Hey, Bartender: Behind the Scenes at Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar

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Name: Aaron Lilley, General Manager
Bar: Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar, Covington
Summertime Drink of Choice: Whiskey on the rocks

Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar (that’s OKBB to regulars) began life with a purist perspective: It was the place to go to drink bourbon and not much else. By popular demand, however, the bar has evolved to serve craft cocktails and draft beer as well. But whiskey is still the heart and soul of the place, and General Manager Aaron Lilley will happily show you around the impressive wall of rare and wonderful bottles. His favorite? It’s complicated.

What makes OKBB special? The regulars—our regular customers. We had a couple get married here. That and being able to work with one of the coolest collections of whiskey in the world.

I have to ask: What’s your favorite bourbon? I have different ways to answer that question. I could probably break it down in a couple categories. Favorite whiskey you’ve ever had? Booker’s. If money and availability was no object? Barrel-strength E.H. Taylor. Favorite style? Uncut, unfiltered, barrel-proof whiskey. Last whiskey you’re ever going to drink? Wild Turkey 101. I love it.

OKBB has a big menu of cocktails, too. What’s your favorite? I like a very whiskey-forward cocktail. I make a vodka gimlet with Wild Turkey. I call it a turkey giblet.

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