Irish Whiskey Pt. 16: The Rise of the Poitín Wars // Bushmills
A near death experience almost changes the course of whiskey!
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It's hard to imagine what the whiskey industry would look like today, if a certain excise man had succumbed to the wounds he received in Donegal in 1810. The early 19th century was a critical time for Irish whiskey. The Acts of Union had united the country with an empire and new markets were open for spirits.
But growing pains were the rule of the day. Large distillers and the Parliament were crushing small distillers and becoming jealous of those who were making higher profits off of their illicit poitín. A war was brewing out west and something was going to give.
Also in this episode, we'll rejoin Alfred Barnard as he travels from Galway to Limerick and I'll be stopping off at the Old Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland.
From Out of the Darkness
From out of the blackness of unconsciousness, he stirred. He felt his body twisted and an awkward dampness in what felt like rags more than clothes.
Sometime earlier, he couldn’t tell exactly when, he could remember himself praying for mercy as his world drifted into darkness. He knew he was at his end, but a hope overcame him and a rush of beautiful memories came over him, the smell of green grass at the farm, his wife x and the smells that would emanate from the oven as she pulled out fresh baked bread, he even remembered how she would interrupt his morning paper with some menial chore to do around the house, but even that, for the moment, felt like paradise on Earth.
Scared to open his eyes, he saw a warm orange glow and felt the warmth of the sun chasing away the cold of what must have been a long night.
He knew this wasn’t heaven, but wasn’t quite sure if he’d escaped hell. The great pains in his sides had a sting of fire, but he knew he wasn’t burning in Lucifer’s pit. Then the sound of the swallow caught his attention. He began working to clear the cobwebs from his mind. What had happened the night before was a fog. He tilted his body slightly from side to side, hoping to ascertain the situation and felt a strange stickiness, he was caked in something - the fear returned and he clinched his eyelids together, pinching out the bright glow.
Just then, a muffled tone trickled into his ears. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Suddenly he could sense the warm sun removed from his face. A warm hand touched his shoulder. Startled and not thinking, he thrust his eyes open, and there, blocking the bright blue sky, the backlit form of a face.
All at once, the memories of the terrible night came rushing back to him. Countless savage men attacking him from every direction, the cold steel of a bayonet piercing his skin and riding deep into his body. In the moment the steel was removed from his body, the rush of joyful memories sat juxtaposed to the terror he was now gripped with. As the steel punctured again deep into his side, the world had gone black.
He might have let out a scream, but a warm smile stretched out on the lips of the man hovering above him.
Knowing all that had happened to him, he could easily have let out the most ghastly scream. But only one word came to his mind…saved.
History is filled with turning points and what if’s. And for the world of whiskey, there may not have been a greater turning point then on that cool November morning in 1810, in a field near Carthage in County Donegal, when 30 year old excise man, left for dead, miraculously survived what should have been fatal wounds. He’s a man who would long be associated with the downfall of Irish whiskey. But as you will learn over the next few episodes, his impact would be felt way beyond the perfecting of the still that bears his name - in fact, it would be this particular young man, who would help realize the old undertaker John Beresford’s dream of a mighty and successful Irish whiskey industry.
Scholars have long argued over the origins of the early life of Aeneas Coffey. Was he born in Dublin, where his family resided, or was he born and raised in Calais, France? Even his education is in dispute as he is mentioned as having attended Trinity College in Dublin, but no records seem to be available to prove it.
As a 20 year old, he entered the employ of the excise, just three years before John Beresford passed away - and one wonders if the two had met.
For ten years, Aeneas built his reputation as a waiter, gauger, and searcher for the King’s excise. He was just the kind of man Beresford sought for the job - someone who was more than just a tax collector. He wanted men who were fascinated with the art of distilling - men who could see beyond the tricks deployed by the crafty distillers spread across the Ancient heartland, down to Cork, up to Ulster and out to Donegal. In Aeneas, the revenue had found a man obsessed with improving upon what he saw as ancient practices, in need of modernization. And in Beresford’s absence the system would need all the great minds it could muster.
Whiskey Turmoil In The Early 1800s
With the Act of Union in 1800, one would think all of Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales were working together under the same system with the same advantages. However each country’s distiller saw a distinct advantage in another country's rules, leading to several fights in the Parliament over the first decade of the 19th century.
