I saw the bourbon bat signal shoot through the midnight sky. Word of a new bar opening spread around town like a sinus infection. Thousand bourbons, I heard. All kinds of whiskey. Cocktails galore.
After a recent visit to Doc’s Bourbon Room, I can sign my name to the long list of supporters. Doc’s is legit, and it’s exactly what Whiskey Row needed.
Prices are reasonable, and pours from the inventory of about 2,000 bottles can be enjoyed in 1-ounce or 2-ounce increments. That means if you just want to try something, like the latest Old Fitz 15 Year, you don’t have to spend an arm and a liver doing so.
The outgoing and competent staff explained that they’d like to have 3,000 bottles by Derby. It’s great to have goals!
I decided to try out their signature Old Fashioned because, after all, it is the city’s official cocktail, and I’ve been assigned by the mayor to investigate the best in the city and make sure every establishment is up to par. Doc’s certainly is. Their Seasonal Old Fashioned was made with Michter’s Bourbon, fig and sage demerara, and birch bark bitters — and it was tasty!
But not too tasty. A good Old Fashioned should never be masked. Meaning, if bourbon isn’t the first thing you taste, it’s a waste of sugar and calories. That one cost $13 — a typical price for cocktails at fancier bars downtown — but you could also create your own Old Fashioned using a cheaper bourbon, and I’m sure the price would come down a few bucks.
The cocktail menu included a dozen options in all and showcased some that didn’t have bourbon or whiskey at all — in case there are those people among us.
The small-bites menu features everything from pretzels and beer cheese to fried green tomatoes, spring rolls and buffalo cauliflower (Huh? And nope! I firmly believe cauliflower is the vodka of vegetables. Take that, Oprah!).
I also sampled some scrumptious dessert that I had to see (and bite) to believe: a Grilled Hershey Sandwich. It was exactly what you’d imagine: a grilled cheese sandwich with melted Hershey bars where the cheese should be. A little raspberry sauce was drizzled over to make it appear healthy — and boom, you’ve got yourself the best thing that’s been in your mouth since Grandma’s pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving!
It seems like the food is meant to be shared, making Doc’s Bourbon Room an ideal stop before a game or concert … or just a place to gather after work with friends.
It’s fun to marvel at the endless shelves of whiskey, but being the weirdo I am, I wondered what would happen if an earthquake were to hit Kentucky. All those 2,000 bottles would come crashing down, as would my own small collection in my home, and we’d all have an unfortunate situation on our hands. Let’s just hope that never happens and work on securing some insurance should an unfortunate act of god occur.
Anyway, Doc’s Bourbon Room is a welcome addition to Whiskey Row! It officially opens on Wednesday, Feb. 5.
Who wants to try and drink all 2,000 bottles with me before Derby?
Here are some more photos of the eats, drinks and all those bottles.