Taking a trip along the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky will introduce you to a wide variety of flavors and styles of whiskey. But you are somewhat at the mercy of the distilleries in terms of choice. How do you solve that issue? Supplement your bourbon experience by grabbing a bite to eat at Doc Crows or Proof On Main, or enjoy an evening talking to the bartender at Haymarket. All are on Whiskey Row or just off Whiskey Row and can help you fill in the gaps with their huge bourbon selections. Just remember to drink responsibly and if you're not staying downtown, use public transportation, an Uber, Lyft or Taxi!
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Doc Crow's Southern Smokehouse
- Location: Louisville, KY (Next to Old Forester Distillery)
- Impression: A fun place to get "tastes" and some quality BBQ.
- Samples: I like this place because you can get smaller samples called "tastes" at half price and they have a ton of whiskey's to choose from. I tried Michter's Bourbon Whiskey, Kentucky Pure (Willitts) and Weller 12 Year.
Proof on Main
- Location: Whiskey Row, Louisville, KY
- Impression: Upscale dining and great whiskey selection at the bar
- Recommended Tastes: Johnny Drum (of Willits Distillery),
- I enjoyed my time sitting at the bar and enjoyed the conversation with Oliver the bartender. Use these opportunities to get a feel for what the bartenders and service staff like. It will open up all sorts of new possibilities.
Haymarket Whiskey Bar
- Location: Louisville, KY
- Impression: Incredible bourbon and rye collection to enjoy
- Taste Recommendations: Old Charter 8 and Woodford Reserve Malt Whiskey
- I like that they leave the whiskey bottle there for you to inspect while you're enjoying the beverage.
- Old Charter has knocked Evan Williams 1783 off as the bourbon that sits in my decanter.
- Awesome selection at the Haymarket Whiskey Bar. They even had some of what I believe was orphan barrel stock that I had seen earlier in the day at Stitzel-Weller that was being sold at $2000 for a 4 pack. I didn't give those a shot however. Orphan barrel product is pot luck. You might find something absolutely exceptional, but it's very possible it could be swill as well (hopefully the tasters are kinder than to do that though). Orphan barrels are just what they sound like, barrels that were abandoned or discovered, but that will not be recreated again after being sold off. There is actually a company in Tennessee that specializes in orphan whiskey if you're interested.
- A couple of times I heard tour guides suggest that females palates were not usually geared toward ryes or higher proof whiskies. I found the exact opposite to be true. I found the more spice or complexity, usually the more the females liked it. Ladies, don't shy away from ryes, malts or higher proof whiskey. I think you might be surprised at how you take to them.
- On the marketing side of things and who is the oldest, check through my entire blog as I cover this throughout.