In addition, the revenue had not quite settled on the number of times a still could be charged and kept increasing the numbers to keep up with the undermining of the tax. The Haigs and Steins had a practice of creating shallower and shallower stills to increase output, but after gaugers caught on and began compensating, the crafty family added bulbous heads to the stills to sneak out extra spirits beyond the gauged amount. And laws had to be enacted to stop these large distillers from having more still heads than stills. And all of this overproduction provided cheap spirits that ran smaller legitimate distillers out of the business - in fact the Haigs and Steins owned half the legal distilleries in Scotland by 1798.
Ireland wasn’t immune to these kinds of practices - especially since one Robert Haig had recently secured the Dodderbank Distillery in Dublin and by 1802 had turned it into the largest spirit producer in a city quickly filling up with distillers - including his in-law John Jameson, who had taken over the Stein’s Bow Street Distillery and turned its operation over to his son, also named John. It’s likely Aeneas would have had a deep knowledge of these distillers and their practices.
But turmoil in the Irish distilling industry came more from just large players taking advantages. Weather was also a concern. After a season of bad crops, a prohibition was put on distilling in 1798 to preserve grain. Then, in November of 1799, nearly two dozen distillers in Dublin made an agreement to halt the distilling of oats, wheat, and unmalted corn, likely to avoid another prohibition, as a drought had caused another shortage of grain. Because of this collusion, whiskey became scarce and prices skyrocketed to 15s per gallon. And worse yet, the Dubliners voluntary action did not have the desired effect they’d hoped, as further drought and famine hit the laboring classes and the Parliament passed an extensive ban on malting and distilling. And to make matters tougher on the large distillers, taxes on grain would increase due to the British war with France.
Into this mess, England would send a new Chief Secretary, Charles Abbot, the position just one step below the Lord Lieutenant. Appalled by what he saw, he diligently worked to bring Ireland's excise up to the English standards. He would rely heavily on John Beresford's notes and eventually would split the Customs from the Excise board into separate units. He would also oversee law changes that would further crush the small rural legitimate distiller. Still licenses were geared toward large output and taxes were due at the point of production. The capital requirements soon pushed these country distillers out of the business and into the illicit trade.
Into The Madness of Donegal
From the perspective of the rural Irish distiller, the government was forcing them underground against their will. Oh, for those in Cork, Leinster, Waterford, and Kildare, where grain grew in plentiful supplies, those that DID distill didn’t miss much in the way of profit with a great grain trade with the British Empire - distilling was a luxury most could avoid. But in the north in Donegal and West in Connacht transportation made shipping grain more difficult, so whiskey became the only way they could profit off of their crops. If they would be forced out of legal distilling, they had no other choice but to go to the black market. This began stirring an anger and resentment in these communities - and the target of their anger would soon become the excise officers sent to enforce the laws.
Adding to the powder keg, large legitimate distillers soon felt the pinch as the price for their spirits soon well exceeded the prices seen in the illicit trade. Every time there was a prohibition on the use of grains or taxes were raised, legal distillers saw their markets dry up, while better quality grains were being used tax free by the illicit distillers who were already breaking the law and saw no reason to obey grain use prohibitions. A fear of losing their businesses pushed the legal distillers to get more action out of the excise officers outside the city. Soon Donegal was overrun with excise officers raiding property, destroying stills, and using the military to flog distillers. If this wasn’t bad enough, they’d leave, posting fines as high as 60 pounds, which would be more than the tenants could pay, leaving them at the mercy of landlords who were quick to evict them. Seeing their neighbors treated this way was creating sympathy for the poor rural distiller, and hatred for the excise men.
Then in 1809, the UK Parliament created what would become known as the Sugar Bill, a bill that again prohibited the use of grain, the excise men soon went after abuses of this law by poor rural distillers. The UK government was becoming public enemy number 1 in North and Western Ireland.
It was into this tense scene that Aeneas Coffey was sent in 1810. Recently married to Susanna Logie, Aeneas Coffey wasn’t interested in punishment - his focus for nine years had largely been built around creating a solid reputation as a man of Irish whiskey’s future. He had survived off of the pintance of a salary he received without complaint. His country bound compatriots weren’t so thrilled with their compensation. If an illicit distiller was open to it, many of them would make bargains to keep their stills running as long as they paid off the excise officers. It was estimated that some £850,000 was lost annually through ill gotten gains. It’s hard to know what Aeneas thought of this and how aware he was of the mess he was about to enter.
