A Look Inside One of the Top Whiskey Bars in Atlanta
Check out this Q&A with Local Three founder, chef, and full-time whiskey drinker Chris Hall
to learn more about how our bourbon bar stacks up against the rest.
Q) What about Local Three’s whiskey collection makes it so unique and one of the best whiskey bars in Atlanta, the country?
HALL: First, we have access to a lot of great bottles and we curate them well. Our collection runs both wide and deep because of the close relationships we have with distillers and whiskey houses. We travel to visit with our distiller friends and these barrels are generally our favorite to drink from because we choose them – we know exactly how it’s made, where it comes from, we have sampled them against the portfolio and know the history behind them.
These important relationships allow us to have a very comprehensive list you can’t find in other places. Right now, for example, we have six barrel selections that are unique to our restaurants alone. Word of the wise, don’t miss our specialty events with distillers for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Outside of just our supply, we pride ourselves on being experts on whiskey. We have a bourbon sommelier on staff, which is unique from other whiskey bars in Atlanta.
Q) Would you say the collection is representative of styles from around the world?
HALL: Our collection is primarily American, however, it’s also globally representative. We have whiskey from all over the world. We have a lot of great Japanese Whiskey, Irish and Scotch, too. I do think it differentiates us from other whiskey bars in Atlanta and adds a unique twist for tastings.
Q) Bourbon bars are growing in popularity. What do you feel separates a quality bar from an imitator?
HALL: It’s about commitment to quality and the depth of selections that help to differentiate you from other whiskey bars in Atlanta. Therefore, saying you’re a bourbon bar and having 40 bourbons on your menu – that’s nice, but there is no depth to that. To me, it’s about the depth of the collection of offerings. Anyone can get Old Forester, but how many different years of birthday bourbon do you have? Those are the kind of things that are interesting to me.
We currently have 500+ American whiskies and that list is always growing. Of that, there are at least 300 bourbons and multiple expressions from multiple time periods.
Q) What do you think makes the “Whiskey Business” program so cool?
HALL: Our “Whiskey Business” program consists of themed tastings where guests can try different expressions from the same producers, maybe single barrel, maybe bottle and bond, etc. You have the opportunity to taste and examine a wide variety from a collection all at once.
In this program, guests can join us for an intimate bourbon dinner or virtually from the comfort of their own home. They can taste all expressions from that maker and discuss the flavor profiles with our team of experts. So, for example, we may feature Buffalo Trace and in the collection, you might try Thomas Handy Sazerac, etc. These events are very unique curated tastings where you can taste multiple whiskies in the same setting all carefully paired with a delicious dinner from our team of talented chefs.
Q) Talk to me about our private and virtual whiskey tastings.
HALL: Private tastings are perfect for a special evening with friends or a unique gift for a whiskey aficionado. Tastings are offered for groups from 8 to 40 and are available at our restaurant, at the location of your choice or virtually. Flights include 1-oz pours for whiskey only and all 2- oz pours for cocktails. In additions, there are options to add on cheese, charcuterie and popcorn or even make it a private dinner!
As of now, we have six tastings options already available, but we can always customize any private whiskey tasting to your party and your preferences.
Q) We have an entire 10-page whiskey book for a menu. Do you have any tips for how someone should go about ordering? Is there something for whiskey beginners and whiskey aficionados?
HALL: Flights are a great way to order if you’re a beginner so you can try many different things. The book is organized in many sections. Having an idea of what you like helps us steer you in the right direction. Ask for our bourbon sommelier Paige, myself or any of our bar staff if you’re a beginner we are happy to help guide you based on your preferences.
If you’re a vet, ask us what’s not on the list. We don’t reprint daily, but we also don’t hold our new stuff back. There are a few new bottles that we can grab for you. If you want Pappy, we may have it. We may not. But, I can promise you that we have at least 10 whiskies that are just as good if not. You can expect that when you walk into one of the top whiskey bars in Atlanta.
Bonus Question: Finally, what’s your favorite bottle on the shelf?
HALL: Take away the unicorn bottles – it’s easy to say 4 Roses Al Young is great, but it’s more for me where can I find value on things that I drink like Old Forester 1920, Henry McKenna 10- Year Bottled-in-Bond are a couple. But, again, if you see me drinking at our bars, it’s usually always from our list of barrel selections.