Richard Barr is a member of the Whisky Israel tasting society , a blog correspondent at times, and a good whisky friend and big whisky lover. From time to time he posts his notes and adventures on our blog.
Of course you’ve heard of the Beach Boys and you also know that their lyrics are filled with beaches, surfing, waves & sunshine. I bet you’re hard pressed to find a whisky connection though. How about this one; Way back in 1972, the Beach Boys performed at the “Whisky-A-Go-Go” on Sunset Strip in California. What you don’t know is that Ireland also has beaches, surfing, waves and music but not so much sunshine. That sunshine’s replaced with Irish whiskey. In fact you can find the whiskey, surfing and music all in Lahinch, Ireland. Better yet, step into Kenny’s Bar on Main Street in Lahinch and get a big helping of all three, all set in a real Irish pub.
I can’t say that I found myself in the small town of Lahinch by accident, having been directed there by a long time Irish friend I originally met while working on a project in Bermuda of all places. My friend also told me to say to Kenny for him. Lahinch is near one of Ireland’s most stunning natural sites, the Cliffs of Mohr; where the Atlantic crashes into Ireland, creating the most dramatic cliffs anywhere, and the perfect prelude to a warm comforting dram.
Having left my son back at the B&B (He insisted on it so he could watch the London Olympics on TV), my wife & I entered through the doors of Kenny’s Bar and into a lively packed house, and this was before the music started. Kenny’s caters to locals as much as it tourists, maybe more. Being Irish, Kenny and his staff are very friendly and welcoming all. The nice thing about a pub not geared towards just tourists is that you get an authentic Irish experience, rather than a manufactured one created for the foreign traveller. Children are even welcome there. While Kenny’s Bar is undoubtedly a surfing hang out, it is also a place where music is a serious part of the evening. Kenny’s hosts the “White Horse Sessions”, which are a series of gigs providing a stage for original artists and bands to perform their music in an intimate environment.
In addition to the several brews on drought and very very tasty food, Kenny has a solid collection of Irish Whiskies on hand. If the inclination had struck me, I could have had one long evening of several different drams. But I was there with my wife for dinner, and settled for a pint at the bar before sitting down to eat. Afterwards it was getting a little late so I settled for a single dram of Redbreast 12 year old, a single pot still whiskey.
Summing it up, that’s original bands, very tasty food and first-rate brews, all contained in a top-notch real Irish surfing venue with friendly staff. And on top of that, a range of solid Irish Whiskies. Brings to mind that Beach Boys classic “Fun, Fun, Fun”, except at Kenny’s Bar you don’t need a T-bird to get the fun started.
There’s also a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KennysBar#!/KennysBar
As for the Redbreast, I think it’s nicer and a bit more complex than the basic range of blended Irish Whiskies. Its nose is sweet and just a bit spicy with overtones of vanilla, a touch of peppery spice, toasted oak and citrus. The palate starts out with spice then moves onto sherry before sliding into a mild sticky toffee pudding. It finishes like a shot of espresso; or is that liquorice I’m getting? I guess I’ll have to get myself a bottle to drink at home.