But it wouldn’t have been long before Inspector Coffey got a sense of things. As he arrived in Carthage, near Culduff, he was quickly informed about the dangers of traveling alone in this area. It was insisted that he take 4 of the King’s soldiers with him as he completed his duties. As he headed out with the men to find a rumored location for an illicit still, the small group was quickly overtaken by what Aeneas remembered as around 50 rough and tumble locals wielding all manner of weapons, quickly disarming the 4 soldiers and stealing their caps. They soon turned upon Aeneas beating him severely and then stabbing him multiple times with their bayonets. A bloody Aeneas had been left for dead, his once armed guards scattered around him.
The Commissioners of the Inland Excise were appalled and immediately issued a £200 reward for any person or persons who turned in the perpetrators within 3 months. And if one of the men had played a part in the action, but wasn’t the instigator, they would be charged, but would be entitled to the reward, and an application would be made for a gracious pardon. The perpetrators were never found. Aeneas would conveless and would soon be reassigned to a post in Drogheda - still not the safest place for an excise man at that time, but much more than out in the wilds of Donegal, where a war was brewing.
Now, it wouldn’t be the last time the people of Donegal would hear from Aeneas. For a time, his job would take him further and further away from the region. But he would keep tabs on the developments in the region and he embedded himself more and more in the politics surrounding distilling and the excise. A near brush with death by his brother in law and good friend Daniel Logie would also keep him engaged in what was to become known as the Poitin Wars. More on that, next week on Whiskey Lore.
For now, it's time to check in on our late 19th Century traveler Alfred Barnard and his companions as they head into Limerick.
From Galway to Limerick was one of the most tedious journeys we had experienced during our lengthened stay in Ireland. The train proceeded for a greater part of the way at a snail’s pace, through an uninteresting track, and to make matters worse, the railway guard kept the train waiting at several locations whilst he imparted the latest political news and gossip to the stationmaster and his clerk.
Fortunately, on nearing our destination, the scene changed, and we were travelling more rapidly through a pleasant country, along which the magnificent waters of the Shannon rolled on their way to the sea. This river is not only the largest river in Ireland, but of any other island on the globe; it waters eleven counties, and is 254 miles in length.
Soon the steeples and towers of Limerick came into view, and shortly afterwards we reached the station, where we found an omnibus from the hotel waiting for us, to which we speedily transferred ourselves and luggage. After dinner we sauntered forth in the cool of the evening to take stock of our surroundings, and view the famous places connected with this historic city.
The history of the Old City of Limerick, for many centuries, is full of romance and tragical events; it is the only city that has never been taken by the English. It is called the “City of the Violated Treaty,” from the following event: General Ginckle invested it in the year 1691, and after six weeks, failing of success, negotiations for a treaty were set on foot, amicable intercourse was established, and articles of capitulation signed, the garrisons were to march out with the honours of war, The Roman Catholics of the kingdom were to enjoy every privilege of King Charles the Second’s time, and a parliament was to be summoned in Ireland. Alas, these stipulations were not fulfilled, and King William’s successor enacted far more oppressive laws. This violation of a solemn treaty has hung as a curse on England for nearly two centuries. What miseries, rebellions, cruelties, and midnight murders might have been prevented by these concessions of civil and religious rights; and Ireland to-day would have been a loyal and happy country.
We visited some of the chapels, which were well attended by devout worshippers, male and female, presenting a striking contrast to the week-day services of the English churches, where one only sees, at the most, a few women. After which we strolled along the river, and then returned to our hotel.
The next morning we drove to the Distillery, by way of the Thomond Bridge and along the banks of the Shannon. On our arrival we were received by the Manager with a hearty welcome, and conducted over every part of the establishment.
This fine old Distillery is planted on the banks of the Shannon, and just outside the walls of the city. Its origin dates from the beginning of the century, and it stands within a few hundred yards of the “Treaty Stone,” and the celebrated Thomond Bridge, one of six bridges that cross the river.
The works and buildings cover upwards of six acres, and are built on a very convenient plan, so as to work principally by gravitation, and there is an inexhaustible supply of water for every purpose. We commenced our inspection at the Maltings and Barley-lofts, which form a large building 203 feet long by 103 feet broad, and are of the shape and appearance of an old baronial castle, having two small inner courtyards, each of which is reached by a stone archway.
The Lofts used for the grain adjoin the Maltings, they are situated over a large bonded Warehouse, and a powerful little engine hoists the grain to these floors at the rate of ten barrels a minute. The two Malting Floors, which have three spacious stone Steeps, are connected with four Kilns, two of them are in the centre, and one at each end of the building, two are floored with perforated Worcester tiles, the others with wire cloth, and all of them are heated by open furnaces.
