View Full Version : Travels in Ireland

07-18-2005, 02:47
As many know, I'm on a vacation with my 16yo daughter in Ireland. We've been here about two weeks and it's been an excellent trip.......great weather (lucky), great people and beautiful scenery. Now to the whisky.

So far my favorites have been the Powers 12yo (liked the vanilla) and the Red Breast 12yo Pure Pot Still (tangy sweetness). The Jameson Distillery Reserve 12yo (available only at the distillery) is also excellent......some of it is aged in sherry casks. Have a bottle of the Middleton Very Rare 2004 to bring home and drink while looking at pictures from the trip. It was aged entirely in bourbon barrels.

Visited the Jameson Hertiage Center in Cork and was an excellent tour ...... very interesting presentation of the making of Irish whisky in earlier times. Also finagled a tour of the new Middleton plant adjacent to the Heritage site. The control center for the pot still distillation was very interesting. I'll post a picture or two when we return.

Side note......many pubs will serve their Guiness at the temp the locals like it or from the 'Extra Cold' spout (for us Americans, I guess.....or when its really hot outside). When they hear my accent, they go right for the 'Extra Cold'.

Side note 2 ...... The Celtic Whisky Shop in Dublin has a neat selection of old irish whiskys for sale. If your looking for that old, 100% pot still from long ago, they might have it.....many at prices well in excess of 600. Also had Hancock's Reserve for sale.

The journey continues. Galway and environs today and on to Newgrange and Trim Castle tomorrow.

PS We were in London during the tube bombings ..... but fortunately sleeping in that morning. The people in London seemed to handle the tragedy/problems extremely well.


07-18-2005, 07:33

glad you're enjoying your trip. If you want to try some rare whiskeys, there is a pub in Temple Bar called the Temple Bar... They serve lots of different whiskeys from around the world. Unfortunately, it is in an area of dublin they've ruined with stag parties etc.

I'm very familiar with the Celtic Whiskey Shop. The best whiskey shop in Ireland, as far as I'm concerned. Some of the whiskey for sale there might be mine!

The Jameson 12 is also a very nice whiskey. I'd recommend you try it if you get a chance.

If you're in Galway, the Connemara region is very nice and worth having a look at... The Ring of Kerry and down around Baltimore and Skibereen are also really nice.

07-19-2005, 00:02
We spent two nights in Temple Bar and you're right as it has been taken over by groups of young drunks and 'Hen Parties'. I did indeed taste many fine whiskys in Dublin.

If the regular Jameson 12yo is similar to the Distillery Reserve 12yo, then I'm sure I'll like it. I also picked up a mini-3 pack of Connemarra....their regular bottling, the 12yo and the cask strength. Tasted the reg bottling at the Celtic Whisky Shop and found it worthy of at least a full drink somewhere here in Ireland.

I've tried to sample whatever 'older' irish whiskys I've seen in the dozens of pubs I've visited and enjoyed them all. One of my favorites was a Middleton from the early '70's.....didn't write down the full label as its not available anyway.

Played Old Head while we stayed in Kensale and its beautiful.......beats Pebble Beach type of beautiful.

Back home Friday evening.


07-19-2005, 06:35

There are few Midleton pure pot still whiskeys from the 1970s, and they are excellent - Midleton 1973, Midleton 25, Midleton 26, Midleton 30. They're all very expensive, though.

You probably noticed that there isn't a very good selection of bourbon available in Ireland.

I think the Jameson 12 is better than the Distillery Reserve, although I haven't tried the reserve in a while, and it does change a lot.

Old Head is jaw dropping. If you like golf, you should play Enniscrone and Carne next time you're over. They are both superb and very good value.

07-26-2005, 08:59
Attached is a photo of myself standing next to the largest pot still in the world.....currently not operating as its part of Jameson's Heritage Tour outside of Cork. The still is over three stories tall.....but I don't recall the capacity.

At the end of the tour, they asked for two volunteers. I was slow on the draw, so I didn't get picked. Anyway....in the bar area they set up six shots of whisk(e)y for each volunteer. Paddy's, Powers, Jameson and Redbreast on the bottom of the tasting tray.....and J Walker Red and Jim Beam White for comparative purposes above them. The volunteers taste the Irish first, follwed by JB and finally JW Red. Then they are asked to select their favorite. If you select an Irish, you get a nice certificate! What a loaded taste test! And its not done blind either. But it was fun watching the volunteers do the taste test.

After drinking lots of Irish whisky during my holiday, I'm surprised that they aren't doing better in the marketplace. Not being disrespectful, but they are likeable in a "feminine bourbon" type of way. Not overpowering in any way....light sweetness and moderate barrel notes.


07-26-2005, 20:38
That is a large container for spirits, but what's that big copper thing behind it?

07-26-2005, 22:08
What, Ed, you don't recognize me after a couple of tanning sessions?

07-28-2005, 05:32

I'm soooo jealous! Glad you had a good time. I really enjoy the Connamara whiskies...they are quite good. I've also read about Powers and a number of other Irish whiskies that you've mentioned. I hope to try them next year during our visit to the Emerald Isle.


07-28-2005, 07:57
Ed....you're so perceptive. My "container" did get a little bigger on the trip. Hearty food and Guiness will do it.

Bob....I didn't want to post a complete travelog, but we had a great time. Feel free to pm me with any questions or suggestions when planning your trip.


08-12-2005, 08:52
Go to Galway if you haven't yet. I'll be interested in DBs comments but we spent much of our time with Galway as a base and likely will next time, too.