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Issue 62 - Sweet smell of jasmine

Whisky Magazine Issue 62
March 2007


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Sweet smell of jasmine

Iorwerth Griffiths finds a comfortable seat at one of Dublin's great whisky havens

Ayoung Scotsman learns about whisky in the Channel Islands, establishes a whisky collection in a plush Dublin bar in the face of an initially sceptical management and the bar becomes the first Irish entry into Whisky Magazine's Great Whisky Bars of the World.

Atall tale you might think but, in a nutshell, that's the story behind the Jasmine Bar in Dublin's Brooks Hotel.

The young Scotsman in question is Michael Foggarty who was introduced to whisky at 18 by a man from Islay, the whisky was Lagavulin and he hated it! Another Islay man was to have more success. When Michael was working in a Channel Islands hotel he got to know a fellow barman from Islay who enjoyed whisky. That's when he also started learning about it, the more he learnt, the more interested and passionate he became. Now, as senior barman at Brooks Hotel, he is able to indulge his passion.

Brooks Hotel opened in 1997 in down town Dublin but the Jasmine Bar didn't come until the hotel was extended in 2002. Initially, although there were a few whiskies in the bar, it was pretty standard stuff. Soon after came a bar menu listing the whiskies among other premium spirits and sales began to pick up.

A customer put Michael in contact with Dublin's Celtic Whiskey Shop and he persuaded the management to buy a few whiskies – the collection trebled overnight.

The management were initially sceptical in spending money on bottles of whisky that they thought would be on the shelves for months gathering dust.

Some of t...

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