It’s fun to explore the local beverage options while travelling. There is so much to try, and so much that doesn’t get exported to Canada. My trip to Ireland was a great opportunity to explore the beauty that is Irish whiskey.
I find it incredibly bizarre that I didn’t get into Irish whiskey sooner. Granted, I only started drinking whisk(e)y of any kind in the last five years or so. I’m not sure why I didn’t go out of my way to try Irish whiskey again, but it didn’t happen until we were booking our trip.
The base-level Jameson is not all there is to Irish whiskey.
Some of our favourite finds:
- Powers John’s Lane
- Tyrconnell Single Malt
- Jameson 12 Yr Distillery Reserve
- Connemara Peated Single Malt
- Kilbeggan (a great alternative to ‘the usual’ Jameson)
- Green Spot
5 Ways to Enrich Irish Travel with Whiskey
1. Cold Relief
You know what Irish whiskey is great for? Soothing a throat that is raw from a bad head cold, and 8 hours in a dry plane. It was the only thing I could taste at the time, forcing me to push my first Guinness of the trip to the next day.
2. Historical Tourism
A visit to a whiskey distillery museum is a great way to spend your day! The best one we toured was the old Kilbeggan Distillery. It wasn’t as slick and produced as some of the bigger brands; to its benefit! It felt like a moment back in time, in a quaint town, followed by a delicious sample. We were glad we upgraded to the Gold package – the guided tour and tastings were incredible!
3. Talk to the Locals
One of the best things to do when travelling is talk to some locals – but how do you get an ‘in’? Start with the bartender! We had lots of fun chatting up the bartenders, talking about different whiskey brands and what we should try next. This can easily lead to good restaurant and lodging recommendations you won’t get from a guidebook.
Don’t feel like bringing back any corny leprechaun t-shirts? Buy some whiskey instead! There are so many brands that don’t often come across the pond, and when they do they can be really expensive. You can even grab some at the last minute! There are fantastic whiskey options at duty-free in the Dublin airport, and some deals to be had. Our best deal was a bottle of Tyrconnell for just 18 euro!
Don’t forget to look for exclusive items if you do a distillery tour. We got a bottle of Jameson Distillery Reserve, which can only be bought at the distillery museums.
5. A nice change from Guinness (or Bulmer’s); goes well WITH Guinness!
Sidenote here – we saw more Irish folk drinking Bulmer’s cider than Guinness. It seems to be what the kids are drinking these days.
Bonus Round: Whiskey Ice Cream!
… and holy cow, is it ever good!
Wanna know a bit more about Irish Whiskey? This article sums it up pretty nicely.