Deciding to visit Ireland was an easy choice. We were asked to accompany Josh’s parents for our first group trip overseas, and we simply couldn’t say no! I had saved plenty of IHG hotel points, so I knew that I could get us a hotel for two nights for virtually nothing, right in the city centre of Dublin. And with our return flights in mid-March only costing us £55 each, nothing was holding us back from living it up. (To put it into perspective, our upcoming train trip to Scotland is going to cost us £88 each!)
Arriving in Ireland
Not long after you arrive in Dublin and settle in, you’ll inevitably be faced with an ultimatum: to visit either the Guinness or the Jameson’s Distillery on Bow Street. Of course, you can visit both during your time here but it does usually come down to whether you are more of a stout or a whiskey fan. Whilst Josh’s parents opted for the former, Josh and I decided to head to Jameson’s after a lovely trip to the Leprechaun Museum. By this point we were pretty high on life despite Storm Gazza (Gareth) trying to thwart our spirits, and eventually found our way there on foot after a 20 minute walk.
Immediately, we could see that no expense was spared in terms of the design of the place. The forum/atrium area (as seen in the featured image of this post) was one of the most inviting and convivial bar spaces I have ever been in. And whiskey all around, even in the chandelier! We had looked online beforehand at all the tours available and decided that we wanted to actually do something, rather than just be shown around. So, we queued up, booked our slot in the Secret Whiskey-Tasting Tour for two, and sat down with a Jameson’s and Ginger Ale until it was our time.
The Secret Tour
It wasn’t long before we were ushered in to a quiet little room in the back that was designed to mirror Jameson’s original office and his own personal bar. All the photos we took here are a little bit dark, but the low lighting gives it a speak-easy look that I love. Our tour guide was very personable and knowledgeable about the company (of course, but you have to give credit where it’s due) and other than myself and Josh there were only two other guests. So if you are looking for a quiet, intimate, luxury tasting then the Secret Tour is the way to go about it. Whiskey and typewriters, what more can you want!
I’m sure you are all wondering now about the alcohol. Well, it was a treat. You each get four premium blends of Jamesons Whiskey to taste; one of which is only available at the Distillery itself, so potentially a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I won’t give too much away about what was said – after all it is secret, but I will show you a cheeky pic of our view as the drinks were slowly starting to go down. It goes without saying that you are encouraged to drink slowly and add water where needed, as these drinks are a very high percentage (and neat).
The fun didn’t stop after the tour ended – we stayed for a while in the atrium, printed our Jameson’s tour certificates and paid a visit to the gift shop, where Josh bought his own whiskey glass to remember the experience. It’s been almost a year now since we did this and still I would do it all over again. We were very impressed by the tour and the building itself, and now we recommend that all you whiskey lovers give it a go! But if, for some reason, this tour doesn’t catch your eye… they also offer a Make Your Own Whiskey Blend experience and a Cocktail masterclass!
*Please note this post first appeared on my previous blog, and has been adapted.