Jack Rose is a whiskey bar without an equal in Washington D.C. (or anywhere else really). With 2,687 bottles of whiskey on tap, there’s something for everyone, from the refined drinker to the casual imbiber. It also has a killer open-air terrace; tiki bar; whiskey cellar and balcony room with a wood-burning fireplace.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Andrew Williams Contributing writer
Despite the accelerated growth of the District’s beverage culture over the last decade, Jack Rose Dining Saloon has remained a reliable staple since opening in 2011. With a ridiculous repertoire of 2,687 bottles of whiskey and counting, it’s clear why. The collection is second to none in the Western Hemisphere and one of the most extensive in the world, with an outfit of talented cocktail chefs to boot. CYTIES hence fourth christens it the whiskey Mecca. Welcome to the promised land.
How does one stock and display two thousand bottles? Mostly in the ground level dining saloon on a towering five-tiered shelf covering three-fourths of available wall space, the top of which is only accessed by one of several rolling wooden ladders. At peak hours (or any hour), the dance between bartenders doing their thing and climbing is pretty fun to watch. The layout feels more like a library of libations than a whiskey bar, with an equally impressive anthology of other spirits, wine, whiskey flights and an award-winning beer program to pore over [pun intended]. Anyone struggling to slake their thirst here should call it a day.
The details of exposed brick, rich wood and candlelight are dashing. Frequented by well-versed whiskey drinkers, we also recommend this place for novices ready to elevate their game. The atmosphere is likely as founder Bill Thomas intended from the start. Over the years, Thomas has amassed a personal collection of 6,000 bottles, the source of Jack Rose’s curated selection, and from which new additions are often added to the bar. The criteria for tapping his reserve… maintaining breadth, depth, and balance.
The impressive catalog of whiskey is complemented by an upstairs open-air terrace tailor-made for smoking stogies; tiki bar; whiskey cellar and balcony room, complete with a wood-burning fireplace. As one bartender remarked, “there’s so much you can do in this space”. Ron Burgundy would swoon.
If you stop by, ask for Joey and order a Sazerac or Penicillin. His delivery, like Jack Rose, doesn’t disappoint.
If you didn’t bring your own cigar, order one in the dining saloon
Don’t sleep on their beer program
Try the whiskey wings or Bourbon pecan pie
Lucky Buns across the way has a smokin’ hot chicken sandwich