Whisky Rules at Argyll Gastropub

Old and New World whisky
Whisky Rules at Argyll Gastropub

No, that’s not a misspelling. Argyll in City Park West draws on both the old and new worlds to bring the best in hardy pub food and drink to Denver diners. Using the old world spelling of the western region of Scotland, Argyll serves a modern take on traditional pub fare to warm your soul.

The bar, which is surrounded on two sides by a windowed terrace, has anywhere from 240-250 different mind-blowing whiskeys. Consider the Longrow 14-year Burgundy Cask Finish from Campbeltown, Scotland. Argyll’s Bar Manager, Collin Dart, managed to get the last bottle from the distributor. A shot of this whisky is two ounces for $24. However, it is not the most expensive whisky on the list. That would be the Dalmore 25-year whisky from the Scottish Highlands. A two-ounce splash will set you back $100. Whiskey aficionados can try a three-glass flight of select American bourbons and ryes for $12, whiskeys from different regions in Scotland for $17 and a special “Worldly” Single Malt flight with samples from India, France and Japan for $21. For newbies, we highly recommend the Worldly flight because the differences in the mash can be easily tasted and compared.

From this incredible list of whiskeys come some incredible whiskey cocktails. For the holidays, the bar is offering up the Snowcap, a creamy mix of whisky with a special holiday simple syrup. The syrup has touches of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom with a dash of cayenne pepper. The drink is topped with an egg white shaken to frothy perfection and topped with bitters. Dart says it’s a “boozy cocktail, but not booze forward.” We call it delicious.

Dart says the bar’s most popular cocktail is the Thoroughbred, made with Buffalo Trace single barrel bourbon, smoked black tea and grapefruit bitters. It also features a large chunk of ice. The bar makes its own ice by carving smaller chunks from a large block by chainsaw. The ice is designed for all the whisky drinks to keep the beverages cooler longer, yet without influencing the taste of the drinks as the ice melts. Similar to an Old Fashioned, the Thoroughbred has all the punch of the whiskey, but is grounded by the earthy herbalness of the tea.

The Happy Hour menu at Argyll is small, but mighty with dinner-size portions. The most popular appetizer is the Scotch Egg, a giant egg that is soft steamed to harden the white while keeping the yolk soft and runny, then coated in bread and sausage crumbs and deep fried. The egg is served with spicy aioli and a bit of apple fennel salad. The single egg is a meal in itself and takes only three minutes to make. The restaurant goes through 200-250 eggs a week.

The happy hour menu also includes Colorado’s Best Beef Burger on a sweet bun from Grateful Bread with a spicy remoulade, and a cup of sugar and salt sprinkled fries for $11. The burger is huge, but you can make it even bigger by adding cheese, mushrooms or a fried egg for $2 each. The Fall Salad is also dinner-sized and could easily feed two people. The Fall Salad features caramelized acorn squash, pancetta, crunchy walnuts and blue cheese topped with a rosemary vinaigrette for only $8.

Drink specials for happy hour include select beers from the bar’s 20 taps for $4, select whiskies neat, on ice or as an Old Fashioned for $4, and select cocktails and wines by the glass for $5. For an additional $1, the bar will take any American whiskey and turn it into a Manhattan, any rye whiskey into a Sazerac, any Scotch whisky into a Rob Roy or any spirit into an Old Fashioned. Cheers!

Argyll; 1035 17th Street; 303-847-0850

Photos by Carrie Dow


Tags: Beer, Bourbon, Cocktails, Food, Outdoor Seating, Scotch, Whiskey
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