Louisville’s Buzz-worthy Bourbon Bars
Paired with or without a bourbon distillery tour, Louisville has plenty of bourbon to go around
Lucky for us locals, many Louisville restaurants could be considered full-on whiskey bars in most cities with at least 20 different varieties behind the bar, but in Bourbon City, it takes at least 60 to be part of the popular Urban Bourbon Trail®.
Add to that the several distilleries that are now offering cocktail experiences of their own and there seems no end to where you can get a sip of Bourbon Country’s unique culture. Here are some of the bars creating a buzz in the press:
- Southern hospitality is in full swing at the Garden & Gun Club on the grounds of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. Offering exclusive tastings of Blade and Bow 22-year-old bourbons as well as an elevated bar menu with modern takes on classic Southern fare.
- 1920s-inspired outlet, Neat, serves whiskey by the drink as well as selling whole bottles of bourbon. You can also pack your bags before you imbibe and stay at one of their six suites in Bungalou, just behind the bar in this lively Highlands neighborhood corridor.
- North of Bourbon, known for specialty bourbon cocktails, brings Bourbon Street in New Orleans to Louisville’s Bourbon City in an ‘unapologetically southern’ way which also serves as inspiration for the bar’s decor and food menu.
- This hidden gem is tucked away by a sandwich bar, cultivating a speakeasy vibe for Gertie's Whiskey Bar. Named after a Prohibition era bootlegger, this sly bar houses a smuggler's cove of wall-to-wall bourbon bottles.
- In the basement of one of Louisville’s newest boutique hotels, The Grady Hotel, lies the Wild Swann, telling stories of the hotel’s former hat company and apothecary tenants through hand-crafted cocktails, paired with the restaurant’s signature small plates.
- A short gallop from Louisville brings visitors to the 600-acre Hermitage Farm and the newly opened Barn6 for bourbon tastings, cocktail classes and special events. Guests can sip high-end bourbon flights while enjoying the company of Future Prospect and Dubious Miss, retired thoroughbreds who still call the barn home.
Visitors traveling to Bourbon City this spring will have an opportunity to raise a glass during April’s Mint Julep Month, as well as experience several other large-scale events including Wild Lights at the Louisville Zoo, the Cherokee Triangle Arts Fair, and Kentucky Shakespeare Festival or take in Memorial Day weekend’s Forecastle Festival and Abbey Road on the River, the world’s largest Beatles and classic rock music festival.
Guests can use Louisville Tourism’s annual Visitor Guide to help plan an itinerary around Louisville’s top experiences. Travelers also can get attraction, lodging and dining assistance at www.gotolouisville.com along with information on the state’s current covid-mitigation guidelines.