What to do in Dublin whiskey tasting History

Whiskey tasting with a deadly twist – Irish Whiskey Museum Dublin

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.

The Irish Whiskey Museum would have to be one of the best whiskey tastings in Dublin that I have been too. The whisky tour talked about all sorts of different whiskeys instead of just the most famous ones, the tour guide interacted with the group and you get to try a selection of different whiskeys if you wanted too. 

Best whiskey tasting dublin - Things to do in Dublin
Dublin Whiskey Museum tasting bar lined with bottles and tasting glasses

Whiskey Tasting experience 

My father is a big fan of whiskey and when he had flown over from Australia for my birthday, I thought what a better way to celebrate than to take him whisky tasting experience in Dublin. The home of the original first whiskey, though the Scottish would argue differently but that is a story for another day.


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.

irish whiskey museum dublin
medicinal products used along with whiskey to cure ailments

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.

whiskey tasting ireland
Tour guide next to a museum coffin explaining how people died from whiskey poisoning – Irish Whiskey Museum

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.

Read More –  What to do at the Tower of London

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.

Things to do in Dublin - Irish Whiskey Museum
Antique whiskey making still – Irish Whiskey Museum Dublin

How 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.

48hrs in Dublin - Irish Whiskey Museum
Two glasses of Irish Coffee – Irish Whiskey Museum Dublin

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.

Where the Whiskey Museum is located & how to get there

The Irish Whiskey Museum is centrally located just off Grafton Street, directly across from the main entrance of Trinity College. It is in walking distance of most of the other tourist attractions in Dublin. 

If you do not want to walk there then public transport like the tram is only 5mins (if that) walk away. 

  • Google Maps Postcode – 119 Grafton Street, Dublin 2, D02 E620, Ireland
Top things to do in Dublin - Whiskey Tours Ireland
whiskey tasting glasses on the bar waiting for guests to arrive

Would I Recommend an Irish Whisky Tasting?

Let’s face it, any drinking tour can be fun especially if it involves trying the products especially Irish whiskey tasting. But what I liked about this tour, as 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 whiskeys instead of just the most famous ones.

⇒ If you like to see other reviews for Irish Whiskey Museum Dublin. Then feel free to check out other guests on TripAdvisor comments.

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. 

The best whiskey tour in Ireland
Three tasting glasses engraved with the museum logo

Additional Information

  • Type: – A few hours
  • Intervals: – 30minuts
  • Tour duration; 45 minutes
  • Whiskey Blending Experience is an extended 1hr 30 minute experience.
  • Private Tours: – You can book private tours in an advance 

Pricing of the Type of Tours:

  • Classic Tour:20 Per Adult | €18 Senior  | €18 Student  | €16 Non Drinking Adult 
  • €50 family classic Tour (2 x Adults 2 x Children)
  • Premium Tour:23 Per Adult | €21 Senior  | €21 Student  | €16 Non Drinking Adult
  • €56 family premium Tour (2 x Adults 2 x Children) 

  • If you pre-book your tickets online you can get a small discount

Opening Times

  • Winter Season: Opens 10:30am – Closes 18:00
  • Summer Season: – Opens 10:00am – Closes 18:00 
  • Closed: – Christmas Day
Best Whiskey Tours in Dublin
Timeline of whiskey bottles set into the museum wall

Top Tips

  • Would recommend it for Stag Do’s to groups of friends
  • A group of more than 10+ will receive a discount
  • If you are looking for somewhere to eat before or afterwards, then Avoca is a good option. 
  • How about trying some of the whiskeys before you go?
  • This is the type of tour to do in the afternoon before you head out
  • You can prebook your tickets online and save time
  • Have a drink in the bar afterwards which is open till late
Best Whiskey Tours in Dublin
old whiskey bottles on display

Other places of history in Europe

If you are interested in discovering other places of History in Europe, feel free to read my following articles. All are great days out of London for groups of friends or family. 

Whiskey tasting Dublin Ireland History
Pretending to drink from a giant whiskey bottle – Whiskey museum Dublin

Thank you for reading this article ‘Whiskey tasting with a deadly twist – Irish Whiskey Museum Dublin’. This really was a great whisky tasting tour and definitely worth the time and money, especially as it had a variety of Whiskeys.  

For any additional information or booking enquiries, you can visit the Irish Whiskey Museum Dublin site. 


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Have you been to Irish Whiskey Museum or any other Whisky Tours while in Dublin? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.

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.

