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?
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.