Tag Archives: The Twelve Bens

Eddie’s Bar, Clonbur

The immense bulk of Mount Gable looms over the picturesque town of Clonbur as you approach from the East. It’s a popular destination for the fishing fraternity due to being sandwiched by Lough Mask to the North and the mighty Lough Corrib to the South.

Straddling the Galway/Mayo border Clonbur also provides easy access to a range of stunning mountain scenery including the Maumturks, The Twelve Bens, Maumtransa and the Partry/Joyce Mountains – which conveniently leads me to the musical interlude provided by local lads The Saw Doctors.

Having just got down from scaling one of the minor Joyce hills to stretch my legs and enjoy the views – I was in need of some sustenance. I knew Eddie’s sported some whiskey from a previous visit I’d made but now I had the opportunity to actually enjoy one!

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Eddie’s sandwich board c/othewhiskeynut

Suitably seated at the bar I ordered up a hot toasted ham sandwich. My choice of whiskey was a bit more difficult to make with a bewildering array of over 170 bottles on offer. Luckily a whiskey menu was at hand.

I eventually settled on an Islay release from the Bunnahabhain distillery seeing as I was in a gealtacht area.

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A lovely malt! c/othewhiskeynut

Originally destined for the travel retail market – the Durach Ur bottling is a 46.2% non-chill filtered – non age statement single malt. Unlike some of it’s near neighbours – Durach Ur is a lighly peated well balanced whisky with a full bodied malty taste oozing flavour. Just the right pick-me-up after my sorte out in the rather cold and windy spring weather.

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Some of Eddie’s whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

The bar shelves groaned with an impressive display of whiskeys. Irish releases were well represented but Scottish expressions seemed to match – if not outnumber – the local varieties. A few token bourbons and a lone Japanese brought up the remainder.

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Bar adornments c/othewhiskeynut

 

Whiskey tasting platters can be arranged and there is plenty of memorabilia scattered throughout the welcoming bar. An outside seating area catches the sun – when it shines – and is where I enjoyed a hearty  al fresco meal on my previous visit watching the comings and goings of this popular little spot.

Eddie’s Bar together with the adjoining Fairhill House Hotel have won awards for their tasty meals so there should be no surprise in finding an empty tourbus or two clogging up the carpark whilst their passengers enjoy the refreshments inside.

I’m certainly planning my next hill-walking adventure as an excuse to call in on Eddie’s again for yet another lovely dram and tasty snack.

Slainte

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Lowry’s Bar, Clifden.

Lowry’s bar is an attractively fronted warm and friendly pub situated in the heart of the equally attractive town of Clifden in the West of Ireland.

Clifden itself is picturesquely situated at the foot of The Twelve Bens of Connemara on one side – with the wide Atlantic Ocean on the other.

About 100 years ago Clifden was at he cutting edge of technology as Marconi had the first commercial wireless station sending transmissions to America close to the town as well as Alcock & Brown touching down in a nearby bog after completing the first transatlantic flight. The internet and jumbo jets have both grown from these feats – or rather the Connemara bog nearby!

Smack bang in the middle of the Wild Atlantic Way which stretches from Cork down South to Donegal up North – what better place to take some time out and enjoy the uisce beatha.

That’s exactly what I did after indulging in one of my other passions – hill walking.

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Some of the delightful whiskeys at Lowry’s c/othewhiskeynut

With over 100 expressions on offer it’s sometimes difficult to pick one out I haven’t tried before – but my eyes soon settled on a bottle of Dingle Gold from the recently established Dingle Distillery in Kerry – also on the Wild Atlantic Way.

A tuna melt toastie from the bar menu accompanied the whiskey as I settled my weary legs for a little pick-me-up.

Now Dingle Gold wasn’t actually made in Dingle. The distillery is too new to have matured it’s own stock yet. It’s a 3rd party offering whilst Dingle Distillery’s hotly anticipated and selling out fast exclusive first barrel release is just coming to market.

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Dingle Gold c/othewhiskeynut

Dingle Gold is a blend of malt and grain spirits bottled at 46%.

There wasn’t much going on in the nose for me – but after a day being blasted by the wind and heather on the Connemara hills perhaps my senses had been dulled.

The taste was sweet and smooth with a slight bite that belied it’s 46% strength which followed through to a satisfyingly long finish.

