Whisky Magazine Issue 97
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The editor takes the new BMW R1200R on a road trip round Ireland
Finally I managed to find the ferry terminal at Birkenhead, after three trips through the tunnel; although the second and third time were more fun listening to the BMW's engine noise. I stood looking across at the Royal Liver Building, as several of my forebears had done, and contemplated the job ahead.
The idea was to travel round Ireland visiting the producing distilleries, doing some tasting events as part of Whiskey Week Ireland, to promote the first Whisky Live Dublin and to see how the industry and whiskey were performing.
Surely a coals to Newcastle mission? But what I found was a country rightfully proud of its distilling heritage and indeed in fine fettle, a legion of whiskey drinkers who were eager for knowledge and passionate about their tipples.
Bushmills: Good things come in threes
The first stop on the tour, after being gently rolled to sleep by the Irish Sea on the overnight ferry, was Bushmills. This meant taking in some of the best riding roads in the United Kingdom, and through Ballymoney to pay my respects to two of the most decorated road racers: Joey Dunlop and his brother Robert, hugely respected in the riding fraternity. This corner of the island bred these brave men. Hardened by years of road racing.
The Isle of Man TT may be famous, but the series of races here in Northern Ireland is second to none. The most well known of these is the NW200 at Port Rush and as luck would almost have it the racing was due to start the week after my visit. This meant...