After putting about $20,000-$25,000 worth of new renovations into his NuLu bourbon bar, Haymarket Whiskey Bar owner Matthew Landan was a proud papa when the first full stream of J.T.S. Brown bourbon trickled out of his new tap system.
That’s right. Haymarket now offers bourbon on tap, which is part of the new draft system recently installed that also will allow for cocktails on tap, nitro beers and colder, crisper beers in general.
Landan tells Insider this was the largest and most expensive part of the renovations, which included two new slushie machines, a new walk-in cooler and a lightly used “Twilight Zone” pinball machine from 1993.
Insider stopped in last week to check out the new features, and we were amazed the cocktail on tap — a Boulevardier — tasted as fresh and delicious as if it was made right in front of us.
Sometimes when a restaurant or bar pre-makes cocktails, the ingredient ratio can get skewed, resulting in a watered down drink too heavy on mixers and/or sweeteners.
The Boulevardier, however, was well-balanced with just the right mix of Heaven Hill bourbon, sweet vermouth and campari.
The bourbon on tap, Landan says, will come out chilled thanks to a new feature in the draft lines. Previously the bar had seven beers on tap, and now there are 10, including the bourbon and cocktail taps.
Landan also is busy preparing for Jan. 1, 2018, when the vintage spirit legislation goes into effect and bars can now offer patrons pours from old, previously unopened bottles of liquor. The bourbon maven is planning on offering at least 100 right away, and he’s currently figuring out where those will go and how they will be displayed.
“We’re waiting on Frankfort to pass down the rules to the vintage spirits,” he says. “But Haymarket will be ready as soon as they do.”
Landan says he’s thinking about getting two large antique curio cabinets in the main bar area that will be locked, but that allow patrons to see everything that’s offered.
Haymarket Whiskey Bar is located at 331 E. Market St.