Day 18 - Fiona and the Whiskey Factory

Trip Start Apr 20, 2009
Trip End May 16, 2009

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Flag of Ireland  , County Dublin,
Friday, May 8, 2009

The whole day wasn't Fiona and the Whiskey factory, just part of the day, at the end of the day, so I will have to write about the other stuff first. Mmmm whiskey. Alrighty, well first we ate at the restaurant downstairs in the hotel and quickly used the internets - quickly in that we couldn't spend our entire morning internetting when there was lots of Dublin to see. I had convinced Noni that the walking tour run by the people that I had the tour in Berlin with would be a good way to learn about the city, so we headed to City Hall for that particular tour. The guide was nowhere near as hyperactive as my Berlin guide, not to say that he wasn't enthusiastic about things. He was Irish but I could understand him so it was okay.
So the interesting highlights of the tour? I enjoyed the outline of the Viking house they found, the guides bitterness for the Dublin council in covering up such remains and the Adam and Eve church, where under Protestant rule, it was illegal to go to church, so they built a pub next to the church so that the Irish could say to the English officers "oh I'm here for a pint" but then sneak out the back and go to church.
So the tour finished at about 2pm in St. Stephans Green and Noni wanted to see St. Patrick's church so she led the way. We both needed to go to the toilet, so we went into a shopping centre to do that and also took a 5 minute breather for me to eat a sub sandwich (Noni ate food on the tour and also wasn't feeling well) and then headed off. After a while, I asked if we were going the right way as it didn't feel right to me and Noni convinced me that we were. I also pointed to a church looking steeple thing in the distance and said "Shouldn't we be heading over there to that" and Noni convinced me one more that we were going the right way and that was Christ's Church. Finally, when we ended up at the College of Surgeons which the guide had said backed onto St. Stephans Green, I rather firmly said that we had gone the wrong way. Noni said that was evidence enough that she should return to the hotel for a rest and so we parted our ways.
I headed towards the big steepley thing that I thought originally was St. Patrick's church and I found out I was correct. The church itself was to me just another church after visiting them in Rome, Pisa and Vienna. I really can't say anything particularly interesting about it, I was nice inside but nothing I got excited over. I had a good look however, for photos to show Noni. Then I skipped, trotted and danced towards the Old Jamesons Distillery which was across the river. Inside was quite nice and would be I think a nice relaxed bar to drink at or have a meal in the restaurant above. The tour was guided (as opposed to self guided as in the Guinness factory) and the next tour was in 27 minutes (well that's what the lady said) which gave time to check out the store and admire the building. The tour was 3 parts - a movie, a tour through the stages of making whiskey and finally drinking whiskey. Before the movie, the tour dude asked "now we will need 8 volunteers to drink 3 whiskeys for us at the end of the tour". My hand shot up so fast (it made a whooshing sound) and the man tour person chose me! Yay! To mark our Golden Ticket type status, we were given a stick... The others referred to said stick as the "drinking stick" and clubbed their "friends" when they attempted to claim said stick.
Throughout the tour, the guide kept informing us why Jamesons was better than scotch whiskies (1. The malted barley is dried out using heat from coals rather than peat, 2. The whiskey is aged in barrels that have been used for other stuff and so don't have tannins come though.. 3. The whiskey is triple distilled whereas most scotches are double). So I know a lot more about the manufacture of whiskey now which I'm sure is a very important life skill.
Then it was time for the tour where I beat the other people with my stick to go to the tasting table. I sat next to the Japanese business people (because I really started to miss Asian people and despite what the English claim, Indian people are not Asian people) and was presented with 3 shots of whiskey - Johnny Walker black label, Jamesons (duh) and Jack Daniels. We followed strict instructions by the tasting guide person and were instructed to indicate which was the smoother whiskey and our preference. With the whiskeys presented like that, it was very hard not to say Jamesons, I really wanted to (to piss them off) but I could not. After finishing our 3 whiskeys, we were given another shot of Jamesons (happiness) and I also spoke to the Japanese business people for a bit before heading back to see how Noni was.
Noni felt better and I needed food (or more booze but food was probably better) and so we went to a fish and chips place and paid $AU20 each for fish and chips, how amusing, I really should stop converting what it comes out to in Australian Dollar as there isn't really any cheap options available. We did a wee bit of shopping after and it pelted down with ouchy cold rain, which was okay because the shops closed at 9pm for us to get safe into bed early.
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