On our way to the Mill we passed through the Brewhouse, which contains the four large brewing tanks, tuns, &c. The Mill is a spacious and lofty building, 50 feet long and 30 feet broad, divided into two separate departments, one for the grinding of grain, and the other for malt, the former contains four pairs of Stones and the latter two; the engine used in the Mill is a fine one of 30-horse power, and when necessary can be connected with another of the same size, which drives the machinery of the Distillery. In both Mills the grist and ground malt are carried by a double set of elevators and hoppers to the upper floors of the Mill, thence along a bridge into the Grist-loft over the Mash-house, to which place we next bent our steps.
It is a handsome building, and contains two large Mash-tuns, with usual stirring gear and draining plated. The Underbacks in connection with these vessels is placed on the floor of the Pump-room, which adjoins the Brewing-house. Ascending a flight of steps we inspected the coolers, which form a part of the roof of the Mash-house, and also the capacious water tanks, place on the roofs of the adjoining buildings, and therefore at a higher altitude than the Refrigerators.
At the suggestion of our guide, we climbed to a platform elevated over the tanks, where we gained a splendid view of the Clare Mountains, the counties of Limerick and Tipperary, the windings of the river Shannon, the City side of Thomond Bridge, including the picturesque King John’s Castle, now used as barracks, and the island opposite, where a party of cavalry were exercising.
Returning to the main building, we came to the Cooling-room, which contains four Refrigerators of the best and most modern pattern, also two cylindrical Condensers, like those at Messrs. John Jameson & Son’s. From the outside landing we observed the Worm Tub of the Wash Stills, a vessel 48 feet long, which contains nine copper coils. It is in the open air, near the top of the Stills, and adjoins the Safe-room, to which place we proceeded. It contains the usual Safe, Sampling Safe, and other appliances. From thence we went to the Pump Room, containing five sets of three-throw pumps, three used for worts and cold water, two for feints and one for feeding the boilers with hot water.
At the end of the building we came to the Back House, a spacious open-roofed gallery, which contains five Wash-backs, each containing 30,000 gallons, with space left for other two in course of construction. The Wash-chargers are constructed of timber, and the Intermediate-charger of metal, all conveniently placed and of a capacity sufficient for the requirements of the work.
Crossing the square, we next entered the Still House, a lofty well-lighted structure, which contains three copper Pot Stills; one, the Wash Still, is placed near the steam boilers, the other two, in which the final operations are conducted, are situated near the two principal engine houses; they have open furnaces underneath, and possess all the latest improvements.
One of the last-mentioned Stills was constructed in 1885, for the manufacture of real Irish Whisky, and may be regarded as a model Still, embracing every improvement, which has suggested itself to its renowned builders, John Miller and Co., of Dublin, during their long experience. In close proximity are the Low Wines and Feints Chargers, and the various Receivers, all well grouped and conveniently placed as regards the different Stills. The floor under the Brewing Tanks is reserved for the grains or draff, whither it is conveyed from the Mash Tuns by means of a broad canvas belt, working upon rollers. After inspecting these, we crossed over to the Spirit Store, a building of neat elevation, 80 feet long by 60 feet broad, across the end of which a gallery has been erected for two large Spirit Vats. On the floor are the various appliances for casking and weighing the Whisky, previous to its being placed in the Warehouses.
A few yards’ progress brought us to a range of four large bonded Stores, well ventilated and very dry. The brewer is accommodated within a capital dwelling house within the enclosure, also the resident engineer. We next inspected the General and Excise offices, and then took a peep at the Engine House, which contains four steam engines, two of them of 30-horse power and the others of somewhat less power; also six steam boilers of various capacities and dimensions, and from thence visited the Carpenters’, Engineers’, Coppersmiths’, and Brassfitters’ Shops; all of them average 45 feet square, and are fitted up with every necessary appliance. Upwards of seventy persons are employed on the premises, many of whom have been attached to the place a number of years.
The Whisky made in this Distillery is of good reputation and full bodied, and is said to possess rapidly maturing qualities. It is designated “Pot Still Real Irish Whisky,” and is sold all over the three kingdoms, and the annual output is 300,000 gallons.
Wow, the road between the Glens of Antrim and Bushmills was quite the wild ride. In some ways, the terrain reminded me of the land east of San Francisco, with its lack of trees and endless array of hills. Passed by a car on the road, I watched him for almost twenty minutes as he kept getting further and further away - it was amazing how long I kept a glimpse of him. I also was astonished I kept my breakfast down, as the bumps in the road came fast and furious, warning me constantly to slow down - for fear of getting a concussion from bouncing my head into the car roof.
