I don't usually review bars. Partly because I live in suburban Minnesota and there are few really good bourbon bars near enough for me to frequent them without a half hour to forty-five-minute drive afterward. So when I'm at home, I tend to have my bourbon in my home.
When I travel, on the other hand, I go out more. Seriously why wouldn't you? That's part of the reason you are away from home in the first place, to not to do what you do at home.
When I visit most places in the country, I tend to find a brewery taproom to settle down in or at least a bar with a good selection of local things on tap. But when I go to Kentucky, it's all about the bourbon. I try to hit at least one new place every time I'm there. But there is one place I visit every single time.
My friend Fred introduced me to the Silver Dollar on one of my February road trips to someplace without snow. I was passing through Louisville on my to someplace theoretically warmer than Minnesota, and we made plans to meet for supper and a drink. The weather outside was cold and rainy, but inside, the warm and friendly atmosphere made me immediately feel welcome as I waited for everyone to arrive. This is the kind of place that has big Christmas lights on the walls and where the music comes from a vinyl record.
I was impressed by that first visit, and when my wife and I found ourself back in Louisville on my birthday, it was the first place I thought of to get supper. Smoked brisket and creamy mac and cheese. Mmmmm. Add in a glass or two of bourbon from one of their privately selected barrels, and it made for a perfect birthday meal.
I've gone back every time I've been to Louisville since. Sometimes more than once. When I have it, the food is always good, and I always search out a private barrel selection for my glass. They often have more than one barrel of whatever they've got. I always ask the bartender which they prefer, and I've never been disappointed when I followed their advice.
I can't recommend this place highly enough. If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, you need to remedy that on your next trip to Louisville.
The Silver Dollar can be found online at http://www.whiskeybythedrink.com/
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