Drink Locally, Happy Hour, Happy Hour Las Vegas, Lounges & Bars, Neighborhood & Local, Restaurants, Social Drinking, The Strip, Travel

Where Did We Go?

That’s a fair question don’t you think?

We’re still here.

Just waiting on Biscuit to send in her review of B.A.R. (Very awesome place by the way) and for Johnny T’s review about a few places that he had the opportunity to travel to. (SIGH)

So we wait…but not for long.

I am in the process of getting something together for a random holiday in March.  Can’t decide on Thursday, March 16th, Everything You Do Is Right Day, Sunday, March 19th National Corn Dog Day or Thursday, March 23rd National Chip and Dip Day. It’ll come to me soon, so be on the lookout for an invite soon.




Happy Hour, Lounges & Bars, Neighborhood & Local, Scared Scotchless, Social Drinking

Herbs & Rye

Meeting Date: Friday, May 13, 2016
Number of Attendees: 7
Reviewed By: ki…ki…ki…Kina

Where in the world do we start about this place? How about at the front door.  We arrived early to set up for the hoards of people we just knew were going to come,  yeah, that didn’t happen.  More on that later.  The bar opens at 5 pm, not 4:45, 4;55 but promptly at 5 pm.  So we waited with about 20 other people.  Never have we been to a place that commanded such a following or dedicated crowd.  Our interest has been peaked!

Located next to a gas station and a strip mall riddled with vape shops and a dive bar, you wouldn’t expect to find this place. It’s like a hologram suite on the Star Ship Enterprise (TNG):  It’s a regular day outside, but inside you are in an entirely different environment. Herbs & Rye is for all intents and purposes a Speakeasy.  Secret doors to offices, dapper waiters and hosts and a drink menu to die for!  The red velvet walls, low lighting and great atmosphere lent to the cool vibe of this local tavern.

They graciously set up a nice table for us and took great care to make sure we were taken care of during the time we were there. The owner, who appeared out of one of the secret bookshelf doors was super chill and matched the attitude of the bar he created.

Let’s talk about the menu.  For Happy Hour, well drinks, beers and few wines were priced 1/2 off, but the biggest draw for the HH crowd is the half off steaks!  YES!  We are talking a full sized, cooked deliciously until you are ready to run around the restaurant and ask everyone “Why are you not eating this!??”   For appetizers, there were two that qualified for HH pricing: Spicy Mussels and Littleneck Clams.  The mussels, served in a tomato stew, was a plate full of flavor.  There’s enough to feed 2-3 people and  to use the baguette to clean up the leftovers.  Trust us, you will want to do that. The Littleneck Clams  in butter, herbs and lemon…..give us a second we are reliving that moment.  Divine.  It was like the butter grew feet and danced all over your tongue with lemon leading them in a lively version of Riverdance.  Again, use the baguette people!  Just use it!

Jonny T of Scared Scotchless loved the whiskey selection.  He was like a giddy little school boy who was on his way to see his favorite teacher!  An active member of The  Scotch Addicts group on the book of face, he didn’t waste time in telling the other members of this hidden gem.  Read about his adventure soon on his page Scared Scotchless.

The cocktail menu is separated by periods of time: Gothic,  Golden Age,  Old School Age, Prohibition, Years of Reform, Rat Pack Era, Tiki Boom, and Revival.  That takes you from 1776- present time. ARE YOU KIDDING US!!?  Most of the group stayed in the Prohibition section with The Bees Knees and the Mary Pickford. To describe it is to raise your expectations, but we want you to be the judge of the how great these drinks are and try them for yourself.  But just to let you know…The Bees Knees is just that….the bees gosh darn freaking knees.

This location rates high on our drinkable scale.  The limited HH drinks were just like other bars, but we recommend that you go with higher price expectations and try some of their specialty cocktails and have the freaking steak!!

Herbs & Rye is located at 3713 W. Sahara in Las Vegas Nevada.  Reservations are highly recommended 702-982-8036

The Happy Hour Gang is not associated or affiliated with Herbs & Rye. Reviews are based on the attendees of a planned meeting by the members and hosts of The Happy Hour Gang.




Lounges & Bars, Nightclubs, Scared Scotchless, Scotch and Whiskey, Social Drinking

My New Favorite

My current number one favorite, for now at least, is Ardbeg Corryvreckan. This is made by the Ardbeg distillery on the Isle of Islay. They are known for their peat monsters. To the uninitiated, we can talk a bit about making scotch. Single malt scotch is 100% barley, image (1)as opposed to corn, rye, wheat or barley in various combinations in America and Canada. The barley is doused with water and allowed to sprout just a bit. Then it is dried. This is where Islay gets its signature flavor. It’s much too damp to dry the barley without assistance. Given a lack of many tress, they use the most commonly available combustible materail peat.

Peat is a brown soil made up of decayed vegetation. It forms in areas of poor drainage or otherwise unusually wet conditions. The vegetation falls into the standing water and slowly decomposes. More plants grow atop this decaying matter and feed off the carbon dioxide released by the vegetation below. Layer upon layer develops over thousands of years to reach the depths found in peat-lands today. This soil can be cut and laid out to dry and later burned to provide heat and smoke.

