Beverage director Susie Hoyt with some of the The Pearl’s private barrel selections | Photo by Sara Havens

Germantown neighborhood dive The Pearl has obtained a package liquor license and can now sell some of its cherished barrel-selected bourbons to go, as well as beer and other spirits. A sister bar of The Silver Dollar and soon-to-reopen El Camino, The Pearl has attracted a steady clientele since opening last summer.

Insider stopped by The Pearl Friday afternoon to chat with beverage director Susie Hoyt about the current products they have for sale and what they might be planning for future releases.

Each private selection comes with a special label. | Photo by Sara Havens

For two years now the team has been doing private barrel selections, which are a popular menu item both at The Silver Dollar and The Pearl. And now, the owners are thrilled customers can take home a piece of the experience if they find a one-of-a-kind bourbon they really like.

The package liquor license is only available at The Pearl, and the bar is legally allowed to sell sealed bottles and beers to go. Only a handful of Louisville bars have such a license, and similar programs can be found at Haymarket Whiskey Bar and 21c/Proof on Main.

Hoyt says sometimes their group splits a barrel with other Louisville businesses, like Old Town Liquors and Proof on Main, and sometimes they go and select one all for themselves.

Currently, there are 16 brands from six distilleries available for purchase at The Pearl, although some of the more coveted ones, like any W.L. Weller product, have a waitlist. The list includes Four Roses, JTS Brown, Henry McKenna, Blanton’s, Eagle Rare and Maker’s Mark, among others. The prices for the 750ml bottles range from $42-$75, although that is subject to change based on availability.

Hoyt says they pick the barrels with their customers in mind, and also how they’ll fare both served neat or in a cocktail like the Old Fashioned. Although every distillery’s barrel selection program is different, she says that when they have the opportunity, they invite members of each bar’s staff along for the full experience.

“It’s a fun way to spend the afternoon, but it’s also an invaluable learning experience for our bartenders,” she adds.

The current private selection inventory | Courtesy of The Pearl

Upcoming barrel picks include another session at Maker’s Mark Distillery, as well as one from 1792, she says.

Individual pours of each bourbon are available as well, and look for new additions to the list on The Pearl’s Facebook page. The bottles are available at the bar from 4 p.m.-2 a.m. daily. Various four-, six- and 12-packs of beer are available as well. The Pearl is located at 1151 Goss Ave.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."