Whisky Magazine Issue 99
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If you are ever in the Irish capital and have an hour to kill, you could do worse than spend it at the Palace Bar on Fleet Street. You won't be the first person to spend an idle hour there, as this pub, just south of the River Liffey, has long being the haunt of journalists, artists and writers. In the 1940s and 50s Brendan Behan, Flann O'Brien and Patrick Kavanagh were just some of the regulars smoking out the mirrored mahogany interior, sipping Palace whiskey and talking the night away.
In those days every Irish pub bottled its own whiskey and the Palace Bar was well known spot for a decent ball of malt. The pub is filled with mirrors and memorabilia from the era and from long silent Irish distilleries, but not in a ‘retro' pub kind of way, they've been there since they were new.
The Palace Bar then is so much more than a pub, it's part of the very fabric of the city, so in the late 1960s when Jameson and the other founding members of Irish Distillers stopped supplying the bonded trade and started bottling their own whiskey, everything changed. For a start this put an end to the centuries old practice of private bottlings, so one by one, the bars and wine merchants of Dublin lost their unique whiskeys. The Palace Whiskey brand too then, went the way of the dodo.
Willy Ahern is the current owner (before that his father was gaffer, and before that again his grandfather) and under his watch the Palace Bar has rekindled its love affair with whiskey, expanded its stocks and...