George Bernard Shaw once said, “Whiskey is liquid sunshine.” And though the Irish playwright has been dead for nearly 70 years, his hometown of Dublin has never been sunnier. Booze tourism has skyrocketed in the capital. Last year, the government vowed to make Ireland the world leader in whiskey tourism by 2030, proposing an official whiskey trail. That’s a ways off, but in the meantime, there’s a trove of pubs, distilleries and whiskey bars waiting to be explored. This is a cheat sheet for the best of Dublin’s liquid sunshine.
This late-night hot spot features semiprivate seating areas, creative cocktails and enough taxidermy to piss off your PETA-obsessed pals. Those eager to start drinking before sunset can book a guided whiskey tasting ($33) or enroll in a cocktail class ($33) during which you’ll learn to master three different cocktails. Stay late into the night for a Whiskey Galore! punch bowl, which serves up to 25 revelers.
This Michelin-starred restaurant may not seem like a prime place to drink Ireland’s hometown hooch, but eat your way through a stunning meal (three lunch courses are $43), paired with tastes from the extensive whiskey list, and you’ll be a believer. The highlight? The steaming Irish Coffee made tableside in a copper pan and served in a stately long-stemmed glass.
If you’re lucky, the owner of this speakeasy just off trendy Capel Street will let you ring the bell at the underground club. And don’t be surprised if you bump into some celebrity sippers. “All the Hollywood stars come here when they're in town because of the bar’s discrete nature,” says Laura Whelan, Jameson’s brand ambassador in Dublin.
This BYOA (bring your own alcohol) bar allows you to carry in whatever goodies you picked up on the day’s distillery tour. Let in-house mixologists create the cocktail of your dreams or at least to your specific taste preferences with your preferred booze. Make friends, share your bottles, and maybe find your new favorite local whiskey.
Named for its location in a former rag-trading district, this dim bar is dedicated to the two obvious Irish beverages: stout and whiskey. The bar menu skews seafood, with chowder, scampi and crab claws all waiting to chase down your whiskey, served in flights for side-by-side comparison.
If touring cathedrals and art collections has worn you out, opt for a boozier cultural experience at this museum dedicated to all things Irish whiskey. You’ll take a trip back to the 11th century to learn about whiskey’s origins, then sip your way through the styles of today. For extra whiskey, upgrade to a premium ticket for $3. And be sure to hit the gift shop for one-of-a-kind souvenirs.
Forget duty-free. This emporium of Irish distilled and imported whiskeys is your top stop for all the high-proof booze you want to take home. If you’re looking for a more curated experience, sign up for the Celtic Whiskey Shop’s distillery tours, tastings and more whiskey-focused events.
Reopened in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2017, this bar, museum and cocktail education center is a whiskey lover’s playground. While the famous Irish whiskey is distilled a few hours south in Midleton, the historic Bow Street home of Jameson dating back to 1780 is still worth a stop. The 90-minute Whiskey Makers tour takes you through Jameson’s distilling process and includes cask tastings and the opportunity to blend your own bottle to take home. Those more cocktail-inclined can enroll in Whiskey Shakers lessons, during which a bartender teaches you to master whiskey drinks.