While in Kentucky over the holidays, I had an opportunity to visit two of my favorite liquor stores. These two places couldn’t be more different.
The first stop was the Liquor Barn at Hamburg Pavilion in Lexington. We don’t have anything like this in Dallas, though the new Spec’s may be close. This place looks like a movie theater. It’s that flashy and that big. They carry everything and they have a particularly good bourbon selection. This is where I’ve gotten my Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch for the last few years. I’ve also gotten Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, and Eagle Rare 17 year here in the past. Their shelves are both deep and wide.
This year, I was primarily interested in the 2011 Four Roses Limited Edition. The Liquor Barn did not disappoint. I imagine they still have a few bottles on the shelf if you’re interested and in the neighborhood. I briefly pondered the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection rye and the only-available-in-Kentucky special bottles of Maker’s Mark before coming to the sad realization that I only had so much room in my luggage.
The next day, I dragged the Pretty Little Wife to Blue Whiskey in Versailles (for those of you just joining us, that’s vur-SAILS, not vur-SIGH). This is a little mom and pop liquor store (with a drive-thru!) on a 2-lane road in a town of 7500 people. Blue Whiskey is my dusty bottle shop.
The first thing you’ll notice when you walk in is their huge collection of Maker’s Mark bottles. I think they’ve got every special label and wax dip from the last 40 years. Their little bourbon museum continues behind the counter, where they have a collection of special Woodford Reserve bottles (they are in Woodford County, after all).
The bourbon is on the wall to the right. Last time I was in there, they still had three bottles of Four Roses 2008 Mariage Edition as well as the 2001 UK vs UofL blue and red wax Maker’s Mark bottle (complete with a place on the label to fill in the score of the game).
I picked up a bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year aged and a bottle of Buffalo Trace bourbon cream liqueur (like Bailey’s but better and not yet widely distributed).
If you have the time and inclination, I highly recommend stopping by either (or both) of ese stores for some very enjoyable bourbon hunting.
Tell ’em Large Marge sent ya. (They’ve probably never heard of me, but they might have seen Pee Wee’s Big Adventure).