Yeah! It’s officially fall—and that means pig roasts (to drink bourbon cocktails), football (to drink beer with a bourbon back), and cool nights (to drink bourbon). I found a great place to enjoy all sorts of bourbon and some tasty food as well.
I gotta be honest…one of the great things about writing this article is I get to taste a lot of bourbon. Some are good, some are great, but all have a place, whether it be neat in a glass or stirred in a cocktail.
The great thing about Denver right now is that it’s not only embracing the bourbon revival…it took it by the horns and said, “Let’s go!” You can walk into almost any decent restaurant or bar and have at least five to ten bourbons or ryes from which to choose.
This month I sat with Jake Kesler of Ignite restaurant on Larimer Street in Denver. Ignite recently started a focused bourbon program offering tastings of three 1-ounce pours ranging in price anywhere from $18 to $26.
Ignite to taste
He prepared all four tastings (yes, I showed restraint and only tasted a few of the sixteen bourbons in front of me) along with some pretty tasty food!
Food like Man Candy, that pairs amazingly well with bourbon. Why? Because it’s bacon (!) coated in brown sugar, molasses, and black and red crushed peppers. Seriously, it’s so good they put it in their Manhattans.
Then he sent out bourbon glazed wings, which went really well with the Bulleit Rye. They kept sending food and I kept trying it—hey, a girl has to eat too.
Needless to say, it was all tasty—oh yeah, get the mac and cheese; I bet you can’t eat it all.
When I asked Jake why they started a bourbon program he said, “Because it’s become so popular.” Well, yeah! I love the idea of being able to try three different bourbons at one time—talk about a great tasting. To do that at other places would cost you a lot more and you would need a cab home for sure.
I also like the idea that they change up what’s on their flights—smart. Keeps me—I mean you—coming back. One of the bourbons they have is Fireside—very light, not a ton of caramel flavor and not a lot of burn.
It’s like bourbon with training wheels, but if you’re new to bourbon, it’s probably worth a sip or two.
So, when you want to try a lot of different bourbons, I’d try out Ignite and see what they have on their flights. Jake did say they are getting Pappy 15 year in, so that alone is worth a trip.
Hmm, wonder if that will make it on the tasting board? I think Ignite has quite the relationship with Buffalo Trace given they have a huge mural painted on their wall.
And with our wonderful Colorado weather comes a huge rooftop patio. Great views, delicious food, and enough bourbon to make it seem like the mountains are moving.
Ignite is located at 2124 Larimer St. Denver, CO.