Let me start off saying that when I walked into Jack Rose Whiskey Bar in Washington, DC, I felt like I entered the nirvana of whiskey believing I could potentially be happy never leaving ever again. Despite the staff’s best efforts, I managed to enjoy myself with my friends on a boys weekend.
The positives…. With over 2300 different whiskey selections, what isn’t to like? The best part is that they have many of the unicorns you want to try and the prices aren’t obscene. I tried the E.H. Taylor Cured Oak, Jefferson’s Presidential 25, and a couple others… I am not doing a review for them because I didn’t have my pencil and paper ready, and was just enjoying them with friends and did not perform the regular analysis my readers expect. In addition to the whiskey, the food was delicious. The appetizers were all spectacular, although the main courses were less so (don’t order the rib eye). The scotch eggs were so good I had three all by myself. The chef should be very proud of the exciting menu they have put together.
The negatives…. The staff did everything they possibly could to mar the experience. From the very beginning of the hostess who refused to seat us before our reservation, even though there were two booths open (and remained open for a long time)…. to the bartender who couldn’t find the whiskey we ordered and took 30 minutes to let me know they couldn’t find it… all the way to the general manager. The best part was the argument with the general manager who had told me that I must have dropped my credit card because there was no possible way that the bartenders still had it because they do no transfer checks from the bar to the table (the hostess said they can transfer the tab from the bar to the table). After a several minutes of back and forth where I politely told them to please check again, and the GM suggested multiple permutations of what could possibly have happened to my credit card: the best part was when she suggested I look on the ground near the bar. Ten minutes later our waiter returned with my credit card and apologized on behalf of the general manager who I guess didn’t want to correct her own mistake.
The good thing is the food was great, the whiskey was amazing and well priced and my friends are the best in the world, so nothing could ruin the experience. Plus, we ended up pretty drunk by the end. If you are in DC, this is a must go to whiskey bar… just don’t expect to be treated well by the staff.