It had been a lovely drive out of Belfast, up the coastal road to Carnlough. I looked to see if I could find the Glens of Antrim Distillery project. I made my way up to the potato factory that it is associated with it and saw they were filling up a semi-truck full of products. I decided not to disturb anyone and instead gawked at the view from the factory. It sat high on a perch above the surrounding countryside that sloped gently down into the Irish Sea.
Beyond the bumps, I also encountered my first and only animal crossing during my trip. But rather than the sheep I expected, it was a farmer moving his cattle from one of his fields to another. Luckily I had given myself a good cushion of time to arrive. I mostly had because of the Motorbike race that was happening in the area. I wasn’t sure if that might have me cut off at some point during my travels.
When I arrived in the town of Bushmills, I quickly caught a glimpse of the distillery to my right. My appointment was at 10 AM, I was a little early but decided to snap some pictures from the large parking lot in front. There would be no shortage of photo opportunities here.
I was really curious to learn more about the history of the distillery and these buildings. If you ask fans of the brand, it is surprising how many will blurt out that it is the oldest licensed distillery in the world. It is amazing how well marketing can spread a message. But I’d also heard that wasn’t Bushmill’s license, but instead, that of a farm that was on this location. I was looking forward to how my guide would approach that.
Mark met me at the gate and gave me a warm greeting. “A beautiful day isn’t it?” He said, I confirmed as he let me in the gate. Laura was to be my guide, and he walked me into the visitor’s center and introduced me to her.
This was a special tour that had been set up through the company. Now owned by Jose Cuervo, they are under the same umbrella with Stranahan’s in Colorado and that is how I made the connection. Bushmills had only been opened for a couple of weeks since their long COVID shutdown, so I had come on a day when they weren’t running tours - so this was going to be a somewhat impromptu tour, but I asked Laura if she’d take me through like she could a normal visitor and then I could just ask a lot more questions that the normal tourist.
When Irish Distillers Limited owned all of Irish whiskey and had consolidated down to just the distillery at Midleton and this one at Bushmills, Bushmills stood as THE single malt distillery for all of the island, while Midleton handled the grain whiskey and pot still. Laura said they also used to malt all of their own barley here, but now it came from the Republic. It was growing clearer and clearer to me, it had been a while since there was a true fully Protestant or fully Catholic whiskey.
We walked past a beautiful copper mash tun that had been sliced in half, for demonstration purposes. The thing was huge. She said they’d gotten about 40 years usage out of it before it was replaced by a self-cleaning modern unit. The walkway surrounded it, so I was able to take it all in. She said they used 10 tuns of grist every day and milled the barley on-site. Then we walked into the stillhouse and were hit with a lovely sweet pear smell. There were 10 pot stills in the room with piping run all around the room. It was one of those rooms that makes it very tough to get a full view of things - or a top notch representative photo. Since the stills weren’t running, I was able to snap plenty of pictures on the way through. She said over 150k visitors walked through this room and did the tour every year. I had to imagine, between Bushmills, the non-working Jameson Distillery on Bow Street, and Midleton they likely got the lion's share of distillery visitors, simply because they were the best known brands - with Teeling and Tullamore DEW quickly on the rise.
I asked her how most visitors got here. She said a lot of them get car hires, but there are plenty of tour companies that visit. The motorbike race was also a good draw and they actually would get cruise ships in at the nearby town of Portrush. She said they got a large number of French visitors that way.
We made our way toward a building housing a warehouse demonstration. She told me they had 20 warehouses on site. That kind of surprised me. From first glance, the footprint of the place seems quite modest. She said the oldest warehouse only went back to around 1885, after a massive fire gutted the place. So, those wishing to see some remnant of distilling from the early days may be a little disappointed - I was, maybe a little, but researching distilleries, you quickly learn, fire was a major problem before the 20th century, so it is rare to find original buildings that go back much further than the 1850s anywhere- that’s why Woodford Reserve’s distillery is such a treasure - as are many of the jewel’s of Scotland.
As we entered the warehouse, there were three barrels on the floor. I got a chance to sniff inside each one - one was Oloroso sherry butt, then a port pipe and ex-bourbon barrel. I’ve always thought this is an exception way to demostrate the differences the barrel imparts on a whisky. The first place I experienced this was a Dalwhinnie in the Scottish Highlands, although there, you were in the middle of a historic dunnage warehouse, basically standing in the dark with smells all around you. That always makes it a little harder to tune in. This fresher and more open space was more conducive to finding the appropriate aromas.
