Irish Whiskey Museum, Dublin Ireland
Whiskey Tasting with a Deadly Twist
They say you learn something new every day but to learn more than two things in a day I think is pretty good, especially when it involves alcohol. A trip to the Irish Whiskey Museum in Dublin was not only fun but educational at the same time.
My father is a big fan of whiskey and when he had flown over from Australia recently for my birthday, I thought what a better way to celebrate than to take him whisky tasting in Dublin. The home of the original first whiskey, though the Scottish would argue differently but that is a story for another day.
Table of Contents
Once we paid for our premium ticket (an extra whisky & souvenir glass), we ventured into the museum bar to wait for our time slot and have a famous Irish coffee to warm ourselves up. Just as we finished our drinks it was time to start the tour. We headed into the first room to learn the Irish word for whiskey ‘Uisce Beatha’ and learn the history of how Whiskey was created.
Treaty between Two Queens
We also heard an interesting story about how the Queen of Ireland visited the Queen of England to discuss a treaty and make peace. The Queen of England nor the Queen of Ireland wanted to speak each other’s language to communicate, so they decided to use a neutral language of Latin. Over a glass (or two) of whiskey, the Queen of England decided to give Ireland their freedom. Now I am unsure how true this story is but I thought it sounded really good.
After the language and history lesson, it was time to head to the next room that was created to resemble an old secret bar and house. I did not notice at first but once the guide started telling us about the Irish making homemade illegal whiskey and dying from alcoholic poisoning, I realised she was standing behind a coffin.
Legend of the Irish Wake
The most interesting thing behind the story being told was the origin of the funeral tradition associated with an Irish Wake. The Wake, was a custom of leaving the burial chamber of a recently departed relative unsealed for three days before finally closing it up, during which time family members would visit frequently in the hope of seeing signs of a return to life.
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Legend has it that the tradition of the wake came about as a result of the frequent acholic poisoning suffered by drinkers of homemade whiskey. A symptom of this was a catatonic state resembling death, from which the sufferer may recover after a period of a few hours to a day or so. What was happening was that people were being buried alive and it was not until grave diggers, dug the bodies up that they would realise they were still alive after seeing scratch marks on the inside of the coffin and torn nails on the person.
I don’t know about you but I am pretty sure, I would not want to die this way.
An Irish Coffee was Born
Next, we headed into the important dates of the history room for the Irish whiskey. One particular year that stood out for me was 1942 when a plane bound for New York was stranded in Foynes due to bad weather conditions. The restaurant in the airport was told to prepare food and drinks for the cold, tired and sad passengers. The chef on duty at the time Joe, decided to prepare something special to warm up the passengers and put a smile back on their faces.
He made a coffee, added some Irish whiskey, a little brown sugar and whipped up some cream for each cup. As the passengers enjoyed the coffees, with a smile on their faces, an American writer asked if it was some type of Brazilian coffee? To which Joe replied simply, “no, it’s an Irish coffee”.
Irish Coffee may never have become an international success had it not been for the travel writer who took the recipe back to a bartender in San Francisco, America. Since then the drink has become synonymous with Ireland, surprising people that it only originated in the 1940’s.
The Whisky Tasting Beings
After taking in all this fascinating history, it was time to do what we had come here for, Whiskey Tasting. Our 4 drinks (some 3 drinks) were neatly set out, waiting for our arrival with a jug of water to cleanse the palate. The guide went through the various brands and flavours of the chosen whiskey. Some of them were nice and some of them were not so nice!
Before I knew it, it was all over and I was wondering where the time had gone.
How to get there & Location
The Irish Whiskey Museum is centrally located just off Grafton Street, directly across from the main entrance of Trinity College.
Most of the public transport will leave you within walking distance.
- Address – 119 Grafton Street, Dublin 2, D02 E620, Ireland
- Would recommend it for groups of Stag Do’s to groups of friends
- Not the type of place you would take children for the obvious reasons
- This is the type of tour to do in the afternoon before you head out
Would I Recommend It?
Let’s face it, any drinking tour can be fun especially if it involves trying the products. But what I liked about this tour, was they tried to make it as interactive with the groups as much as possible. They kept the talking in each room to a minimum, so others would not get too distracted, the stories were interesting and funny and they talked about all sorts of different whiskey’s instead of just the most famous ones.
It also helped that our guide was engaging and she had a great way of keeping the rowdy guys on the tour in control in a polite way. Which is something I think you need with tours like this.
As the Irish would say Whiskey solves everything but watch out because it can kill you.
- Price: Classic £16 Premium £19
- Intervals: 30minuts
- Tour duration; 45 minutes
For any additional information or booking enquiries, you can visit Irish Whiskey Museum Dublin, Ireland
Have you been to Irish Whiskey Museum before or are about to, share your experiences in the comments below?
I am always happy to help
Here are some fun activities that you can book while in Dublin, Ireland before you go.
Disclaimer: I paid to go to Irish Whiskey Museum, Dublin Ireland. All views are my own and based on my own experience.