Insider Tips

Dublin Whiskey Guide

By Paul O'Loughlin

11th June 2019

Due to some small inconveniences like trade wars and prohibition, Irish whiskey has long been eclipsed in popularity by blow-ins such as bourbon and scotch. Yet Ireland has been producing whiskey since around 1400, nearly 100 years before Scotland (which also claims to be the home of whiskey – quit it, Scotland.) So if you like whiskey – and you do like whiskey – what should the next step be for any self-respecting connoisseur? The next step is Dublin, my friend. Beautiful, buzzing, Dublin...

The Palace Bar

The Palace bar and a bottle of whiskey

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A ‘proper’ old pub beloved by cantankerous writers of yore, The Palace Bar is just off Temple Bar’s main strip, but inside feels a million miles away. Of an afternoon it is a charming oasis of calm.

No diddly-aye music, no plastic leprechaun hats. Just you, the old barman, and a nip of The Palace Bar’s very own whiskey. Sheer poetry.

Do say: “I skipped the sermon bit in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.”
Don’t say: “Can you put the football on?”

The Irish Whiskey Museum

The Irish Whiskey Museum

Way, way back when those lads were making the first batches of Irish whiskey, on a windswept mountain somewhere - wrapped in animal skins, probably - did they ever dream that six-hundred years in the future people would still be enjoying the fruits of their labour?

Could they have imagined that one day there would be an entire museum dedicated to their endeavours? That people would come to the Irish Whiskey Museum from all over the world to learn of their heroic feats and give thanks and raise a glass in their memory? Dunno. Maybe?

Do say: “Mmm… heritage-y.”
Don’t say: “I’m more of a scotch man, myself.”

L. Mulligan Grocer

L. Mulligan Grocer is a pub that stocks groceries alongside a range of lovingly-selected whiskeys – just like in the olden days!

The good old days, when you could go and order a small-batch whiskey, complain about the weather and discuss the neighbouring parish’s hurling team, all before buying a bag of flour and a wire brush, and ambling off home for a decade of the rosary.

As opposed to the bad old days with the famine and stuff.

Do say: “I was just picking up a few messages for herself.”
Don’t say: ”Unidentified item in bagging area.”

The Bison Bar

The Bison Bar

Arguably Dublin’s best BBQ joint, (we said arguably, sheesh…) Bison Bar is a slice of traditional Americana served up on the banks of the Liffey. So fewer cowboys, for one thing. It boasts a thoughtful selection of excellent bourbons and ryes - if you’re into that sort of thing - and plenty of the good Irish stuff too.

Interestingly, the smoking area features stools shaped like saddles. Imaginary horse races with other patrons are neither encouraged nor frowned upon.

Do say: “Get off your horse and drink your malt.”
Don’t say: “Any Quinoa?”

The Old Jameson Distillery

Whiskey was first distilled on this site in 1780, so the certificates they award visitors for whiskey tasting carry a certain weight.

‘Oh, that,’ you’ll say to your future father-in-law, gesturing at the framed certificate on your wall, ‘Oh that’s just my certificate from the Old Jameson Distillery.’

And he’ll slowly turn to you and nod, solemnly.

‘Dublin,’ you will say.

Then he will embrace you tightly and whisper, ‘Welcome to the family.’

Do say: “Why yes, I would like to taste it.”
Don’t say: ”Meh.”

Paul O'Loughlin

Paul O'Loughlin | Author Info

Paul O'Loughlin is a freelance writer and whiskey-lover. He has worked with BAFTA award winning directors and won numerous awards for his writing. He has not won any for his love of whiskey, much to his chagrin.