benefits.....

  10. #10
    Virtuoso
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    Feb 2011
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    Plano, TX
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    1,070

    Re: Ordering bourbon (or any whiskey) in a bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Bourbon Boiler View Post
    At a restaraunt, usually you say "neat", and receive a blank stare. Then you say "no ice, no water", and they don't bring you an ice water that everyone else at the table gets, while still putting ice in your whiskey.
    I ordered a Maker's neat at a cowboy bar a few weeks ago. It came back shaken/chilled.

    That's what I get for ordering Maker's.

 

 

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