Some complain about the exorbitant prices of cult favorite bourbon Pappy Van Winkle. But a pour of Pappy might seem cheap compared to some of the rarer spirits to be found in D.C. And while their cost might mean only high rollers tend to buy them, the rarity or the quality of these spirits often justify a high price.
Bourbon Steak has a wide variety of rare spirits. It starts with a half ounce pour of Nolet Reserve gin at $35 to the very top of the line 80 proof Hennessy Ellipse cognac at $650 per pour. Only 2000 bottles of the Ellipse were made and bottled in Baccarat crystal. You can also find high end rums, tequila and mezcal on their list.
With around 100 bottles of rum, Hogo is naturally going to have some unique options. At the top of the list is the Black Tot at $100 per ounce. Owner Tom Brown describes it as "drinking a bit of history"; this special rum is the bottling of the last of the British Navy's stock of rations from when they ended distribution in 1970. If you're looking for a "bargain" Black Tot, Civil Cigar Lounge is currently selling it for $75 per oz.
It's not surprising that Jack Rose, known for its selection of rare whiskeys, has some pricey pours. Topping the list at $130 for two ounces is the Irish whiskey Knappogue Castle 1951. It's considered one of the oldest and rarest Irish whiskeys in the world, and was one of the first single malt Irish whiskeys to be bottled and distributed.
The Round Robin at the Willard has been a venerated bar with a great selection of whiskeys. At the high end of that is the Glenmorangie 25 year, which comes in at $35 for a quarter ounce, and $135 for a full ounce pour.
Zengo has a large selection of agave-based liquors. The priciest among these is the Patron Gran Burdeos at $60 per pour. It's aged for 12 months, distilled a second time, and then stored in used bordeaux barrels for fruity and oaky flavors.
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[Photo: Round Robin]