Whisky Magazine Issue 86
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Iorwerth Griffiths explores the Ireland Whiskey Trail.
There has never been a better time to visit Ireland as a whiskey tourist, Irish whiskey continues its strong growth and is winning new devotees at every turn. But the main boost to whiskey tourism in Ireland is the newly established Ireland Whiskey Trail.
The Ireland Whiskey Trail is a website packed full of information for the whiskey tourist and will also satisfy the anorak with its wealth of information. The Trail is the brainchild of Irish Whiskey Ambassador Heidi Donelon who previously worked for Irish Distillers but has for a number of years now been self-employed running Irish whiskey tastings.
Extant whisk(e)y trails in Scotland and Kentucky naturally provided a large part of the inspiration but also Heidi's meetings with whiskey enthusiasts, tour groups and general tourists over the years. Another source of inspiration was Alfred Barnard's Irish leg of his book Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom.
However, one thing soon became clear.
Unlike the Scotland and Kentucky – and indeed Ireland in Barnard's day – there simply is not enough whiskey distilleries or museums in Ireland to make a trail on their own. This meant rather that simply copying the Scottish and Kentucky trails would not work Therefore, to give the Trail added value and to link up the somewhat dispersed whiskey sites, Heidi hit upon the idea of adding pubs, bars and shops that either had great Irish whiskey collections or were connected to closed distilleries that featured in Barnard's tome...