There was a painting on the wall behind the barrel display. Two coopers. Apparently Bushmills is one of the few distilleries on the island that have on-site coopers and these were 3rd and 4th generation coopers. As I would learn on my trip, it was a skill that was being lost to time.
Then she walked me to a display that showed what each of their whiskeys were composed of. The regular Bushmills is a 50-50 grain and barley blend that stands at about 5 years old. The Black Bush is 80% malt, 20% grain and aged around 8 years in Oloroso Sherry. The 10 was a single malt aged in ex-bourbon and sherry. The 16 is the one that used the port pipes as a finishing barrel for 9 months.
She pointed out that the gift shop is where the malting floors used to be. In other words, always look for the pagodas. On older distilleries, these smoke chimneys were a giveaway that they once had a malting floor. But if you see them on Tullamore DEW’s modern building, well, those are just decoration and paying homage to the malting past.
As we stepped into the bar, I saw one of the most stunning pot stills I’d ever seen. Just like the mash tun, it wasn’t just a copper color. It had depth and character to it, with amazing detail in the rivets and seams. Laura said it came from the Colerane Distillery, which was the second to last distillery to shut down in Northern Ireland - leaving Bushmills to itself. What a glorious piece of history and ironic that a former competitor’s still had been acquired. But this wouldn’t be the only time I’d see that on this trip.
Michael was in the bar area and I asked him a bit more about the history of the place. I also, of course, asked if Bushmills ever spelled whiskey without the e - he said, not that he was aware of. And he said they like to tease their Scottish visitors by mentioning that they “e” is for excellence! Lol.
Normally, visitors do their tasting in that room, but Laura had me set up in the VIP tasting room. She asked what I had tasted in the past and then went about setting up some new whiskeys for me to add to my experience. First was the Reserve 12. It was a distillery only bottle, fruity with tropical fruit, banana, vanilla and a slight peppery finish. It did have a little of that solvent/fuel note to it - something that I seemed to find in Bushmills and Jameson whiskeys. Next, I tried the most fascinating of all of the whiskeys. In Ireland, they don’t have to stick to oak barrels and this Distillery Edition was aged in ex-bourbon and sherry, then finished in African Acacia wood. It didn’t have that fuel note - it did have a very purfumy nose, espresso chocolate and cinnamon nutmeg on the palate and a pepper finish. A lot of darker flavors, yet light - I was even picking up some maple. Fascinating. I would have bought a bottle, but so early in the journey, I was still a little gun shy on overdoing it. I also tasted the 16 and 21 year old. She joked about how some guy came in and was bragging he mixed the 21 year with Coke. It’s your whiskey pal.
While sipping the whiskey, we got into a conversation about Northern Ireland’s history. She said she was from Belfast and that her mother was a midwife during the Troubles. Like Sarah, she had pride in her town. I told her I was headed to Derry the next day. She said she thought it was a great town and very walkable.
Our last stop was in the oldest warehouse, built somewhere between 1885 and 1890. There was a lift in there, but she said there wasn’t anything upstairs. She asked if I wanted my picture taken with the barrels. I was so glad she asked. I always forget. And I liked the photo so much, I put it on the back of my book. I didn’t quite get all the history I was looking for, but it was still a top notch experience touring the distillery.
I went into town, stopped in a fish and chips shop, got a meal fit for a king and then made my way over to my BnB, which was within a short distance of the Giant’s Causeway. An evening breather from whiskey tours and a Sunday off too boot. Derry was next on my list and then on to Donegal. But what a fantastic week, Northern Ireland had not disappointed.
I’m Drew Hannush and this is Whiskey Lore.
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And if you want to learn about Bushmill’s and all the distilleries in Ireland and Northern Ireland or you want to plan out your own dream vacation visiting Irish whiskey distilleries - grab a copy of my new book Whiskey Lore’s Travel Guide To Experiencing Irish Whiskey, it features all the information you need to plan and prepare for an incredible trip to the Emerald Isle, including travel tips, and full profiles of 27 distilleries and information on 24 more that are on the way. Just head to whiskey-lore.com/irishbook for a quick link to Amazon or ask your favorite bookseller or distillery to order you a copy.
Thanks for listening! I’m your host Drew Hannush and until next time, cheers and slainte mhath!
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