How many of you guessed I was off to Ireland, from my little post on Friday? Dublin, what a lovely city. I loved the architecture, the beautiful St Stephen’s Green..which made Central Park look like a dirty back garden and Trinity College..oh Trinity! The grounds were so beautiful and the dorms housed in the most majestic of buildings. I would gladly pay a handsome fee to study in those halls.
And then there is the drink. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a London girl, and in my somewhat reasonable lifespan I’ve had my fair share of beers, cocktails, whiskeys (always without rocks), ales, ciders, ports etc etc. I have my favourites and I drink in moderation. BUT, one trip to the Guinness factory – followed by a visit to the Jameson factory and I clearly understood why the Irish, nay Dublin has a reputation for enjoying the tipple.
The Guinness factory got things started with a 1/4 pint serving of fresh draught Guinness withing ten minutes of the start of the tour. I actually wasn’t going to drink it, but one sip revealed the cleanest, sweetest most welcoming mouthful of Porter i’ve ever had. The bite that is common to Guinness elsewhere was gone, replaced with a fresh almost waterlike quality. Water for grown ups that is. It stopped everyone dead in their tracks and we moved on to learn more about the history of this wonderful beverage.
The tour is well worth the 15 euros or so price that is charged’ not least because you get a lesson in how to properly pour your own Guinness, there *IS* an art to it and we all successfully mastered it – see evidence above. I was surprised to learn that there are three types of Guinness out there – Draught (which also comes in a can), bottled and ‘Foreign Extra’ (higher alc. by vol), with the exception of Draught, the others do have that tart, dark bitter taste. I wondered if the Guinness in Dublin tasted ‘fresher’ as it probably had a lesser matruation time and so the ingredients hadn’t time to settle in to the water and make it as potent and bitter as I was used to?
The trip to the Jameson factory was shorter, but a sweet lesson in this lovely beverage – I had no idea that Jameson could be served in as many ways as we experienced. Over Ginger Ale, Cranberry Juice, Apple Juice, Straight on the rocks, In Irish Coffee and in Hot Chocolate – yum! Each was it common to certain countries (who knew!), and were a great lesson in ways to serve whiskey that will entertain my friends in months to come no doubt..It was easy to see how all the bars in Dublin were packed to the gills – there are lots of really great quality alcohol in Dublin and to sample it is unforgettable..unlike your usual Friday night tipple!
All in all the alcohol in Dublin was great..I will tell you about my other favourites in an upcoming post..