Monday, April 22, 2013
DC Whiskey: Jack Rose
I've been to whiskey bars, but Jack Rose is beyond a whiskey bar; it's a temple. Located on the edge of the hip Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington DC, the walls of this spacious "dining saloon" are stacked high with bottles.
The pickings are broad and deep. Malt whisky advisor Roberto Cofino has done an amazing job of stocking the single malt selection with over 1,000 malts. It's one of the few drinking establishments in the US that offers Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottlings (of which it has many), and there are countless rare independent bottlings from every region of Scotland.
The American whiskey selection is equally impressive, as could be expected given that the Saloon has two sister establishments that specialize in bourbon. Among the 500 or so American whiskeys on the shelf, of particular interest to the true geeks are the proprietary bottlings of Willett's from KBD, including the vaunted 1983/1984 rye whiskeys from the old Bernheim distillery. They had some of the renowned Doug Phillips bottlings, the Red Hook Rye from LeNell's and their own bottling, known as the Iron Fist (they also have a corresponding Velvet Glove but were out of it the night I visited).
How many bars can you walk into an order a 1960s era Old Fitzgerald from the Stitzel-Weller distillery? You can at Jack's.
Prices were surprisingly reasonable for what they sell, and best of all, they offer one ounce pours for half the price of regular two ounce pours (those old Willett ryes went for $30 for a one ounce pour). In addition, if you order your whiskey neat, they offer a choice of glasses: tumbler, Glencairn or snifter. This is a bar made for whiskey geeks.
If you are anywhere within 3,000 miles of Jack Rose, you have no excuse not to go there.
Jack Rose Dining Saloon
2007 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009