Well, I'm not a maven but I can now say Cincinnati chili is not a stranger.
I had it from Goldstar, one of the chains in the Cincinnati area.
I had it on the pasta without onions and beans. I used cheese but on the side, essentially as a condiment. I could see that people just mix it in but it seemed like too much.
I thought it was great, it was digestible and very tasty. The sauce had all the Greek/Near Eastern spices I'd read about such as cinnamon, oregano or basil, etc. It was lightly spicy (in heat) and did not need the hot sauce sachets that came with it although I used one.
I also ordered one of their hot dogs, these are little short ones and for this I piled on everything. Again: superb.
I thought I detected some lamb in the meat sauce. The sauce was medium thick, just perfect.
I was with others and $20 covered three chilis (two with everything) and 4 of those hot dogs. Now that's a good deal. I was very pleased with this local specialty and will revisit it at some point. I'd like to try Skyline's version which some people I met swore by.
P.S. In the end bourbon did not accompany this food, just good old water and that was fine. The bourbon came later.