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!

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!

Eventbrite - Happy Hour Gang Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas, Happy Hour, Lounges & Bars, Neighborhood & Local, Social Drinking, Uncategorized

Downtown Cocktail Room

Tonight was the first planning meeting of the Happy Hour Gang. But due to illness, work, and new jobs I was the only one to show up.


This amazing little bar is hidden behind smoky glass and a steel door and if you blink you may miss it. Tonight’s crowd was small, as it is a Monday night, but everyone is pretty friendly and ready to share a story or two.

Davey the bartender from Ohio, by way of England and is eager to share information about the Brew of the Month. (Trust me, you’ll want to listen,  his accent is dreamy, but don’t ask him where he’s from. But do ask him about Absinthe, he’s a true aficionado on the drink. Plus his accent! )

This month’s brew is Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc. It’s wonderfully light and refreshingly orangey.  The last bit of the beer changes flavor with the yeast that settles at the bottom.  I highly recommend it when you stop in!

The bar itself is dark and cozy, with wonderful couches and is lit by red votives. It’s truly a locals bar,  but some visitors will find it while waiting for a table at a restaurant.  Such as the guy from Montana who lives in a town that has more Irish residents than Boston.  I said people like to share stories!

Stop by,  their happy hour is 4 to 8 pm.

Downtown Cocktail Room
111 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas Blvd. & Fremont



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