Where are the best whiskey – friendly Irish Restaurants?
Some weeks ago, I was eating out in one of my favourite Irish Restaurants outside Dublin.
I hadn’t visited there for a few months, so I was looking forward to exploring their completely new menu and wine list that several of my friends had been singing the praises of.
I was not disappointed. The food, ambience and service were all superb. The wine list, which I understand was compiled by Wines Direct , had some fantastic wines at quite reasonable prices by the bottle, half bottles and glass. I sampled two wines (one for each course) and also tasted another two from my fellow guests who had each chosen different wines from the very well written and informative wine list. All four wines that we selected were really very good and both supported and complemented the menu. No point in a great kitchen being let down by a poor wine list.
So, great company, great restaurant, food, wine and 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 had been very knowledgeable and helpful in guiding us through their wine list their new 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 and Paddy which she said, they only “kept for Irish Coffees”. Both are perfectly acceptable Irish Whiskeys, but hardly the whiskeys of first choice to round off a really special meal or occasion with.
I wondered 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, ports, sherries and liqueurs , but miss the significant potential of a complementary Irish Whiskey List.
My suggestion which some Irish restaurant owners might consider taking up, was to create an Irish Whiskey List or Card of above average and premium whiskeys which they could then charge a fair but premium price for.
For a small investment in stock, an Irish restaurant could have an example of a Single Pot Still, Single Malt, and Single Grain Whiskey as well as a few examples of special blends, ages and finishes including a cask strength, 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 expressions of a Scotch, Japanese or Indian whisky such as a Laphroaig or Highland Park, Yamazaki or Amrut.
These are all whiskeys that the average whiskey beginner might not normally be able to source locally or afford to buy by the bottle. They will however treat themselves to a glass or two of something special when dining somewhere special on a special evening. Quality sells and quality feeds quality!
I’ve always been of the opinion that the time relaxing after the meal is when you are most likely to convince customers to return to return to your restaurant. It’s often those last “feel – good” minutes of the evening which linger in the memory.
For tourists, a glass of a locally sourced whiskey adds 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 talk to their friends about both Irish Whiskey and the restaurant they visited when they bring that bottle of the restaurants local Irish whiskey home.
With more and more Irish Whiskey brands entering the market, there are more and more whiskeys associated with local regions and towns. West Cork restaurants could promote Glengarriff and Hyde Whiskeys. Kerry restaurants could promote Dingle and Portmagee and Donegal restaurants could promote The Silkie Whiskey ffrom Sliabh Liag.
Every bottle of local whiskey sold to a visiting tourist has the potential to become a tourism ambassador for that whiskey’s own town or region.
It all adds to the feel-good factor of a special evening in a special Irish Restaurant.
Explore the Dublin Whiskey Trail!
Let’s Support and Promote Whiskey – Friendly Irish Restaurants
If any Irish Restaurants are already doing their bit for Irish Whiskey or have partnered with your local whiskey brand or distillery, feel free to let me know by using the comments form below. Better still, add a picture of your whiskey card for us all to see.
I’ll be delighted to socialise and share any of these comments and plugs for your restaurant through our Irish Whiskey social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
You can also join our Irish Whiskey Trail, Dublin Whiskey Trail or Irish Whiskey Way websites and smart phone apps to promote your whiskey friendly venue. Whiskey Pub – Restaurants anywhere in the world can add a listing on our global Irish Whiskey Trail at Irish Whiskey Pub .Com
Just doing my bit to bring Irish Restaurants and Irish Whiskey together!
Do let me know about your own or favourite Irish Whiskey Restaurants.
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.