Whiskey tasting with a deadly twist – Irish Whiskey Museum Dublin

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.

Dublin Whiskey Museum tasting bar lined with bottles and tasting glases

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.

medicinal products used along with whiskey to cure ailments

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.

tour guide next to a museum coffin explaining how people died from whiskey poisoning

 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.

A boat going under the raised bascules of Tower bridge


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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.

 antique whiskey making still

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.

two glasses of Irish Coffee

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.


whiskey tasting glasses on the bar waiting for guests to arrive

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

Copper sign at the entrance to the Irish Whiskey Museum
Top Tips

  • 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

Timeline of whiskey bottles set into the museum wall

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.

Three tasting glasses engraved with the museum logo

Additional Information

  • Price:  Classic £16   Premium £19
  • Intervals: 30minuts
  • Tour duration; 45 minutes

old whiskey bottles on display

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

Pretending to drink from giant whiskey bottle


Pinterest, Whiskey tasting with a deadly twist, Dublin, Ireland

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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  1. 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. 🙂

    1. 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. 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!

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

  4. 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. 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. 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

    1. 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. 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!!!!!!!

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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

    1. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

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