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Dec 1, 2010 08:37 AM

Spirits on tap - any advantage?

A bar in SF has Fernet on tap and I was wondering if, like beer, there is something better about it.

That got me thinking about spirits in general on tap. I always figured the whiskey on tap was just for convenience. Any taste difference for the better or worse?

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  1. When spirits are on tap in bars and restaurants, it's usually for inventory control purchases for the house primarily.....the customer benefits from knowing s/he are receiving controlled shot of booze. i.e., no short pours.

    I believe it was on the Discovery Channel or Modern Marvels....where it showed the Bellagio Hotel liquor system. The booze travels a mile in length before it is dispensed.

    1. it could help slow oxidation of some things depending on the system, I'd guess it's mostly about inventory control or styling.

      1. The one in Boston isn't about inventory control since it's a tap lever just like beer or wine, and not a measured shot. So overpouring and underpouring are just as possible.

        It's more about advertising the spirit so the tap catches your eye and you order more of it (or order it if you weren't planning to).

        I guess that it doesn't hurt that the Citizen in Boston sells their Fernet for $3/shot, undercutting the more recent lowballer by a dollar.

        1 Reply
        1. re: yarm

          According to this article in the SF Chronicle, you win. It is all about marketing and style and has nothing to do with flavor.

        2. Jägermeister has been on tap for years, and I always figured it was because otherwise nobody would order it.

          1. I saw an nytimes article recently about mezcal on tap.


            1 Reply
            1. re: quazi

              I'm not sure if "giant plastic water bottles (bidones); more than 20 types are perched behind the bar, dispensed via snaking dispensary tubes" is exactly "on tap".

              Really great article though and good writer. I didn't know much about mezcal

              "Mezcal traditionally refers to any spirit distilled from one of countless varieties of agave, or maguey, plants — a succulent in the lily family and not a cactus, contrary to popular belief. Mezcals are typically handcrafted, the maguey hearts roasted in underground pits to obtain its distinctive smoky flavor. (Tequila is a type of mezcal, made from the agave tequilana, or “blue” agave.)"

              And to keep with my Fernet theme "Garañona is a disturbingly candy-green herbal liqueur, like Fernet but more for the Mexicans’ sweet tooth"

              Thanks for the link. It gives me some incentive to do some touring in Mexico which has been in the back of my mind.