Tag Archives: Irish

Persse’s Galway Whiskey, William Henry

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

I also enjoy reading about it.

Especially an historical whiskey located in Galway that I’m unlikely to obtain a glass of anytime soon!

This highly informative book charts the rise of the well respected Persse Distillery of Nun’s Island Galway.

At the height of it’s fame Persse Whiskey was considered ‘of the finest quality & highest order‘ and reached a global sales audience through shipping out of Galway Docks.

The book contains much detail & tales of the extended Persse family – many of which I’d never heard of before.

Lady Gregory of Coole Park fame was one such family member – it’s not known if she partook of the whiskey!

Mount Vernon – a house built by the Flaggy Shore – was named after George Washington’s abode by an admiring Persse member.

Sadly, by 1912 it was all over.

Quite what led to the demise of this distillery isn’t fully explored in the publication.

It pre-dates both prohibition & civil war in Ireland – 2 convenient events to explain the fall of Irish Whiskey.

There was an other event that isn’t always talked about. The invention of the Coffey Still by Irishman Aeneas Coffey in the 1830’s.

Persse didn’t utilise the Coffey Still in their production.

Scotch Whisky – mainly in the guise of Lowland blends – took to this new invention with gusto & created a new whisky category which usurped the former reigning sales topper.

Perhaps if Persse Distillery had embraced this new technology it might have still been around today?

Who knows.

As it is there are visible remnants of the former distillery to view across the rushing waters of the Corrib River as it flows into Galway Bay.

A very well researched & entertaining book on the glory days of Irish Whiskey.



The Box, Marc Levinson

Writing a blog about a book charting the rise of container shipping from a small, local idea, into the global phenomena it is today might prompt you to ask;

“What has it to do with whiskey?”

The Box & Scotch c/othewhiskeynut

A lot as it happens.

There was tonnes of well researched data, information, anecdotes & analysis in this highly readable publication. Having spent a lifetime in transportation – familiar places, ports, methods of movement & company names inhabited every chapter.

Whiskey didn’t actually feature until page 165 – but what a nugget!

Establishing the first fully containerised shipping routes in 1966 between the US & Europe – a certain commodity was carried.

“Among Sea-Land’s first ports of call was Grangemouth, in Scotland, where it picked up Scotch Whisky.”

That one sentence crytalises the divergent paths Scotch & Irish took.

The container box was a disruptive technology – if you can call a rectangular steel box technology.

Disruptive technology c/othewhiskeynut

In the whiskey world a certain copper column was the disruptor – the Coffey Still.

The Scot’s ran with the new technology & with it built the capacity & sales to export in bulk – globally.

The Irish didn’t – & by 1966 were struggling.

It wasn’t until 1975 with the opening of New Midleton Distilleryand it’s Coffey Stills – that Irish Whiskey began to turn a corner.

The Box c/othewhiskeynut

But there’s another potential disruptor about – accelerated ageing.

Does it have the capability of doing for whiskey what the box did to shipping?

Only time will tell.


My thanks to Marc Levinson for the use of the quote from page 165 of The Box.