Oh Lordy, look what Monk has his hands on now! A bottle of George T. Stagg and a bottle of William Larue Weller. If you’ve never had the opportunity to try them, now is your chance.
So read the Facebook post from Monks BBQ. William LaRue Weller is my favorite bourbon. Therefore, when I saw on Facebook that Monks BBQ had just received a bottle of WLW after a three-year wait, I knew I needed to check it out.
Monks BBQ defines bourbon, beer, and barbecue. I first heard about Monks when my first article was posted on Bourbon and Banter, back in March. A friend reached out and told me about Monks. I had never heard of it before then even though it is about ten miles from my house, in Purcellville, VA. They have over 100 bourbons and ryes on their shelf. The first thing that you see when you walk in the restaurant is the bourbon tree mural on the wall. Right away you know you are in bourbon heaven.
It is hard to believe that a bar could carry such a diverse selection of bourbon and rye in the state of Virginia, but they do. I wanted to know how this was possible, so I reached out to Becky Jordan, the bar manager and bartender at Monks. According to Becky, Monks spends a lot of time on lists, studying when limited products are released and emailing Virginia ABC. She also said that the local ABC store (in Virginia, a restaurant/bar must only deal with its local ABC store) is well aware of their mission and helps Monks out as much as possible; which is just giving Monks a heads up if they have won a lottery. Yes, in Virginia, a control state, restaurants/bars also have a lottery for limited availability products. According to Becky, patience is a key.
The owner of Monks BBQ, Brian Jenkins, has been collecting bourbon far longer then it’s become mainstream, so he has a fantastic personal selection at home which helped him to know what to search for to carry in the restaurant. Monks, as a BBQ restaurant, has been in business five years, starting out at a brewery/winery on weekends. Brian than assumed a lease from another restaurant and opened Monks in its present location in the spring of 2014. The bourbon quest began in earnest in the winter of 2015. Monks first shelf had ten bourbons and has expanded rapidly to what is there today. One key to me, recited by Becky, is that she and other key bartenders take the time to taste all the bourbons and research all the distilleries of the whiskeys on the shelf. Also, they have had a few whiskey classes with Scott Harris, owner of Catoctin Creek Distillery, which is up the street in Purcellville.
Don’t forget that Monks also has great BBQ, fabulous ribs and they make their BBQ sauce onsite. The bourbon mustard sauce is excellent. Monks also serves local craft beers and local wines as well. And don’t forget the Bacon on a Stick!! Live music on the weekend and also on Whiskey Wednesday. Yes, every Wednesday is Whiskey Wednesday at Monks where all whiskeys (except the limited availability items) are half price between 5 and 7 pm.
So, when I saw the Facebook post, at the end of October, that Monks had received a bottle of William LaRue Weller and George T Stagg, part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, it was time for another visit. I saw the post on Wednesday and my wife and I visited on Friday afternoon. It is a good thing we did. My wife and I both had a pour, and at that point, the bottle was half gone. In two days! There are not many things better than eating some great BBQ and sipping on William LaRue Weller.
If you are in the Northern Virginia area and want to try some great bourbon, put Monks BBQ on your list. Only about 25 minutes west of Dulles Airport in Purcellville, VA.
Monks is a bourbon heaven!