Thursday, July 21, 2011

Road Trip 2011: Lexington (Pt. 2)

Horse and Barrel Pub

Last time Dennis was in Lexington, he and his friends discovered the Horse and Barrel, a bar voted one of Whiskey Magazine's "Icons of Whiskey" and one of the three best bars in the world.  The have a wall of glistening, gleaming bottles of the warm caramel-colored hues of bourbon, rye, and whiskey.  
 Horse and Barrel provides several tasting options.  There is a Wild Turkey tasting for $16.95 that lets you try 5 one-ounce tastes of different Wild Turkey varieties.  The tasting I did was the one for $15.95 and includes three one-ounce tastes of any of the bourbons, except the high end ones.  The tasting comes with ice to open the bourbon and a menu of tasting notes on all the bourbons. 
From Left to Right: Old Charter, Henry McKenn, and Blanton's Single Barrel

I tried the Blanton’s Single Barrel, Old Charter, and Henry McKenn.  The Blanton’s was probably the least interesting.  It has honey and caramel notes but leaves an almost soured caramel taste in your mouth.  The Henry McKenn was slightly more complex, having a sweet nose, a spicy kick, and licorice on the finish.  The Old Charter was the best and had pepper and fire on the first sip, smoke in the middle, and finished with honey and vanilla.  The complexity and the subtlety of the changes made it exciting and complicated.

Dennis had a glass of the Old Fitzgerald 1849.  It was a great sipping bourbon that has a long finish that builds with every sip.  The bourbon has fruity notes to start, but the long finish dissipates and mellows those fruity notes for a nicer balance.

 The star of the bourbon tasting was not just the bourbon.  Horse and Barrel also has KentuckyAle’s Bourbon Barrel Ale on tap.  I’ve had quite a few Bourbon Barrel Stouts in my life and am a sucker for the heavy, thick beer with the creamy vanilla and caramel finish.  But, as much as I like the stout version, the ale variety is quite a force to be reckoned with.  To me, it is like a beer ice cream float.  It has notes of caramelized banana, vanilla, brown sugar, and all in the lightness and effervescence of ale--quite an addictive combination.  

Horse and Barrel is a great place for both bourbon novices and experts: novices get to test the waters and experts get to explore undiscovered territory.  For the really bold, you can join their bourbon club to keep track of every bourbon you taste.  Once you try them all, you get your name up on a plaque with the other bourbon champions.  Just a little something to strive for.    
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  1. OMG. I had my first Knob on the rocks in forever this weekend. I had forgotten how good it was. And i have a huge love for Bourbon barrel beers. Thanks to Chad Brad

  2. Knob is a classic. I made a great bourbon marinade for a slow-cooker roast using Knob once and it came out great.


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