Apr
05
2010

The museum of Jack Daniel’s

Have you ever had a good idea, only to find out that not only has someone already done it, they’ve taken it to a level you never even considered? Such was the case on our recent trip to Spain. We were heartily enjoying the varied nightlife of Barcelona and then Cadiz and I noticed that in every bar we went there was a distinct lack of bourbon. Not matter how nice the bar, how many different bottles they had on the wall, they only served Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s (which, as we all know, is actually Tennessee whiskey, not bourbon). Despite this, I began to fall in love with the country and started scheming on moving to Spain.

Now we’ve always dreamed of opening a bar. Naturally, this lack of decent bourbon, rather than indicate to me that there was a lack of demand, strongly indicated that there was a lack of supply. I mean, there must be others like me, or at the very least, potential bourbon lovers who just hadn’t had the opportunity to experience what the beverage could truly achieve. So I got to talking about how we would move to Cadiz and open a bourbon bar to support ourselves. Dream come true.

Well, we had explored most of the town by our third day there, but there was one neighborhood that we hadn’t seen yet. It was Friday night when we made our way over to the Plaza de San Antonio to scope out the nightlife. We found a fantastic Cuban bar where I learned the trick to a great Mojito, but that’s another story. Next we went to another bar a little further down the street called Piccol’a. On the outside it is apparent that this place serves Jack Daniel’s.

However, this is only a small glimpse of what the inside holds. They had J.D. stuff in there that you never would have thought of. I really hope that it was a lifetime’s labor of love rather than a calculated weekend spent on eBay.

Yeah, that cutout is wearing a straw hat. I came to realize with horror that someone else already had my grand idea! Overlooking that small detail of Tennessee whiskey, some guy had already opened what was effectively a museum of Jack Daniel’s. They actually called themselves that on a plaque somewhere inside. And of course, even in this shrine, there were the numerous and varied bottles of scotch, tequila, etc. and the single bottle of Jack Daniel’s.

So there you have it. Piccol’a in Cadiz, Spain. The museum of Jack Daniel’s. Definitely worth a visit. My new plan is to move to Cadiz and acquire Piccol’a. Never fear. I will pour bourbon in addition to Tennessee whiskey.

—Christian

Addendum: A couple of months after writing this, I received a note from the owner in Cadiz (see “Comments” below). He gave a little back history which I’ve copied here, with the help of a friend, in translation:

“Enthusiastic friend, I am delighted to be remembered by your commentary about my place (now also your second home). I will tell you something of my history so that you can better understand my establishment. In January, 1988 I opened the place. At that time we had a variety of beverages, including 20 brands of beer (now 45), 14 types of rum (now 98), 6 types of vodka  (now 20), 12 of gin (now 30), also a great variety of tequilas, licores, cavas, champagnes, cognac, brandies, wines, etc. etc. And what you like most: 25 types of whisky (now there are 125). Of course, always without missing our great Jack Daniel’s. All this in only 20 square meters …”

Naturally, I was amazed that the Spanish owner of a small bar in a small—albeit, relatively touristic—town somehow found my post and felt the need to comment. Not to mention, “also your second home”—um, hell yeah?! But the story gets better:

“In 1995 the distributor of Jack Daniel’s here in Spain organized a party  in each region of the country and chose a bar in the capital and  in the provence. In Andalucia me and my place were chosen. In addition to the party, we had a trip to the distillery, the most amazing place decorated with Jack Daniel’s stuff. In other words, we enjoyed ten days of Tennessee. Here you have in these few lines a little of my history. I have been enchanted with your piece about my place. A million thanks from Cadiz, your little silver cup—three millennium old!!”

There you have it, our first foreign language comment, and from such an amazing fellow Enthusiast! All I can say is that I can’t wait to return to Spain to visit my second home.

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