Burns Night at Seven Grand with Islay Scotches: Bowmore, Laphroaig and Auchentoshan
Arriving just after 6 pm I eagerly walked up to one of the most well-known Whisky bars in Downtown Los Angeles, Seven Grand, for a Burns Night celebration. As I arrived I immediately sought out our host for the evening, Silimath Weir, Los Angeles’ very own “Protector of the Peat”; to greet and catch up with my friend.
At about 6:45 pm Silimath gave a welcome address, then introduced our MC for the evening; Seven Grand’s Spirit Guide Pedro Shanahan, followed by Robert “Bobby” Burns, or rather an actor since the real Bobby Burns has been dead for a few years. After Pedro and Bobby finished their intro, we had our first poet for the Open Mic.
After the initial performance, we mingled until the party began about 20 minutes later. Silimath then announced that they were going to bring around the “haggis”(it was really meatloaf much to my dismay. I had never tried Haggis and was somewhat looking forward to it), following Silimath were two excellent bagpipers in tow. I had grown up believing Bagpipe music was awful due to the common stereotypes, but these two excellent performers proved my conceptions to be quite wrong.
After the “Haggis”, the rest of the food was served: a meat plate, some cheese, and mashed potatoes, which were all compliments of Beam Suntory. In addition to the complimentary food, there were drink specials all night long including $8 pours and cocktails. Laphroaig, Bowmore, and Auchentoshan were all being poured this evening and lined up with their usual happy hour specials as well.
A great evening filled with humour from “Bobby Burns”, Mr. Shanahan and a few brave souls who went up to read their poetry in front of a room of mostly strangers, and what Burns Night would be complete without a reading of Robert Burns’ famous poem, “An Ode To A Haggis”. At the end of the evening, we all shared a nice dram of Laphroaig Lore as we toasted to Robbie Burns, and called the evening to a close. It was a night that I shall not soon forget, as it was my first Burns Night and it was and an excellent one! My only issue was that no authentic haggis was served. When I asked Silimath about it, she told me she felt that it was wiser to go with a Haggis-like substitute so that more people would eat it. That makes sense, and I must say was probably the smarter choice.