I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Home Uncategorized Whiskey In The Jar

Whiskey In The Jar

Keith Payne
A Glass Apart: Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey, by Fionnán O’Connor, 224 pp, £19.95, ISBN: 978-1864707236 If water was whiskey and I was a duck I’d jump to the bottom and never come up. Popular ballad, as quoted in Ciaran Carson’s Last Night’s Fun With drops of it going for over €500 at auction and David Beckham selling oversized perfume bottles full of it, perhaps it’s time someone told you how to distinguish your whisky from your whiskey and more importantly, introduced your taste buds to the single drink that will soon be on everyone’s lips; Irish single pot still whiskey. A Glass Apart is the companion piece to the pot still revival, and O’Connor the ideal tippling companion; bar stool raconteur turned distillery don, erudite, passionate and crackling with enthusiasm for this bewitching drink whose tale he tells so well and with good humour: “If it’s a swelteringly hot day and you feel like having your Redbreast on the rocks, you’re not going to bring about the apocalypse. But please, do it in private because it breaks my heart to see.” It is an underground history of Dublin and Ireland that flows down streams of whiskey from the Poddle to the trickle of the last few bottles in a cellar under Fitzwilliam Lane and on to where it rises again from the sherry barrels where it has sat quietly coming of age. This is the story of barley seeping deep in Inishowen bog holes and of streams of whiskey flaming down Dublin streets in the 1875 “Liberties Whiskey Fire”. From Alexandria to Andalusia then back by alembic swerves to the Liberties and Marrowbone Lane, O’Connor’s telling is as spry as a glass of Power’s John’s Lane and as welcome as a warming tot of Redbreast in November. But as he begins his tale: “in order to make whiskey you have to make beer”. You will have noticed by now that the standard trio of beer taps in your local has sprouted to a dozen or more, with a standing army of many-hued bottles in the cooler behind. What was once cold-filtered-to-hide-the-taste homogenous beer can now be a Dungarvan stout, an Indian Pale Ale from Galway or an Old Rosie English cider. Bubbling up through nearly all these liquids is a fierce dedication to the craft of brewing, which with the floodgates now open, collects far from James’s Gate. While the craft beer revolution…



Dublin’s Oldest Independent BookshopBooks delivered worldwide