Whisky Magazine Issue 58
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Ireland doesn't have a lot of distilleries but what it has are all worth a visit. Iorwerth Griffiths reports
From the sunny south coast of Cork to the rugged cliffs of north Antrim, the search for Irish whiskey will take the visitor the length of the island.
You can fly in from most countries to Dublin Airport. Cork, Belfast International and Belfast City Airports also serve many British and European destinations. Ferries are also a good way to travel especially if coming from Scotland.
When the inimitable Alfred Barnard came to Ireland in the latter half of the 19th century he started his visit in Dublin, then home to six working distilleries. Sadly, today it has none but there's plenty to keep the whiskey traveller occupied. Accommodation in a city the size of Dublin is plentiful and there are an abundance of things to see and do.
Dublin is home to The Old Jameson Distillery. This is a compact, busy, bustling visitors' centre occupying part of the old distillery site. Tours last around 45 minutes and visitors are taken through several rooms each recreating a stage in the production of Irish whiskey with models of distillery apparatus. The tour culminates in the Jameson Bar with a tasting of Jameson offered straight or, in line with its new brand image, mixed with ginger ale, coke or cranberry juice. Four lucky volunteers also get a chance to taste the three main Irish Distillers brands and compare them to Scotch and bourbon.
There's plenty to do before or after a tour as also on site is the Coopers Rest Bar serving Irish whiskey, cocktails and Irish Coffees, and the Still Room...