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    Essential Louisville Bourbon Bars
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    Louisville is the center of the bourbon universe, according to Bourbon Historian Michael Veach.  Whether you’re in town for Derby or you live here full time, there are a few bourbon bars you simply must experience.  The following is a list of Louisville’s Essential Bourbon Bars:

    1.  Haymarket Whiskey Bar is the perfect place to enjoy bourbon and Dr. Who pinball.  There’s a great collection of vintage arcade games, a live music venue, and more rare bourbon and private barrel selections than you can shake a stick at.  There’s no food here, so don’t show up hungry expecting bar snacks.  It’s also not a cocktail bar, though if it’s not too busy you can get a classic Manhattan or another basic bourbon cocktail off the menu.  Haymarket also has a great craft beer selection for the non bourbon lovers in your group.

    2.  If you like to enjoy a fine cigar with your bourbon, cross the bridge and check out Match Cigar Bar and Lounge in Jeffersonville.  I recommend a Liga Privada cigar paired with either their house-label Angel’s Envy or Jinx’s famous Old Fashioned.  Just remember- cigar lounge etiquette dictates you buy your stogie from their humidor, and don’t forget to buy extra for the track.

    3.  Bourbons Bistro is the bourbon bar that started the bourbon-in-food fusion trend a decade ago.  There’s an extensive bourbon list, which includes those rare bottles everyone wants a taste of during Derby week.  Bourbons also has amazing gourmet Southern-style cuisine.  I highly recommend the fried oysters.  They also make all their cocktail mixers in-house, so all the cocktails are wonderful.

    4.  The Silver Dollar is a trendy, upscale honky-tonk.  There’s always old-school country playing on the turntable, and the bar runs the length of the main dining room so there’s usually a spot or two open.  The bourbon selection is massive here, and they make their cocktail mixers in-house.  I recommend the chicken and waffles and a Kentucky Mule.

    5.  Down One Bourbon Bar is a great place for a sandwich and a bourbon flight.  I highly recommend the Three Little Pigs, named America’s Best BBQ Sandwich by Restaurant and Hospitality Magazine in 2014.  Beth Burrows is an award-winning bartender, mixing up great classic bourbon cocktails!

    6.  If you’re out in the East End, stop by The Village Anchor.  The food is wonderful, and they have a nice covered patio out back by the bar if you want to smoke a cigar and enjoy a flight of bourbon.

    7.  The Old Seelbach Bar has reopened after its renovation.  This is a classic on the bourbon bar scene, serving a small menu of classic Kentucky favorites such as Burgoo.  There’s a great bourbon selection and cocktails are as classic as they come.

    8.  Proof on Main is a wonderful place to meet with your friends for an evening of gourmet food and fancy cocktails.  The bourbon selection is excellent, and there’s even a museum to explore while you’re there!

    9.  The Monkey Wrench has over 60 bourbons and classic pub fare on the menu.  Former Monkey Wrench bartender Jared Schubert won the cocktail challenge at the first annual Bourbon Classic, putting this spot on the map for bourbonites.

    10.  St. Charles Exchange has a charming Prohibition-era feel to it.  The food is excellent and the drinks are even better.  You can even get a crystal punch bowl full of PBRs if that’s more your style!

    No matter where you go in Louisville, you are likely to encounter others who love bourbon just as much as you do.  We pull out all the stops for Derby Week, and we hope you have an excellent time while you’re here.  Cheers!

    Photos Courtesy of Haymarket Whiskey Bar, Match Cigar Bar, Bourbons Bistro, The Silver Dollar, Down One, The Village Anchor, 21C Museum Hotels, The Seelbach Hilton, The Monkey Wrench, and St. Charles Exchange

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    Maggie Kimberl's picture

    About Maggie Kimberl

    I'm a Louisville native with a passion for traveling and homegrown tomatoes. I write the bourbon news, which keeps me plenty busy since Louisville is the center of the bourbon universe. See bourbon news happening? Contact me on Twitter @LouGirl502!

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