A decent dram from the West – which leads me to my musical interlude of ‘Do You Believe In The Westworld’ by Theatre Of Hate.

I certainly do based on the delights of Lowry’s Bar.

In amongst the large array of Irish Whiskeys a trio of Connemara peated releases were prominently displayed which is only appropriate given the location. A good selection of Scotch and Bourbon was also available along with some tasty Swedish Mackmyra‘s and Japanese offerings too.

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There’s room for you at Lowry’s c/othewhiskeynut

Damien – the helpful bartender informed me that whiskey tasting evenings were being arranged – so follow Lowry’s Bar social media for further information. They promise to be good nights!

In addition to the whiskey – there was also a selection of Irish Craft Beers too – a pleasant bonus not always found in a whiskey bar.

The cosy lounge area walls were festooned with whiskey mirrors – memorabilia and bottles arranged on shelves.

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Mirror mirror on the wall…. c/othewhiskeynut

Lowry’s Bar would certainly be a wonderful place to spend the evening tasting some of the many whiskeys on offer.

Sadly my time was limited.

I bid my farewells and headed on.

Sláinte.

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Craic & Divilment Irish Whiskey

On 16th January 1920 the 18th amendment came into law bringing about 13 years of drought as prohibition of alcohol started in America.

On 16th January 2016 I loitered outside Garvey’s in Eyre Square, Galway on a cold damp Saturday morning waiting for the doors to open so I could down a warming whiskey as part of my Galway Whiskey Trail tour.

The plan was to have a glass of the uisce beatha in each of the 10 pubs on the trail – with the added bonus of each being a new whiskey for me! This proved to be a relatively easy exercise  in terms of new expressions – but more problematic in terms of total alcohol consumption!

There was only one Galway Girl – like Steve Earl – I had eyes for however on that morning,

and it wasn’t Grainne – however much very nice she is. I had my eyes set on some Craic & Divilment – a new fun expression labelled as Buckfast Barrel Finnished Irish Whiskey.

The second pub I entered – An Pucan just round the corner on Forster Street – had just the bottle I was looking for and a dram was duly served in a Glencairn glass to boot!

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Craic & Divilment Irish Whiskey in An Pucan, Galway c/o thewhiskeynut

Now I’m not one for doing a review – but for this I think I’ll make an exception.

Colour 

The clouds that sweep in off the Atlantic deposit their rain on the Twelve Bens of Connemara. Percolating down through the quartzite rock and bogs the water makes it’s way into magical Lough Corrib before entering the sea in Galway City. Below Persse‘s Old Distillery the River Corrib foams and churns in the narrow rapids.

This is the Colour of Craic & Divilment.

Nose

Remnants of heather clinging to the rugged landscape. Salmon swimming in the Corrib. Vanilla from the bourbon casks also brought across the Atlantic. Sweet almost sticky notes from the tonic wine along with the monk’s damp habits from Buckfast Abbey.

This is the Nose of Craic & Divilment.

Taste

Rich, smooth, sweet and warming.

A whiskey finished in an additional barrel for extra flavour and taste can be ‘undercooked’ if by not having spent enough time imbuing the aromas in the wood the results are too subtle or weak to be detected.

An ‘overcooked’ finish can unbalance the whiskey drowning out and overwhelming the original spirit character. This is ‘Overkill’ and whilst the sadly departed Lemmy did a marvelous job of it below

Craic & Divilment did not go down this route and instead produced a finely tuned marriage of whiskey and buckfast tonic adding that je ne sais quoi to the dram.

As Dr Spock used to say; ” It’s whiskey Jim, But not as we know it” and he wasn’t referring to Jim Murray either.

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Dr Spock on tasting Craic & Divilment c/o google

This is the Taste of Craic & Divilment.

Finish

The long lingering finish allows you to close your eyes to follow the journey the rain makes across the Atlantic – down the Connemara mountains and bogs, into Lough Corrib and out into Galway Bay.

This is the Finish of Craic & Divilment.

But who said anything about finishing? Sure isn’t the bottle only just opened? Grab another chair there and get a few glasses. We’ll have a grand old time getting to know this delightful little beauty. Let’s get it started!

This is the Word of Whiskey Nut

Sláinte

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