Bar Belle: Bourbon

With all the mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, bean casserole and pumpkin pie stuck in my stomach from Thanksgiving, I wasn’t sure if alcohol would be able to affect my blood for the next month. Yet as luck would have it, another birthday rose to the occasion this past weekend and I knew I would have to put all that turkey stuff aside and do what the Bar Belle does best – rally.

If you remember a few weeks ago I tried to make it into the Adams Morgan bar Bourbon. Due to a little misunderstanding with the bouncers, I had to . or rather chose to leave. So when my sister told me we were heading to Bourbon to celebrate our friend’s 25th birthday I was pretty excited because I wanted to delve deeper into the depths of this bar. Straight off the bat the narrow proportions inside Bourbon surprised me. The bar had three levels but the first floor was closed for a private function, so we headed upstairs to the second floor. There, two bars were situated between the front and back of the building. My caution to you, reader and social connoisseur, is to be aware that the front bar is pretty small and hard to score a drink. When I finally got the bartender’s attention, I threw out all my inhibitions and went full speed ahead for the bourbon – there would be no Miller Lite that evening. When in Rome do as the Romans, right? Can’t say I am much of a bourbon drinker, but there is something about drinking “good” bourbon in an oak-furnished bar that makes you feel a little avant-garde and pretentious. I took the drink down with a half-smiling, half-disgusted face and gave an approving look to the birthday boy. Dear God, that drink burned.

With my bourbon in hand (and still in my throat), I started to take in the atmosphere of the bar. A huge screen projected repeating images of Charlie Chaplin while a massive chandelier hung above the second- floor ceiling. A small DJ booth was set up perpendicular to the staircase and a house DJ spun popular songs along with some lesser-known tunes, which I found pretty enticing.

The crowd was a potluck of all different kinds of people: I was joined by some late-20s professionals, but I also eyed a few people sporting Georgetown and American hats. A common theme of my Bar Belle search recurred, as Bourbon also hit the wallet pretty hard, although the bartender did promise me that this bourbon was top-shelf specialty. There was potential for the small dimensions of the bar to pollute my opinion of the place, but I have to say the quantity of people stayed at a comfortable number and I ended up really enjoying the company.

So is bourbon my new drink of choice? Definitely not, but Bourbon just might be my new bar of choice. Check it out next time you hit up the Adams Morgan scene. The annual “ugly winter sweater” bar crawl is happening this Saturday along the 18th Street strip, and what could be better than drinking bourbon with a bunch of tacky sweaters? See you there!

Bar Belle Rating: Three of Four Belles

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