Bourbon Yoda Michael Veach says there’s more to being a “Bourbon bar” than serving a variety of Bourbons. The key, he says, is staff training:
The staff should know what a bourbon is and why it is different from Canadian, Tennessee or rye whiskeys. The staff should be able to make recommendations based upon what the customer normally drinks, whether that is bourbon, wine, beer or cocktails. The staff should be able to tell the customer what Bottled-in-Bond bourbon is and why it is different from other bourbons. The same should hold true for other styles such as single barrel, small batch, wheated or high-rye bourbons.
We couldn’t agree more. The ability to guide a customer through the wide variety of Bourbon’s to the right whiskey is as core to being a Bourbon bar as having a decent sommelier is to being serious about wine. The understanding of Bourbon styles is based primarily on the sense of smell, which is something we know a little about.