Monday, July 12, 2010

Europe Post #3: Booze

We went on three booze tours in Ireland: Jameson, Smithwick's, and Guinness.

Jameson is my favorite whiskey. Really, I love it. Their tour was fun and I got to do the tasting at the end, which makes me an Official Irish Whiskey Taster. Their actual old brewery is in Midleton, right outside of Cork. They have a newer place in Dublin but we didn't bother since we had already been to the original one by that point.

I'm home:

The water wheel that made the plant run:

Me doing my tasting of Jameson, Johnnie Walker Black Label, and Jack Daniels. As if they had to convince me that I like Jameson best!

My new favorite beer, which we can thankfully get here in the States at select locations, is called Smithwick's, pronounced, "Smiddicks." Their brewery is in Kilkenny, and it's an active brewery to this day. It's an excellent nutty, somewhat dark amber ale.
You get to have drinks in the cellar bar at the end of the tour.

Of course we went to Guinness in Dublin. I was a little weary of guided tours by then, so it was nice to find that the Guinness tour is mostly self-guided. The three of us (Devin, his brother Brian, and me) pretty much just wanted to get to the top floor for a pint anyway. We stopped on the fifth floor to pour our own pints, since we got certificates learning how to pour the perfect pint as well. That was pretty fun and the view from the top was amazing! It was a 360* view of Dublin.
I was feeling artsy so here's a shot of me in the mirrored table:

Do you know what they have at pubs in Ireland? They have a table where you can pour your own pint! It's manufactured by Guinness; every one that we saw had Guinness and Carlsberg (a pilsner that is similar in taste to Heineken, which means I don't like it). The digital screen measures how much you pour. The waitress takes down the number when you request your check, shuts off the table, and brings the check with the exact amount of beer you drank on it. It's brilliant, and you'd think of all places Las Vegas would have something like that by now.
Note the nearly perfect pints: 1.97 glasses measured.

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