One great thing about Belfast is that it is conveniently close to Dublin. While I travel down there frequently for work, we also visit for shopping trips, the theatre, to catch up with friends, or to take part in the craic and drinking culture. We haven’t done many of the touristy things, but we have been to the Guinness storehouse.
This past weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday a group of us caught the train down to Dublin for whiskey tasting at the Jameson Distillery. The train is definitely the best way to travel to Dublin: not only is it comfortable but you can sit around a table chatting and have a couple of drinks. Plus the train station in Dublin is handily central. So, after a brunch of ‘bacon butties’ (aka bacon sandwiches) 12 of us headed to Belfast train station to catch our train.
Arriving to a bright and sunny afternoon we made for the Jameson Distillery, where our tasting was to take place. I’m a fan of whiskey and had been looking forward to this, but even so it surpassed my expectations. We were led to a quite room where a table was set up. Each place was set with 4 glasses of whiskey and 2 information cards. A lovely barmaid told us about how each whiskey was distilled and allowed us to taste each glass while explaining what was special about that particular whiskey (the principal difference being the type of casks they were aged in from sherry casks to flame charred barrels to 18 years in an oak casks). The information cards contained a bit more info including flavours that we could expect to smell and taste. After sipping from all 4, our barmaid left us to sit and enjoy the remainder of the whiskey, letting us know there was no rush and to take our time. It was a wonderful 2 hours!
After the whiskey tasting we grabbed a quick dinner and headed out to a bar (it’s what you do in Dublin after all, and this was a birthday celebration). We ended up at The Porterhouse in Temple Bar – an old favourite that always has live music. Finally at about 1am we caught the bus back to Belfast to be in our beds by 4am.
And while I’ll be in Dublin again this week for work, it was great to have a final night out in the city.