Fine, we were wrong: Jack Rose Dining Saloon is one of the nation's top whiskey bars
We recently published the 21 Best Whiskey Bars in America, and a vocal majority of readers
kindly emailed to tell us we'd made an oversight called us straight-up idiots on Facebook for not including Jack Rose Dining Saloon, a whiskey-focused drinking establishment in DC, on our list.
After talking to Bill Thomas, owner of Jack Rose, we learned exactly what makes it such a special bar and, easily, one of the best whiskey bars in the country.
1. They feature an unparalleled whiskey selection.
Between 1,600-1,800 ever-changing whiskey bottles are housed in their well-appointed 6,700sqft space, which sports five different bars. An eye-popping 4,000 additional bottles are in storage. Surprisingly, Thomas says it's not the size that counts, as it's about stocking the right bottles at prices people can actually afford. Not surprisingly, they own the largest whiskey collection in the Western Hemisphere.
2. The bar is a temple of whiskey knowledge.
Thomas has been living and breathing whiskey since the late '90s, and back then he was "so geeked out" about it that if you talked to him about whiskey, he'd probably buy your drinks. Nowadays he's equally enthusiastic to talk about the spirit. You'll just have to pay for your own drink. To brush up on your whiskey cocktail knowledge (and 'tails in general), hit up their weekly boozefest called Dram & Grain, a "cocktail experience" that's part-tasting and part-learning.
3. They keep their whiskies affordable -- even the rare stuff.
Thomas estimates that it'd be cheaper for you to fly to DC and drink certain rare bottles at his bar, than it would be for you to go to other whiskey bars and drink it. He says his whiskey is priced so that people are encouraged to try the spirit, not so he can show off a single bottle of rare hooch he got on eBay. eBay should be for buying reasonably convincing knockoff Air Yeezy's, not expensive whiskey no one'll ever drink.
4. Their cocktail program will make anyone a whiskey lover.
In addition to being able to skillfully execute any classic whiskey cocktail, they're pushing the envelope with a seasonal menu of incredible 'tails like the Surgeon General's Warning (Old Bardstown bourbon, tobacco syrup, Cherry Heering, orange, and lemon) and the Six to Midnight (George Dickel Rye, Orange Dolce infused with Dolin Rouge, Dolin Dry, orange bitters, and Peychaud bitters over a huge ice cube).
5. They're pouring whiskey on draft.
Head to their Whiskey Cellar for four, themed weekly-rotating whiskies on tap, like all Japanese whiskies, or all bourbons from one distillery. This'll definitely be your drink after you've tried all 1800 of their bottles.
Lee Breslouer writes about food and drink for Thrillist, and is pretty sure this is the first time he's ever made an error in judgement. Follow him @LeeBreslouer, because you can't make up a name that good.