Doc's Bourbon Room

2,000 bottles of bourbon on the wall … take one down, pass it around at Doc’s Bourbon Room

Doc's Bourbon Room

Doc’s Bourbon Room officially opens Wednesday, Feb. 5. | Photo by Sara Havens

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!

food at Doc's Bourbon Room

All mine! | Photo by Miriam Rodriguez

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.

Hillcrest Tavern

Two new bars you should check out … and a fancy-pants market!

Hillcrest Tavern

It’s all chill in Crescent Hill …

I love it when my nightlife family gets bigger, especially if the new specimens are places I could actually see myself hanging out at. Since my days are now full of learning a new gig, it takes me a bit to get to a new place, but recently I’ve been to two newbies and one grand market that has options for wine, bourbon, beer, coffee and cheese.

You know, everything a girl needs.

Hillcrest Tavern

3212 Frankfort Ave.

This friendly neighborhood bar is new to the Crescent Hill/St. Matthews area, but it’s actually related to the Old Louisville Tavern, which has been around for years. I didn’t eat the night I stopped in, but the menu looks amazing, so I’ll be back for the grub.

I found the bar to be chill, offering a wide variety of bourbons and bourbon cocktails at affordable prices.

I sipped on a Weller Special Reserve while guzzling back a Bud Light, and I don’t think I spent over $10. St. Matthews can sometimes feel like a homecoming weekend frat party, but this bar offers a mellow place for those of us who have never been invited. They also have an Old Fashioned I need to further investigate.

After all, I’m still helping the mayor find the city’s best Old Fashioneds, and that’s a job I take seriously.

Trouble Bar

1149 S. Shelby St.

Trouble Bar

This will be written on my gravestone.

The buzz was loud surrounding the opening of this Shelby Park bar, and for good reason. The drinks are solid, the owners are experienced and the vibe is delightful. Plus, I live pretty damn close to Trouble, so I might very well be in trouble.

Last time I stopped in, I only had time for one quick cocktail, so I ordered an Old Fashioned with Weller Special Reserve.

I liked that the bourbon list included options and prices to upgrade to a cocktail, making it a simple process to substitute any given bourbon. Not that it’s difficult elsewhere, but I like to know the cost before I order — unless someone else is buying, then who the hell cares?

The environment here also is pretty laidback, like the Hillcrest Tavern, and sometimes if you’re lucky there’s a food truck out front.

I need to spend more time with the cocktail menu and less time on Tinder, so I’ll be swiping right on Trouble and hope it messages me back.

(One nitpick: They don’t offer shitty domestic beer options like Bud Light, which I often enjoy along with my high-end bourbon. I think they had Coors Banquet, but that’s not my cup of brew.)

Logan Street Market

1001 Logan St.

Logan Street Market

2 Legit 2 Quit!

Well, well, well. Louisville is getting pretty cool these days. Not that it ever wasn’t … it’s just that more and more people are finding out our little secret. If that leads to more traffic, I’m gonna be pissed!

Anyway, this Logan Street Market has just about anything you’d want, except Julia Roberts riding an ostrich. Cheese? Check. Bourbon? Check. Beer? Check. Coffee? Check. You get the idea … it’s a one-stop-shop for all things fun, local, different and familiar.

Yes, there is a wine store inside, and I enjoyed a glass of Beaujolais as I sauntered around the two-level market. Plus, there’s a full bar, a bar that has cocktail-making demonstrations, a coffee shop that serves you a shot of liquor with a shot of espresso (I had that, too), a cheese shop and even an ice cream parlor!

It’s like the mall of my dreams sans Tiffany and Spencer Gifts.

Today’s Reason To Drink

The infamous “43” shot at Bone Headz.

My latest column on our trip to Dixie Highway … where we unearthed the wonderful little dive that goes by the name of Bone Headz Pub. This is the first of many on specific neighborhoods and the fun little watering holes that inhabit them.

Read more here.

And be on the lookout … we’ll be invading your ‘hood in the near future.

Today’s Reason To Drink

I ordered the beer to make the photo look more authentic.

There’s a new pizza joint in town, and it goes by the name of Butchertown Pizza Hall. I took a quick trip there for lunch yesterday and loved what I saw and put in my mouth. The place is run by the guy who opened the now-closed Papalinos Pizza in the Highlands, so if you liked that type of New York-style pizza, you’ll like this.

Here’s more from my visit. The best part is, they have a full bar and pizza by the slice.

Pizza. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

Today’s Reason To Drink

Bourbon on tap!

Checked out the new Parlour Pizza last night in Jeffersonville, which is located at the base of the Big Four Bridge. Very cool digs that include an indoor pizza restaurant, an outdoor patio complete with corn hole, a carriage house with its own 30+ beer options, and an upstairs cocktail bar featuring mother-fuckin’ bourbon on tap!

The place is an ideal spot to stop after walking or biking across the bridge. The thin-crust pizza is delicious, and the 42 beer options keep it interesting.

Highlights were the homemade garlic butter, the BBQ chicken pizza, the peppercorn ranch salad, the American Beauty beer concoction created by carriage house manager Windy Wonder, and, of course, the Old Forester Signature on tap.

Run, don’t walk, to Parlour. The biggest challenge is deciding which space you want to occupy. My favorites were the carriage house and cocktail bar.

Today’s Reason To Drink

Susie Hoyt of The Pearl

Susie Hoyt of The Pearl

Good news for a Monday? How about this … The Pearl can now sell hand-picked bottles of single-barrel bourbons, as well as some beer. Go for a drink, leave with a six-pack.

They’re offering more than 16 at the moment, and that will change as more bottles come in and others sell out. I had a sip of a fabulous Weller Antique and immediately put my name on the waitlist for that. Holy cow.

The link above will take you to my conversation with Susie Hoyt, the bar’s beverage director.

And the best part is, it’s in my neighborhood! Let’s meet up for a cocktail and spin the dangerous wheel of drinks.