Barrel Proof (1201 Magazine St.; www.barrelproofnola.com), the latest bar venture from the owners of Sylvain (625 Chartres St., 504-265-8123; www.sylvainnola.com), opened recently in the former Bridge Lounge location, and it offers a mind-boggling array of whiskies and beers from around the globe. The menu features more than 150 whiskey options, organized by country.
The dimly lit space is energetic and welcoming, complete with taxidermy bobcat and oxen providing a watchful eye over the bar. Here are three unique offerings that offer a taste of the selections:
Brenne: Packaged in a robin's egg blue bottle, Brenne is the world's first organic French single-malt whiskey. The drink's curiously sweet taste (somewhere between caramel flan and creme brulee) and treacly scent comes from its unusual aging process in used Cognac barrels after being twice distilled.
Balacones Brimstone: Not a whiskey for the faint of heart, Bimstone's high alcohol content and Texas scrub oak-smoked taste (yes, it is smoked) is at first akin to downing a campfire. After a few sips, though, cinnamon and fruity notes emerge.
The Belgian Owl: The first whiskey created in Belgium with homegrown barley, Belgian Owl is a single malt with an arresting light hue like pale honey. With grassy and floral notes, Belgian Owl has a refreshing, dry aftertaste that makes it a great sipper for hot days.