Dublin’s Top 5 Whiskey Watering Holes
By Richard Thomas
As has been the case in Kentucky and Scotland, Ireland has seen a surge of interest in whiskey tourism that has gone hand in hand with the rise in sales for Irish whiskey. The Irish capital of Dublin already offers its whiskey-interested visitors a handful of attractions, such as the Irish Whiskey Museum and the Old Jameson Distillery, where the whiskey was made prior to its relocation to Midleton. In the near future whiskey distillation will return to Dublin with the opening of Teeling Whiskey Company and Dublin Whiskey Company.
But if you are a whiskey enthusiast and you are in Dublin, first and foremost you want to sip on some of the Emerald Isle’s finest. You might also be Irish whiskey’ed out for the day, and want to curl up with a whiskey of a different stripe for the evening. These are the best bars in Dublin to get that special dram.
1. Bison Bar: This bar and restaurant is not just the all-around best whiskey bar in Dublin, but also a must-go place if you are a fan of barbecue. Southern cooking like what Bison Bar has on the menu in a simple-but-stylish place that has Son Volt on their iTunes makes the establishment a real gem, but crowning it is the wide, deep whiskey selection. On top of a first rate assemblage of Irish whiskeys, this is the sort of place that has a range of Compass Box offerings, two different types of Blanton’s, and even Buffalo Trace White Dog on the shelf.
2. The Palace Bar: An archetype Irish bar, this is the place to go if you are looking to drink Irish and only Irish. Within that category, this is the best-stocked bar in Dublin, but it offers no other type of whiskey. If you can’t make up your mind as to what to try, go for The Palace Bar’s own house bottlings.
3. Bowe’s Lounge: A pleasant, quiet bar of the type that you could find just as easily in Chicago as in Dublin, Bowe’s has a broad, deep selection second only to Bison Bar. The Scotch range is excellent and the Irish range is good, with several American and some Japanese whiskeys rounding out the package. Compared to Bison Bar and The Palace Bar, Bowe’s is the place to go in Dublin if you are looking for a comfy, quiet spot to curl up with a whiskey.
4. The Temple Bar: The raucous Temple Bar is a classic stop for tourists, and the place to go if you are looking for a lively crowd on a weekday early afternoon. The whiskey selection is decent, but doesn’t compare to the three bars described above. The main reason to go here is to combine your whiskey with the atmosphere.
5. Yamamori: Downtown Dublin’s principal sushi joint, Yamamori has a solid selection of Japanese whiskies, plus a few offerings in other categories. Japanese whisky is hot right now, so if you want to prioritize that over Irish whiskey for the night, or just have a hankering for sushi, this is where you want to go.