Happiest Hour: The Rhino Grail 

The search: This spring, the Rhino unveiled its latest challenge for Missoula drinkers: an ongoing contest co-owner Kevin Head dubbed The Search for the Rhino Grail. Consider it a glorified punchcard for scotch fans. Individuals get a mock passport, and for each brand of scotch you drink, the bar will “stamp” your passport (actually, they pen in the name of the scotch and the date). Those stamps add up to cool Rhino swag, just like the bar’s other quirky promotions. According to Head, it’s like 50 Ways to Love Your Liver, only this one’s got an obvious Scottish theme.

The scotch: The Rhino’s long had a reputation as a prime place to sample the wares of Scottish distillers. Some of the more popular bottles on display behind the bar include The Macallan Cask Strength, the Lagavulin 16, the Ardbeg Corryvreckan and the Bowmore Darkest. The bar even hosts the occasional Lonach Scotch Tasting, a perfect opportunity to test-drive some of the single malts you’ll need to obtain the Rhino Grail.

The swag: Head went all-out on this one, ordering special Rhino duds exclusively for Rhino Grail hunters. Once you drink 25 glasses of scotch—or collect 25 stamps, if that’s how you want to look at it—you get a T-shirt depicting a rhinoceros in blue Braveheart face-paint with the word “Bravehorn.” Make it to 50 glasses—or, again, stamps—and you get a Rhino Grail jacket (custom ordered in your size).

The alternatives: If scotch ain’t your thing, the Rhino still has some killer challenges for you. The aforementioned 50 Ways to Love Your Liver will get you a Rhino T-shirt provided you drink all 50 beers the bar has on tap. Similar story with Around the World in 40 Beers, a contest requiring participants to down 40 different beers from, you guessed it, around the world. Of course, these challenges aren’t necessarily designed to be completed in one night, so pace yourselves.

The starting line: Begin your search for the Rhino Grail at 158 Ryman.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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