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Off the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
is a review of things to do, places to stay
and honey holes to visit off the
Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Bourbons Bistro

Bourbons Bistro
2255 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 894-8838

Off the Trail Rating
Whiskey Selection -
Private Barrel Offering - 
Bar Atmosphere -  
Dining Atmosphere - 
Drink Pricing - 
Food Quality - 
Food Pricing - 
When enjoying one of the various Kentucky Bourbon Trails (Original, Craft and Urban) it is only natural to also be on the hunt for a great meal or a solid dram of a bourbon you haven’t experienced yet. It is almost impossible to go anywhere in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and not find a decent meal and bars stocked with countless bourbons and rye whiskeys you only see on Instagram. Interestingly, this hasn’t always been the case. Turn back the clock only fifteen years ago and it would be nearly impossible to find a well stocked bar or bourbon-themed restaurant in the area. In fact, in early 2005, many thought Jason Brauner (@BourbonRedneck) was a bit crazy for thinking opening a bourbon bistro off Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky would be a good idea. By Derby, 2006, Bourbons Bistro opened its doors and since then when you’re Off the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, it is an absolute must to visit the bourbon bar that started it all.

Located in the historic Clifton neighborhood, Bourbons Bistro’s building dates back nearly 150 years to 1870. If that year sounds familiar, if was the same year that George Garvin Brown started J.T.S. Brown and Bro. with his half-brother and for the first time, bourbon was sold in a glass bottle. Whether you are looking at the building from the street, sitting in the bar, dining or relaxing on the patio area, the nostalgic rustic feeling of bourbon’s history can be felt everywhere. The bar at Bourbons has a very welcoming saloon feeling and features well over a hundred different bourbons, ryes, Tennessee whiskeys and other American whiskeys. These include everyday pours, premium and super-premium selections along with some amazing private barrel selections. It is also not uncommon to find an occasional dusty procured by Jason himself. The bourbon menu list is impressive and an excellent combination of whiskeys typically found everyday along with many others. But don’t just look at the list, ask any of the staff what other special pours they may have available. I could name drop just about every bourbon and rye and you’ll probably find it behind the bar. For the most part, prices are reasonable but don't forget, for an exclusive pour it will cost you.

Whether you are wanting to try a dram of your favorite whiskey, try a new cocktail or experience a flight of whiskey, all are in abundance. There are a number of pre-selected whiskey flights to choose from or customize one of your own. Each month Bourbons' features a special flight curated by Jason and the staff. If you have any questions, Mike Downs @mike_l_1_c_4, the self-proclaimed “Semi-Professional Bartender” is behind the bar and happy to make a recommendation or just chat with him about his favorite team, the Louisville Cardinals ... just don't hold that against him.

When you’re ready for food, eat at the bar or in their white tablecloth dining room. I hate to say there’s nothing disappointing on the menu, but here it is the truth. My personal favorites include the Garlic and Goat Cheese spread, Fried Oysters, Scottish Salmon and the Filet is always outstanding. If you want a real treat, try Bourbon’s Waygu Burger with apple-smoked bacon and fried egg. It only gets better with their Bourbon Bread Pudding covered in bourbon caramel sauce. You'll thank me or just hate me later.

There are almost countless exceptional bourbon bars today in Louisville, Bourbons Bistro remains one of the best of them all.
photo credit: Jeremy Schell

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About Jeremy Schell
Jeremy is a Virginia native transplanted to Louisville, Kentucky in 1990. An entrepreneur and survivor of the dotcom era, he is a 25-yr. veteran of the Internet industry. Over the years, working with notable clients such as Brown-Forman, Hershey, Maker's Mark and others, he developed an affinity for drinking, collecting and talking bourbon…. and chocolate, mostly just eating it. Connect with him on Instagram @jeremyschell or visit his web site

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