Drink of the Week: The Lucky Beaver’s Distinguished Beaver

In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.

If you ask 20 different people at what age does someone become distinguished, you might get 20 different answers. The real truth is that it’s different for everyone and some people may never get to “distinguished” status – although, what does it truly mean to be distinguished? But, lucky for us, this week’s feature lives up to its name right out of the gates so there’s no wondering, no guessing.

The Lucky Beaver’s Distinguished Beaver
Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune

The bones of the drink are pretty straightforward. You have your choice of bourbon or rye whiskey, combined with orange and bitters then garnished with an orange twist and a Maraschino cherry. Think of it as an elderly Old Fashioned, which is probably where the “distinguished” comes from. This is the type of drink you expect to be seen with a cigar hanging out its mouth.

While it ditches the sugar and sweetness from the Old Fashioned recipe, the bitters still do their part in creating that balance in the whiskey, which also helps the orange to penetrate the palette. And when you have the whiskey options offered, you don’t need the sugar component – they offer enough complexity to where it’s not missed.

Your whiskey choices start out with Old Forester bourbon or rye, or, you can upgrade to the Whistle Pig rye. Now, Whistle Pig is one of my favorite whiskey brands so if that’s an option I’m going to go for it. It’s spice forward, but unfolds differently with each sip as it opens up. The slight sweetness from the cherry and the subtle orange flavor seem to get into its pores as the drink goes by, so by the end it’s as if everything is acting as one singular liquid.

Whether or not it’s my favoritism towards Whistle Pig or not, I think most whiskey fans will find this drink right up their alley. And if you’re not a fan of the Pig, try with the other options – I won’t judge. Well, maybe I will, but I’d probably do it behind your back, so feel free to carry on.

The Lucky Beaver is located at 31 U.S. Hwy 50 #104 in Stateline. For food and drink menus, visit them online at or reach them by phone at 775-580-7770 for further information.

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