Everyone who enjoys a good brown Spirit (Bourbon, Whiskey or Rye) has a favorite bar. Whether it’s a hole in the wall on the wrong side of the tracks or a swanky hotel bar that makes you wait outside for 25 minutes before entering (yet alone imbibing), everyone has a favorite.
Combine that with a destination, a preferred city to visit. It could be someplace you and your friends constantly traveled to in your youth. Or a city that makes you smile every time it’s mentioned. That getaway trip, the place you went to when your office thought you had the three-day flu. Yep, that city.
Geocaching with Bourbon Between all the information gathered by the Data Industrial Complex (Google and Facebook) planning a trip around a spot-on bar for Bourbon lovers is as easy as looking at fish in a Whiskey barrel.
Here is a list of 5 cities with Bourbon bars that are worth going through airport security:
1. Lincoln - Four ScoreLocated between the North Bottoms and Downtown sections of Lincoln, Nebraska Single Barrel has made a name for itself by not compromising on any aspect of the drinking and dining experience. You’ll find the better Bourbons (Old Forester, and Maker's Mark 46, to name two), Bourbon forward cocktails and Chicharrones.
Why Lincoln? The Historic Haymarket District. The Sunken Gardens. Museum of American Speed. Visiting any of three will bring a smile to your soul. Also, Chicharrones.
2. Arvada - Rocky Mountain HighThe Bluegrass Coffee and Bourbon Lounge: Three words sum this place to a tee. Strawberry Bourbon Mojito. You read that correctly. If that doesn’t want to make fill out your TSA Pre? ® forms and hop on a plane, little else will.
If you need more incentive - Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked are served with skill, love and, knowledge. Plus, a powerful Kentucky Coffee powered by Benchmark Bourbon.
Why Arvada? Arvada’s historic downtown, Olde Town Arvada. Quaint enough to give you a small town, down-home feel but with all the modern joys of a big city.
3. Pittsburgh - Pittsburg Strong!“Awarded James Beard Semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program for two consecutive years...” Yes, that’s a direct quote showing the stellar skills, staff and Chutzpah Butcher and the Rye serves daily. If you think The Steel City can’t have a swanky cocktail bar backed by an awesome five-star, award-winning menu then you don’t know The Burg.
Past the awards and the sexy décor, they have two things most places don’t. A wall dedicated to Whiskey and a SECOND dedicated to Rye. Lastly, this Iron City Bourbon spot is so popular, that reservations are a MUST.
Why Pittsburg? If you must ask, then you need to check your heart light.
4. Portland - Man in the WoodsBoasting cocktails with overproof Whiskey blends, The Woodsman Tavern shows its edge by not doing what the other bars do. Instead of swank, the décor is slightly stogy. The walls are covered with Bob Ross-like paintings. And just when you think you might have walked into a V.F.W. club, the grace and elegance of their dining room fused with their variety of Bourbons hits you... like a 50-pound cotton ball.
Why Portland? *Starks Vacuum Museum. They have a museum dedicated to the history and wonder of the vacuum cleaner. Posting pictures from there will win any Instagram war instantly.
5. New York City - I’m in a New York State of mindTelling anyone to only visit one bar in NYC is like asking someone to only look at one star in the sky. If NYC is on your Bourbon bar Bucket List here are three that will not disappoint: Brandy Library, Flatiron Room, and Ward III.
Each one represents the best of what the NYC cocktail scene is all about. There is a cozy elegance to each bar, where Bourbon and romance intersect. The opportunities for Spirits education are fruitful (and sometimes free). And despite what you’ve heard about New Yorkers, the clientele is more than happy to hang out and talk about all things Bourbon.
Why NYC? If you gotta ask, then you need to visit ASAP!
These are just a few of the great Bourbon bars outside of Louisville, Kentucky. Do you have a favorite Bourbon bar in your city? We’d love to hear about it and all the reasons why it’s your favorite.
*Starks Vacuum Museum has no connection to Tony Stark, S.H.I.E.L.D., The Avengers or Thanos.
Cover image: The Flatiron Room