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42 thoughts on “Whiskey tasting with a deadly twist – Irish Whiskey Museum Dublin

  1. Avatar
    Joanna says:

    If I’ll visit Dublin I would love to have the experience of learning more about Irish whiskey and maybe taste it a bit (I don’t really drink whiskey as I find it too strong for my taste). I really enjoyed the story about how the Irish coffee was invented, who knew that an act of kindness would create an iconic drink of Ireland. 🙂

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      I am not a real big whiskey drinker either, so it was good to have the water as an additional extra to help it go down. I think my favourite part was hearing all the little stories they had. This place is definitely worth a visit and it won’t take you long to get around.

  2. Avatar
    Katie says:

    I am not a big whisky drinker but this place looks exciting (and I do like a souvenir glass)! I didn’t;t know that about the Queens meeting – the language of whisky heals all! I will add this to the list of things to do on our next trip to Dublin and I can’t wait to try that whisky!

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      I have to admit I am not a big fan of whiskey either but I always like to try something new and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this tour. I had a friend recently who informed me that if you have whiskey and cranberry together tastes amazing.

  3. Avatar
    Troy Mc says:

    I enjoy a good whiskey or two. Always thought of just Jasmine whiskey tasting in Dublin. Good to know there are other options

  4. Avatar
    Alexia says:

    I am not a big fan of whiskey but I really like the stories told. I would been keen to visit this place next time I am in Dublin.

  5. Avatar
    Jurga says:

    Never knew the story of the Irish Coffee, thanks for sharing! This tour seems like something for my husband – big whiskey fan. Me, not so much 😉

  6. Avatar
    Alex says:

    Woah – it’s a mini Mel!!
    I’ve done a few whisky tours in my time (all in Scotland) and I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed them. I wonder why! 😉 We’ll check this one out if we’re ever in Dublin

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      It really was an interesting place to visit and I enjoyed it more than others. I think before they discuss the history and talk about different whiskeys instead of just the one.

  7. Avatar
    Tracy Collins says:

    My husband would have loved to do this tour as he loves whiskey- I am not so keen (I can’t stand the stuff) The tour sounded interesting though and I loved all the information- how gruesome!!!!!!!

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      I am not a fan of whiskey either but I was outnumbered by boys with me at the time. When the guide was not looking, I gave my dad my whiskeys. I really enjoyed the tour though especially learning all those facts.

  8. Avatar
    Ticking the Bucketlist says:

    Loved reading stuff about the Irish coffee. I am not much of a whiskey drinker, but your post makes me want to try this once. I need to get to Ireland first….hopefully, the upcoming St Patrick’s day!

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      Ireland is a great place to visit and there is so much to do. There are a few places that do whiskey tasting but I found this one to be good for everyone, as you don’t have to do the whiskey at the end to enjoy it.

  9. Avatar
    Mimi says:

    I would love to go to a whiskey tasting. I love old whisky, because I can tell on the taste. But nowhere near knowing properly about whiskeys in general. This seems like quite fun!

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      The tasting was really interesting and the guide showed us, how you can tell the difference in flavours. The tour was super cheap which was an added bonuses

  10. Avatar
    Rashmi and Chalukya says:

    We had tried Irish Coffee once when in Belfast but to be frank we did not like it much. It was interesting to learn about the history of dead people waking up and how the Irish Coffee came into existence. We would love to experience this ourselves had we a chance to visit Dublin

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      I am not a big whiskey fan but I really enjoyed the tour and I thought it was good that it was catered to everyone. It is also good that they charge different prices for whiskey 🙂

  11. Avatar
    Allison says:

    What a great experience. I loved the story of the two queens. I never knew that ‘s where ‘wake’ came from! Being buried alive would be terrifying!

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      I googled about the Wake when I got back to London to see how true it was and seems that everyone has their own theories about. I do love the story thought it was really good to listen to.

  12. Avatar
    Ivy says:

    It’d be amazing if the two Queens actually resolved it over a glass of whiskey! I guess a little alcohol never hurts anybody 🙂 I’m not big on whiskey but I do like interactive tours where you get to try products! This sounds like it’d be a lot of fun.

  13. Avatar
    [email protected] says:

    Such interesting history behind whiskey. I can’t believe some people were buried alive – that must be awful! I hope the story of the Queens is true – it seems some of the best decisions are made while having a little too much to drink….lol!

  14. Avatar
    Suze - Luxury Columnist says:

    I walked past this place when I was in Dublin in April and would have gone in if we’d have had the time, thanks for the virtual tour, sounds like a lot of fun

  15. Avatar
    Arianne says:

    This sounds so interesting! I am not a huge drinker in general but my husband would looooove this place! I love everything that is historic. Sounds so great!

  16. Avatar
    Karla at GlobalETA says:

    Wow what a fascinating history; thanks for sharing your stories and experiences. I have actually never been in an alcohol tour but I would really be interested in doing one if it were gin!

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      A few weeks ago, I went to a Gin Tasting and I have to say I really liked it. Definitely been more open to different types of spirits. Thank you for your comment

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