Non-Fiction Friday: Expensive Samples at the Deer Valley Montage's Burgers and Bourbon

Imagine walking into Ice Cream World and paying $28.00 for a scoop of ice cream that's served on one of those tiny little pink sample spoons. That one quick taste had better be beyond good. Like, one taste and you can see God good. Out-of-body-experience good. Willing to open a $10,000 line of credit for all-you-can-eat-sample-spoon-serving-size-ice-cream good. We had spent the day on the mountain at the Park City resort, skiing and snowboarding from the moment the chair lifts opened to the moment an early afternoon storm made the visibility too poor for weary bodies. I was temporarily disappointed (AKA pissed) to have to quit early until I remembered that we had dinner reservations at Burgers and Bourbon, an upscale hamburger joint located in the luxurious Montage Deer Valley resort. The place was known for their gourmet burgers and an insane list of bourbons.

That night we walked into a beautiful, dimly lit great room, filled with dark wooden tables and thickly upholstered chairs. There were several roaring fires going, live acoustic music by the bar, and a coziness you could swim in. If the ambiance was this delicious, I couldn't wait for my meal.

There were 8 of us at the table and an observable giddiness rolling around as we studied their massive bourbon selection and read through each burger's description. Patties smothered in truffles, bourbon caramelized onions, timpanogos blue cheese… Basically we each ordered something different to eat and to drink to make sure we covered as much as the menu as possible. Some of us ordered bourbon flights and others just stuck with one label. I was excited to try a flight of bourbons I'd read about over the years but never tried.

Burgers Bourbon 2


The French fry trios arrived first. Grand slam in the appetizer arena which is a huge compliment coming from someone who hates shoe string fries. But the dipping sauces were so good I would have dunked an actual shoe string in those ramikens and still raved. Then things took a very disappointing turn. The bourbon arrived.

Just to make it really clear, I was not the person who complained. Actually, no one complained. We just suspiciously peered into our lowballs and then looked around to share some "are you thinking what I'm thinking" glances. The pours of these bourbons were so ridiculously stingy that you couldn't help but wonder if the waitress had made a mistake and split one order of bourbon between several people. We called her over to confirm that the pours were indeed accurate and she confirmed that there were 1.5 ounces in each order. An ounce and a half in a single order, and ½ an ounce in each of three glasses for a flight.

Burgers Bourbon 1

For an establishment bearing the name bourbon, this is embarrassing. Please don't take yourselves so seriously. A 1.5 once serving of a $28.00 bourbon? And by the way, this was the most conservative, carefully measured half-ounce I'd ever drank, and I live in a world of measurements.

What about serving a two-ounce pour? Would that be so bad? Giving a person enough bourbon to at least get through half the burger and not just one bite? From the look of things, your business is booming. Surely a few more drops won't put you in the red.

We all shared some laughs about the pour and rejoiced in knowing that we had a fine bottle of bourbon stored back at the condo. It was sad to have to tell the waitress we were done drinking, despite her persistence, and even sadder to have to finish our burgers without the companion of a rich and smooth American whiskey. Luckily that mountain water up there is darn good, and our evening of Burgers and Water turned out to be a tremendously fun night.

April 13th addition: Thanks to @AdultBeverages, we have learned that per Utah law, all establishments in Utah are only allowed to pour 1.5 ounces of alcohol per serving.  We have some darn strong opinions about the logic and consequences of this law, so stay tuned for an upcoming Non-Fiction Friday post dealing with the flaws in Utah alcohol laws.

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