An Irish Whiskey Idea for Irish Restaurants. An Irish Whiskey List as carefully compiled as the Wine List?
Just last week, I was dining out in one of my favourite Irish Midlands Restaurants.
I hadn’t been there in a few months, so I was looking forward to their completely revamped menu and wine list that my friends, who live near the restaurant, had been raving about.
I was not to be disappointed. The food and service were superb and the wine list, which I understand was compiled by the great Wines Direct in Mullingar, had some fantastic wines at amazing restaurant prices in bottles, half bottles and by the glass. I sampled two wines (one for each course) and also scrounged a taste from my partner who was on a different wine. All were genuinely superb. So good that it struck me that I must stop buying overpriced and over rated supermarket wines and set up an account with a good Irish wine merchant!
So, if you are still with me… Great company, great restaurant, great food, great wine and great staff. All I needed now was a really nice whiskey to really finish off a wonderful dining out experience in style.
I asked the Head Waiter ……….(who I know well) and who was a great source of information and advice on their wine list…. Have you Whiskey?
Says she, we have!
Says I, what have you got?
Says she, I think we have Bushmills and Paddy but I’ll check. Back she came to confirm that they had Black Bush (perfectly acceptable) and Paddy which she admitted herself, they only kept for Irish Coffees.
So! (and this was my Eureka moment for the Irish Restaurant Industry), why do restaurateurs in a country with such a dynamic and growing Irish Whiskey Industry pay so much attention to a wine list with French, Spanish, Italian and New World wines, but pay token lip service to a complementary Irish Whiskey List.
My suggestion which they might consider taking up, was that I could compile a simple Irish Whiskey List for them to source from their local supplier which they could then charge a fair but premium price for.
For around €300, an Irish restaurant could have a Redbreast, Green Spot, Connemara, Teeling, Bushmills (Black or Malt) and a Powers Johns Lane, all of which will sell well. Throw in a few good whiskey Tumblers and some nosing glasses and you’ve brought your close of dining experience to a new level. You could even add in some nice but affordable quality Scotch whisky such as a Laphroaig or Glenlivet.
These are all whiskeys that the average punter might not normally afford to buy by the bottle. They will however treat themselves to something special when dining somewhere special. Quality sells and feeds quality!
I’ve always been of the opinion that the time period after the main course is when you are most likely to convince your customers to return. It’s often the last “feel good” minutes of the evening which linger in the memory.
Midlands restaurants could promote local whiskeys such as Kilbeggan, Lockes Distillery and Tullamore D.E.W..
For tourists, it would add a huge degree of quality to their Irish dining experience. I bet most of them will buy a bottle of what they had at your restaurant at the airport and better still, will introduce their friends to Irish Whiskey when they bring that bottle home.
If any Irish restaurant would like to take up my challenge, I’d be delighted to assist them in compiling a good Irish Whiskey list with their own supplier with €250 of matched funds. Email me at stuart (at) IrishWhiskey.com or give me a shout on 087 2 111 222 for a quick chat if interested!
Just my little bit for the Irish Restaurant Industry!
Stuart McNamara is a Whisky and Whiskey Blogger. Stuart is the owner and Editor in Chief of WhiskeyBlogger.com, IrishWhiskey.com, The Irish Whiskey Trail, The Dublin Whiskey Trail, Irish Whiskey Way Atlantic Coast Whiskey Trail , Haig Whisky and The Scottish Whisky Trail. Follow Stuart @WhiskeyBlogger on Social Media.