In Kentucky, we take our bourbon seriously. From sauces to flights, there are a number of places in Bowling Green where you can experience Kentucky's native drink. Since September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, we wanted to share a few great ways to experience bourbon in and around Bowling Green.
Visit Hickory & Oak to experience one of the city's largest bourbon bars — pictured above, this restaurant carries about 150 bourbons, including several Pappy Van Winkle options. Hickory & Oak's signature cocktail is a New Fashion, its take on the classic Old Fashioned. H&O's version features a hefty, two ounce pour of Buffalo Trace combined with house bitters and simple syrup that is poured over custom ice cubes that are infused with fresh orange and Luxardo cherry.
Bowling Green Pipe & Cigar, overlooking Fountain Square Park, specializes in pairing cigars and pipe tobacco with spirits and offering a place for them to be enjoyed in its smoking lounge. Their bourbon offerings rotate, but Bowling Green Pipe & Cigar tries to have at least 30 different bourbons on hand.
Bowling Green Pipe & Cigar
Preservation Tasting Room & Bottle Shop offers an eclectic mix of bourbons, as well as wines and craft beers. You can sometimes find rare bottles of Pappy Van Winkle to enjoy. Preservation also offers unique cocktails. Specials rotate, but one recent bourbon feature was the Preservation Old Fashioned Special Edition Batch #50: Dueling Grounds Linkumpinch 100 Proof Wheated Bourbon with organic black cherry juice, La Croix Orange, and Angostura bitters that was pre-batch, de-gassed, cold-stabilized, and served on nitrogen — controversial perfection, as the bar says.
Preservation Tasting Room & Bottle Shop
Dueling Grounds Distillery
Rafferty's, Double Dogs, and Montana Grille have a variety of bourbons in their bars, but they have a special partnership with Knob's Creek. They feature the Private Select Knob Creek Single Barrel at each restaurant.
If a bourbon sauce is more your speed, Montana Grille is also known for its popular Kentucky Bourbon filet, featuring a rotisserie fired filet slow roasted over hickory wood and basted in a rich bourbon sauce. Mariah's, a downtown staple for more than 30 years, features a popular bourbon-glazed salmon.
Mariah's Bourbon-Glazed Salmon
And if you like your bourbon a little sweet, Bowling Green has that, too. Head over to Mary Jane's Chocolates for delicious, locally-made bourbon chocolate treats — this sweet shop offers more than traditional bourbon balls among its spirit-centric chocolate selection. Chaney's Dairy Barn even incorporates Kentucky's spirit into its Bourbon Crunch, a bourbon ball ice cream featuring Maker's Mark Bourbon.
Mary Jane's Kentucky Colonels
If you do decide to sample some bourbon around BGKY, don't forget to have a designated driver in your party. Uber, Lyft, and several taxi services are available in BGKY, as well.
For more ideas on where to experience bourbon in BGKY, head over to our Restaurant and Music & Entertainment pages. Enjoy your bourbon responsibly — if you decide you want to stay the night in BGKY, we have great lodging options, too!