The collection includes hard-to-find "dusties" and other rare bottles that will be sold at 20 to 50 percent off.

By Jelisa Castrodale
March 20, 2020
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According to the counter on its website, there are currently 2,687 bottles of whiskey (and whisky) lining the shelves behind the bar at Jack Rose Dining Saloon. The Washington, D.C. bar is a must-visit destination for bourbon and whiskey lovers and, for those of us who fall into that category, its fat "Whisky Bible" menu is a more thrilling read than anything on the New York Times bestseller list.

But because desperate times, desperate measures and all that, Jack Rose has decided to sell everything—literally everything—in the bar, including the widely available favorites and the hard-to-find "dusties" that make up one of the country's biggest collection of spirits. (Actually, forget the U.S.: Jack Rose has been called "one of the largest retailers of whiskeys in the Western Hemisphere.")

“When we come out of this on the other side I want to be debt-free and get everyone back to work—that means selling a shit ton of whiskey,” owner Bill Thomas told Washingtonian. “It’s going to take a little creativity, a little elbow grease. We’re doing everything we can.”

The bar's unbelievable Pop Up Whisk(e)y Shop opens for business today, and every bottle will be sold at a discount of between 20 percent and 50 percent off. The bottles that have been opened will be offered either by the bottle or by the ounce. "Anything anyone wants,” Thomas said.

A Jack Rose bartender retrieves one of the more than 1,400 types of whiskey offered on September 23, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
The Washington Post / Contributor/Getty Images

Jack Rose is also putting together neatly packaged "cocktails to go" kits for $10 bucks each, and chef Russell Jones has put a take-out menu together for anyone who wants something from the Saloon dining room to accompany their whiskey haul. Also, if you'd like to visit the bar when all of this uncertainty is behind us, it's also selling gift cards that can be cashed in for future whisky flights.

In a post that was shared on Jack Rose's Facebook and Instagram, the bar said that demand for the sale had been so overwhelming that its website crashed. As a result, its takeaway dinner menu, Drams-to-Go menu, Whisky Bible, and the list of available cocktails have all been posted on Dropbox, too.

Jack Rose will start taking phone orders today at 12:30 p.m. and the Pop Up Whisk(e)y Shop will be open from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. daily. And because safety and social distancing are the words of the day, the bar says that anyone who arrives in person should "expect many precautions in place," including limited entrance to the bar.

"We are overwhelmed by the support and hope that this will keep us and our staff here for decades to come," Jack Rose wrote. "Thank you all."

This is a wonderful opportunity to fill in the gaps in your at-home whiskey collection, and to support the bartenders and servers at a Washington, D.C. institution in the process. And right now is one of those times when it seems like a great idea to treat yourself to an extra bottle (or just an extra-heavy pour) of the really good stuff.