The peat found in many parts of Islay allows the whisky distilleries to dry the malted barley and arrest the process of the seed turning to plant. This is enough to develop enzymes in the barley which will be used to convert starches into sugar for the yeasts to feed on. Along with this will be the phenols which come from the smoke of the burned peat used. These phenols, cresols, and other compounds will lend their part in shaping the aroma and taste of the whisky.

What can you expect to smell and taste if you get a glassful of an Islay whisky like Corryvreckan? I get smells of coal tar, band-aids, something akin to Listerine, pears, and depending on the alcohol by volume, smells from ethanol in general. What I taste can often be described as medicinal, or tarry, with a deep flavor of over-brewed espresso, image (1)menthol, and dark chocolate, with a nicely balanced sweetness. The finish lingers, with the ashy campfire smoke of Islays, as well as more tar and dark chocolate covered cherries, accompanied by a nice sweetness. Even though the abv is quite high at over 57%, the burn is scarcely noticeable. Adding water can bring even more scents and flavors out, though I mostly stick to drinking my scotch neat without water.
Do not expect to taste all these things, especially on the first time out. My first experience of it was a mess. I couldn’t differentiate a single thing. I couldn’t even tell what I was smelling, good or bad. My second and third experiences were much better. Then the bottle sat for a long time while I tried many other whiskys. Then I got bored and came back. What a difference! It was like I had never tried it before. I could taste so many things. It was wonderful. I had found a new favorite.

You may not smell or taste anything I listed. You may catch on to things I missed. If you smell or taste it, then that is what you smell and taste. But it is interesting that when someone else tells you what they experience, that you can suddenly realize you get that too; and that in turn can unlock more of the puzzle for you. It’s a matter of trial and error, and reading or asking about others’ experiences to see if they help you at all. If not, no worries. Even if you can smell and taste things that sound like they would be great, you may still hate the impression you get. Works very well in reverse too, obviously. Coal tar and disinfectant smells may not seem yummy, but they can be. Just a matter of having a spirit of adventure and seeing if it pleases you. But if you initially hate things like I often do in scotch, do not hesitate to try again another day. Your tastes may suddenly change for the better! Do not be scared scotchless!

Downtown Las Vegas, Drink Locally, Experience, Happy Hour, Happy Hour Las Vegas, Lounges & Bars, Scared Scotchless, Scotch and Whiskey, Social Drinking

This is Not a Rant

Is whisky a drink? Funny to be asking this, isn’t it? I mean isn’t it obvious that whisky is a beverage? And yet there are investors who buy and sell whisky to make money. At least one person has stated quite clearly that it isn’t a drink. And he’s right. Whisky is a commodity. As a commodity, it has a mysterious quality. It is not a physical property of the item. It is an intangible quality. Like the philosopher Slavoj Zizek has said about Coca-Cola, where the marketing of the product emphatically embraces this intangible quality in its advertisements. Coke is it. Coke is the real thing. Enjoy Coke. What is “it”? What is “the real thing”? Am I obligated to “enjoy” Coke? Does the same hold true for whisky?

When you read about whisky in its descriptions you’ll read all about how this whisky or Ardbeg-Corryvreckanthat was “handcrafted”  “in small batches,” as part of “a limited run” “restricted to x number of bottles” and this treatment will magically infuse the product with something not resulting from its distillation. It is rare. It is special. Possess the bottle and you will possess this something extra.

Drinkers often ask if a particular whisky is worth the extra money spent. That depends. Some whisky is matured for over two decades or more. The age on the bottle (if it has an age statement) is the age of the youngest whisky in the mix. Since it must be maintained for a longer time, the expense involved means that, in order to make a profit, more must be charged to the buyer. This is understandable, but from a taste perspective, this extra expense may not reflect it’s value as a drink meant to be consumed. A higher price tag doesn’t always mean the product tastes better. And in the case of purchasing for investment, the higher price may have nothing at all to do with its taste, but more of its value as a rare commodity.

Like the wine industry, where certain bottles go for thousands of dollars (or more), the wines meant to be consumed on a daily basis by true fans are likely to be some of the least expensive. If I like wine at lunch and dinner on a daily basis I cannot afford to drink high priced, or even moderately priced wines with every meal. The bottles that cost five dollars or so are meant to be enjoyed often. They may not be the best, but they are good, and more importantly can be enjoyed often without breaking the budget. There are similar offerings in the world of whisky, but usually for quite a bit more than five dollars.

But as a drinker of whisky, is it ever worth it to buy a bottle to be consumed once it has achieved investment status? Have the investors essentially destroyed the whisky’s value as a drink? More importantly, by making a particular whisky be rare so as to increase its appeal to the whisky brokers, are distillers catering not to drinkers, but rather to the investors and are thus making products made to be forever bought and sold but rarely consumed? or is this an unfortunate and unintended result?

Happy Hour, Lounges & Bars, Neighborhood & Local, Restaurants, Social Drinking, Uncategorized

Next Meeting Is Scheduled!

We are back and kicking off our next HHG meeting on Friday, May 13th at Herbs & Rye.  We have passed by this bar many a time and now, it’s  our chance to see what the fuss is all about!  Hope you can join us!

All events are posted on our calendar page!  Just click the link and poof!  You’re there!

Remember, keep calm and have a drink!

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