Fragrant Whiskey Infusion

The plan was to go to a bar here in Denver that, from its name at least, promised to have a good selection of whiskies.IMG_0097

And indeed, the Whiskey Bar on Larimer Street had a big selection of whiskies and a strong theme of whiskey throughout. It was also just a little bit loud for the kind of conversation we were having – a visit with an old friend who we hadn’t seen in years, catching up on life. IMG_0084

So we wandered out and into the place right next door, which promised wine and cigars. The sweet fragrance of rich cigar smoke wafted through the open door (who knew Denver could be so warm and sunny on a Sunday afternoon in January?), and once inside the Palma Cigar and Wine Bar, we knew we were in one of those true local gems I always hope to find while traveling, but rarely do.

Vintage lamps hung like Christmas lights, deep leather sofas, heavy crystal ashtrays, old hats and glass cabinets, Frank Sinatra crooning over the loudspeakers, and a warm welcome.IMG_0100

Besides serving a range of local Colorado wines (surprisingly good), the shop is home to a workshop for the hand-rolled cigars that other patrons were smoking. IMG_0096

Now, what does this all have to do with whiskey?

As it turns out, some of the cigars were flavored. And one of the those flavors was, you guessed it, whiskey. So of course we had to try one.

I can drink whiskey any old day. How often do I get the chance to smoke it?IMG_0102

I do favor the very occasional cigar, especially in good company, in good surroundings and with a fine beverage at hand.

All these criteria were met, and the cigar, rolled by master cigar maker and bar owner Clay Carlton, was a treat of smoky whiskey-tinged sweetness. And yes, we bought some to take along for the rest of the trip.IMG_0093

There were these bottles of whiskey-roasted whole coffee beans, another product of the shop – we didn’t try any coffee, but the scent of the beans was heady and aromatic with whiskey.

The shop’s other potential treat which we left unsampled was the barber’s chair at the back of the shop. Full haircuts available while you smoke. Real indulgence. IMG_0088

One of these days, the barkeep (the pleasingly-named and very knowledgeable Mr. Valentine) told us, the bar would have a full liquor license, and whiskey proper would be served.

Guess I’ll have to come back to Denver.


Palma Cigar and Wine Bar, 2207 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80205

All photos: PK Read

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