Oaky, sweet, and deliciously smooth—bourbon is a delicacy, and Greater Cincinnati boasts some of the best. To celebrate National Bourbon Day, the B-Line series of bars, distilleries, and restaurants has expanded to include five new and classic spots: Pompilio’s in Newport, Caproni’s on the River in Maysville, and Covington’s Revival Vintage Bottle Shop, Lisse Steakhuis, and Knowledge Bar & Social Room at North by Hotel Covington. That brings the B-Line’s list, which started in 2018, up to 23 local spots.
While you’re checking out the B-Line’s new kids, mark down some of our favorite B-Line spots (and one that lies beyond) to pour a glass and raise a toast to living on the northern end of Bourbon Country.
What could pair better with a smooth bourbon than a smoky plate of ribs just falling off the bone? Head to Covington’s Smoke Justis to enjoy barbecue meats and an honorary bourbon social starting at 4 p.m. in their sultry Bourbon Lounge, stocked to the ceiling with over 300 offerings.
With influences from New Orleans, Charleston, and of course Kentucky, Purple Poulet in Newport offers Southern fusion cuisine alongside a collection of vintage bourbons. Huge wooden barrels and a parade of violet upholstery give this bistro oodles of personality and make it the perfect spot to spend an evening with your bourbon-loving friends.
If you think National Bourbon Day calls for a distillery visit, look no further than Boone County Distilling Co.’s barn-turned-bourbon factory and rich pioneering history. Choose between an hour-long tour of the property or a quicker Grain to Glass tasting experience for a taste of what’s being made on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Coffeehouse by day, speakeasy by Friday and Saturday nights, Newberry Bros. Coffee turns into Prohibition Bourbon Bar—and it’s worth delaying until the weekend to celebrate. The bar features what they say is “the largest collection of bourbon and rye whiskeys found anywhere in the world—thousands of them,” including rare and well-aged Scotch, Irish, and Japanese whiskeys, just to name a few things other than bourbon.
While this Over-the-Rhine spot isn’t on the B-Line, it’s still worth noting as a quality place to enjoy a bourbon cocktail or a finger of Kentucky gold on the rocks. The building it occupies has been around since 1895—predating Prohibition—and is complete with a tasting room showcasing the original Lagering Icehouse Carnegie steel columns and beams. Northern Row is both restaurant and distillery, so you don’t have to sacrifice a delicious dinner for the thrill of sipping a bourbon made just a few feet away.