Ordering an old fashioned at Rough Draught Whiskey Bar on Northgate comes with a unique twist, thanks to a special brand of bourbon.
General manager and part owner Kyle Meredith said that when the bar first opened in 2015, he and his team decided to use Buffalo Trace bourbon for their signature old fashioned. As the bar gained an audience on Northgate, Rough Draught sold enough of it to rise in the ranks as one of Buffalo Trace’s top accounts in Texas, according to Meredith.
Buffalo Trace -- based in Frankfort, Kentucky -- offered the bar the opportunity to select its own 8-year-old barrel of specialty bourbon, he said, which is now appropriately named the Buffalo Trace Rough Draught Select.
“You get to go to Buffalo Trace and choose your own barrel,” Meredith said. “They have five different barrels they let you choose from. That is our barrel. There is no other barrel in the world like that.”
Each bottle comes with a “Rough Draught Select” label. The 80-proof bourbon is sweet, with hints of caramel and vanilla, though it still packs a punch. It is combined with orange rind, brown sugar and Angostura bitters to round off the old fashioned, with a cherry on top.
If you like sugary flavors, this cocktail is a great way to start the night. The smooth drink is one to sip on while talking with friends, a drink to savor rather than throw back.
“The name says all,” Meredith said. “It is an old cocktail. We’ve put our own spin on it. I’ve heard people come in here and they say, ‘We’re getting old fashioneds, it’s the best one on the block.’”
Rough Draught also serves more than 175 whiskeys. The bar’s decor is inspired by the Prohibition era, according to Meredith. He said most of the furnishings came from that period — from wood paneling from a torn-down home lining the walls to a 48-star American flag.