Something was clearly amiss when the bartender replied;
‘We don’t have that one.’
Even after I’d spotted the distinctly garish – even kitsch – labelled bottle on a shelve of whiskeys.
A little game of,
‘Left a bit, right a bit, down one, BINGO!’
ensued to retrieve said bottle – whereupon the same bartender proceeded to shovel loads of ice into a tall glass.
The ice was duly discarded – after I asked for my whisky neat – and a shot promptly poured in.
‘Oh dear’, I thought, before common sense prevailed and the drink was decanted into a more suitable – if not ideal – tumbler.
Forget ‘A Horse With No Name’ – this was the pub with no name!
It transpires the pub formerly known as ‘Whiskey Fair‘ – and which I’d chosen as a suitable watering hole to meet a friend whilst in Dun Laoghaire for the day – had recently changed hands. We even had trouble finding it as although the old name had been removed from the front facade – no new title proudly embellished the now empty display.
With Irish Whiskey experiencing growing sales figures – I did ponder the managements decision to forgo the whiskey snug as the previous owners had obviously attempted to make a go of it. The premises were in a state of transition to something else – something not including a whiskey bar. Clearly I’d timed my visit during this change and been served by staff who obviously had no real knowledge or appreciation of the remaining whiskey stocks still evident behind the bar.
So what about Stewart’s Cream Of The Barley?
Well it’s an old standard Scottish blend dating from the 1830’s & currently owned by Pernod Ricard after their buyout of Allied Domecq back in 2005.
A rich golden brown colour smacks of added caramel – common in entry level blends.
The nose was sweet with a hint of malt.
The rich velvety malt on taste surprised me – although it soon diminished with an overly sweet overture & a short finish.
Very pleasant, very smooth, very aptly named & actually quite a decent blend for an afternoon chat.
I may not have got the pub I wanted.
But I did get a new whisky to try out!