A group of five surround a small, black table in a corner booth of Bar Jackalope. Covering the table are two Sazeracs, two Old Fashioneds, a Japanese Highball, a few tulip glasses for tasting and a box of Le Nez du Whisky. This aroma training tool, comprised of fifty-four tiny vials of concentrated scents, is worth a pretty penny and members of the group eagerly reach for various aromas to sniff. The group did not arrive at the bar bearing the box made for the aspiring whiskey connoisseur; Jackalope provides the tool for any customer wishing to train their olfactory senses.
“We focus on whiskey and education,” says one of the only two bartenders of the intimate bar.
Bar Jackalope is not the easiest bar to find in Downtown LA. People either stumble upon Jackalope or they learn of its secluded location from a friend.
The friend would have told them about Seven Grand, the cocktail bar above Mas Malo in the Jewelry District. They would have then instructed them to grab a quick drink or play some free pool in Seven Grand’s taxidermy-den-of-a-bar before making their way toward the back hall to find the inconspicuous entrance to Bar Jackalope. Finally, the friend would tell them to press the button located to the left of the humble doorframe and wait.
If the bar hasn’t reached capacity, one of the bartenders will open the door to allow small parties to enter. The room holds no more than fifteen guests and many come to stay, sipping their amber-colored liquor until the tonic warms them.
Entering Bar Jackalope is like discovering where the bar owner keeps his secret whiskey stash. Brands ranging from Maker’s Mark, to Elmer T. Lee, to Pappy Van Winkle line the bar containing over one hundred various bottles of nothing but bourbon, scotch and Irish and Japanese whiskey. The bar even carries a bottle of Yamazaki 25, which is one of ten bottles available in the US.
For guests who find themselves frequenting the clandestine LA bar, Jackalope offers the option of purchasing a bottle onsite and reserving it for their consumption only. This unique bottle service feature only further instills the intimacy of the place.
On nights where Seven Grand hosts live music, the sounds pipe through to Bar Jackalope. When the entertainment ends their set, artists like Miles Davis tune in to fill the void.
Naturally, where there is whiskey, there are cigars. Adding to the collection of whiskey and travel books in the center of the room, Bar Jackalope displays a column of cigars behind a glass case. Patrons can puff at their cigars outside on a private patio that overlooks Downtown. Here, even on a chilly night, the quality whiskey and intimate atmosphere warm the novice and aficionado alike.