Tag Archives: Irish Coffee

The Angel’s Share, Dublin Airport

Dropping the better half off at the airport the other week allowed me to explore the landside bar I knew existed but hadn’t actually visited.

As a musical accompaniment to the blog what else could I choose but…

Handily situated at the far end of the ground concourse below the Ryanair check-in desks – I was a little taken aback to see the name ‘The Angel’s Share‘ emblazoned above the wide entrance – together with a glass cabinet full of rare or hard to find Irish whiskeys.

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I wouldn’t mind trying a few of these… c/othewhiskeynut

For those that may not be aware – ‘the angel’s share’ is a whiskey term handily explained by reference to one of the bar walls inside this bright and airy establishment.

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Punters and prose c/othewhiskeynut

It’s also the title of an uplifting tragicomic movie by none other than Ken Loach which I’d wholeheartedly encourage you to see.

Now I know that the ‘piece de resistance’ in Dublin Airport is the magnificent Loop whiskey emporium on the airside duty free area – but for those not flying – or with a little time to spare – The Angel’s Share is a lovely spot to enjoy a glass of your favourite Irish Whiskey perhaps accompanied by a tasty meal or snack too.

Jameson’s fine Black Barrel release was ‘Whiskey Of The Month’ when I called – but as usual I was on the lookout for something I hadn’t had before. Sadly the rare cabinet whiskeys seemed to be  for display only as a member of staff couldn’t recall them ever being opened!

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Whiskey at The Angel’s Share c/othewhiskeynut

The Angel’s Share had a good selection of Midleton expressions – Jameson – Powers – Spots and Paddy  together with some Teeling and Hyde. Bourbons and Canadian Club also featured. What tickled my fancy however was a somewhat neglected Midleton release – Dunphys.

Dunphys Irish Whiskey was originally created in the 1950’s mainly for the American market. It became popular as a mixer – particularly in an Irish Coffee – but it’s star has now waned. Midleton’s sales force don’t seem to be pushing it either as many a pub I go into has a ‘Premium Whiskey Selection’ menu featuring only their own releases – in which I’ve yet to see Dunphys included.

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Dunphys Irish Whiskey c/oThe Celtic Whiskey Shop

Truth be told I wasn’t expecting much being treated as the black sheep of the Midleton family – but Dunphys proved to be a fairly rich tasting malty standard blend. At the price point it’s sold at it compares very favourably indeed. I suppose it has an old fashioned taste – if you can define old fashioned. I certainly enjoyed it and even wondered why it had been left out in the cold – Irish Coffee anyone?

Discovering this little haven of calm in a busy airport left me with a smile on my face.

Other customers were tucking into hot meals – their first or last decent pint of the black stuff depending on travel plans – or just enjoying a wee dram collecting or dropping off friends and family. Just be careful not to relax too much if you are flying however!

Whatever the reason – The Angel’s Share will certainly brighten up my visits to the airport.

Sláinte

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Garvey’s, Galway.

You can’t miss Garvey‘s.

It’s a large 4 story building topped with a clock spire which displayed the same time at the start of my Galway Whiskey Trail Day as at the end.

The premises is situated in the Eastern corner of Eyre Square directly outside the train station which made it a logical choice as the starting pub for my adventure – considering I’d just left the warm seat of the Dublin service for a rather dank and dismal Galway day and was looking forward to my first warming whiskey.

With a little time to spare before the 10.30am opening time I popped into the local Centra for a bottle of water and some Rennie‘s – just in case – then took the plunge.

It did cross my mind that it was a wee bit early to be having a dram – but then I’d been planning this trip for some time – and it was the anniversary of prohibition of alcohol in America – and whiskey is my love – and didn’t Bill Drummond and the crew in KLF used to sing,

“What Time Is Love?”

My plan was to have the first whiskey as an Irish Coffee – made with the brand originally famed by it’s invention – Dunphy’s – but despite there being an extensive array of Midleton expressions – Dunphy’s wasn’t one of them.

Trust me for choosing the missing release in a bar that has over 50 whiskeys on offer!

Slightly thrown by this incident I quickly scanned the heaving display and settled on the unusually named Sheep Dip.

Previously having tasted the equally unusual Pig’s Nose from the Spencerfield Spirit Company I was intrigued to find out what it’s stablemate was made off. The answer was pretty decent stuff indeed! A rich malty blend with a satisfyingly strong taste and long finish. If anything – this surpassed my experience of Pig’s Nose.

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Garvey’s bar with the black stuff and the uisce beatha c/othewhiskeynut

Sampling the whiskey allowed me to have a good look round the heavily wooded bar area. There were a few other customers present – even at this early hour. A gentleman in for a drop of the black stuff and a young american couple having breakfast after a day out on the Aran Islands.

At this juncture I’d just like a little time out for the demise of David Bowie.

And hope the young couple enjoyed their stay in Ireland.

Did I mention this Garvey’s was an hotel – complete with accommodation, restaurant and meals?  It also explained why I’d seen folks leaving the premises before opening time. As I’d made sure I had a hearty breakfast before I left home I didn’t order the Full Irish the visitors seemed to be enjoying.

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Garvey’s sandwich board c/othewhiskeynut

Along with the expected food menu there was also a whiskey menu complete with tasting notes. Sadly it exclusively featured releases from Midleton and didn’t included the likes of Tullamore DEW – Bushmills – Teeling – Kilbeggan or Knappogue Castle as well as others – all of which were on the shelves. There were also American Bourbon’s and of course some Scotch – of which Sheep Dip is one.

A handy place to pop into on your way to or from the rail and bus stations which are just across the road. The staff were very warm and friendly to boot.

As Arnie says ” I’ll be back!”

Sláinte

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