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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    776

    Default Spring whisk(e)y tasting excursion through Ireland and Scotland

    Interested in any feedback/gotta-dos on this itinerary. Will be joined by friends in Galway (who can't afford to take off the full three weeks).

    Starts in late March through mid-May

    Day 1-3: Dublin
    Day 4-5: Cork area
    Day 6-8: Dingle
    Day 9-11: Galway
    Day 12-13: Clones (Linda is an Irish Lace fan)
    Day 14: Belfast
    Day 15: Glasgow area, or possibly Oban
    Day 16-18: Speyside (Aberlour, Craigellachie, Dufftown, etc.)
    Day 19-22: Edinburgh

    Will be using a mid-size car for the first week, swapping out in Galway for a mini-van (to handle the extra two people plus luggage load), dropping it in Belfast, taking ferry to Cairnryan where we pick up another minivan for the final week.

    Have our tasting sights set on Guinness Storehouse and Jameson's center in Dublin, Middleton, Kilbeggan, Bushmills, Auchentoshan or Oban, Glenlivet, Glenmorangie, Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Edradour.

    For general sightseeing, the current 'transit day driving' hitlist includes: Glendalough, Avoca (Linda is into fabric arts), Rock of Cashel, Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Giants' Causeway, Antrim Glens, Loch Lomond, Glencoe, Loch Ness.

    Would be interested in any feedback; thanks.

    P.S. It is whiskey in Ireland, whisky in Scotland. No. I don't know why.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,885

    Default One Other Possibility

    Seems like you've got a pretty good knowledge of the Irish landscape and what you want to hit. I will just mention one other. If you are going to be going through County Donegal on your way to Northern Ireland, then the tiny town of Downies (or Downings, I've seen both spellings) on the appropriately named Sheep Haven Bay might make Linda happy. It is the home of McNutt's, one of the truly great purveyors of Irish woolens. It is the best source I ever found (My mother was a knitter and I took her there twice.) for the unprocessed báinin wool which still has the full complement of lanolin and makes for the very best Irish sweaters and other knit goods.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    254

    Default

    Personally my whisky jewel in the crown is Isle of Islay. About 90 minutes from Loch Lomond to the ferry. And about a two hour ferry ride with car to Port Ellen in Islay.

    Islay is a small compact island, about 25 miles by 20 miles and is easy to navigate. Like stepping back 30/40 years, no need to lock up your car etc., and the folk are so friendly and helpful. A couple of days there would give you a good flavor of the place.

    There are seven whisky distilleries, unless recently changed, which are open to visitors. Lovely old buildings in idyllic settings where you can see the distilling in action. My favorite is Lagavulin – the whiskies are known to have a smoky character derived from peat.

    Also there is an Islay Woollen Mill which produces a wide range of fabrics which are available as rugs, scarves, caps, tweed jackets, plus fours and kilts, many of which are available as made to measure items.

    Next door to Islay is Jura where there is a distillery and is the place where George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty Four.

    A good place to stay, from personal experience, is the Lodge on Loch Lomond. Set right on the side of Loch Lomond with beautiful views. Previous guests include a President of the United States.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    776

    Default

    AZBUCK:

    Thanks! Great feedback; will ponder fitting that in on the transit from Clones to Belfast.

    Eris:

    Great tips too! However, Linda and I are not fans of the peaty version of whisky, so Islay isn't going to happen this trip. Sounds wonderful though!

    Will look at the Lodge as a possible stopping point for that day.

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