The Whisky Lover’s Dublin Travel Guide

The capital of the Emerald Isle has long been known for having the best pints of Guinness in the world, but now it’s earning a new reputation. Thanks to several new distilleries, Dublin has become the home of Irish whiskey’s revival. From its new wealth of distillery tours to a rich and lively bar scene, Dublin is an ideal getaway for the whisky lover.

Getting Around

Buses aren’t necessary unless you’re going out of town. But the Hop On Hop Off routes will take you to Teeling. Bicycles can be rented via DublinBikes. Taxis are hailed on the street, or go to a taxi rank. Ridesharing hasn’t taken hold; Uber is just a taxi-hailing service. Bicycle rickshaws are increasingly common in town, but settle on a fare first! Executive cars or limos are a possible option for out-of-town touring. Buy a Leap Card for travel on bus, tram, and local trains.

When to Go

New York’s Times Square has nothing on Dublin, which celebrates the ringing in of the New Year with a spectacular fireworks show and public concert at the Custom House. Each March, St. Patrick’s Day is as popular as you’d imagine, drawing over half a million people to the festivities last year to enjoy street theater and marching bands from across Ireland and the world, totaling more than 3,000 participants. Although less known, the Bloomsday Festival in June is an annual celebration of James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” This literary street carnival includes readings and pub crawls to some of the watering holes that inspired Joyce.

A well-dressed male bartender reaches for a bottle in the elegant bar of the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin. A large candelabra hangs above the bar.

The Intercontinental Hotel stocks over 100 whiskeys and provides a whiskey sommelier to arrange tasting flights. (Photo by Barry Murphy Photography)

Where to Drink

You’re never far from a traditional pub in Dublin. Most don’t offer table service and serve drinks only from the bar. Monday through Thursday, pubs stop serving around 11:30 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday at 12:30 a.m. Late bars and nightclubs push on later.

The Palace Bar
Established in 1823, this Dublin institution is steeped in history and boasts over 100 Irish whiskeys, including their own Redbreast single cask 17 year old.

Dingle Whiskey Bar
Choose from a whiskey list of 150, grab a seat for a Tuesday night whiskey tasting, or enjoy a glass and live music on Sundays.

Vintage Cocktail Club
Ring the bell and step back in time with an enticing menu of historic drinks organized by cocktail eras.

The Blind Pig
This hidden, city-center bar is a reservations-only speakeasy serving up tasty cocktails. Address supplied at time of reservation.

The Long Hall
This should be your first stop if you’re looking for a friendly, historic, authentic Dublin pub full of old-world charm.

Where to Stay

The Merrion
An elegant, upscale establishment featuring the two-Michelin star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud and a selection of exceptionally rare whiskeys inside the secluded Bar No. 23.

Brooks Hotel
With an impressive library of over 130 whiskeys, this hotel is convenient for pub crawling through the Temple Bar district, and only a fifteen-minute walk to many distilleries.

InterContinental Hotel
The bar at this luxury hotel stocks over 100 whiskeys, and its whiskey sommelier will arrange tasting flights.

The bright green storefront of Dublin's Celtic Whiskey Shop.

Celtic Whiskey Shop offers a vast selection of modern and collectible Irish whiskeys. (Photo by Kevin George/Alamy)

Where to Shop

Celtic Whiskey Shop
Offers a vast selection of modern and collectible Irish whiskeys.

James Fox Cigar and Whiskey Store
A large range of Irish whiskeys, plus their own Midleton single-cask exclusive.

L. Mulligan Whiskey Shop
A knowledgeable staff oversees an impeccable stock of current and vintage whiskeys.

The Irish Whiskey Collection
The Loop at the Dublin Airport offers an impressive Irish whiskey collection, airport exclusives, and sampling opportunities.

Local Exclusives

Teeling Pot Still whiskey, distilled in Dublin, is available at the distillery, Dublin airport, Celtic Whiskey Shop, and elsewhere. Grab some of the Method and Madness releases, Irish Distillers’ experimental range. Pick up one of Dublin Liberties Distillery’s three new triple-distilled single malts.

Hire a Guide

Dublin Whiskey Experience
Join personable Dublin Whiskey Experience tour guide Gareth Downey as he shares his insights into Dublin’s historic pubs and distilleries, illustrated with some impeccable whiskey selections.

Dublin Whiskey Tour
Dublin Whiskey Tours offers lively tours of local bars with well-informed guides and samplings of the full range of Irish whiskey styles.

Urban Distilleries & Experiences

Dublin Liberties Distillery
A state-of-the-art distillery offering blended and malt whiskeys.

Irish Whiskey Museum
Shares stories of Irish whiskey history and selections from various distilleries. Open nights and weekends for live music.

Jameson Distillery Bow St.
The 40-minute guided tour and whiskey tasting is a fine introduction, but with options for whiskey blending, a warehouse visit, and cocktail making, you can easily fill your day at this world-class facility.

Pearse Lyons Distillery
Tour the distillery within a restored church and immerse yourself in local history and whiskey.

Roe & Co Distillery
The Power House Tour is a 90 minute guided tour, blending demonstration, and cocktail flavor lesson, and is followed by cocktails in the bar of this newly opened distillery.

Teeling Distillery
Learn the history of Irish whiskey and tour Dublin’s first new distillery in 125 years followed by your choice of tasting.

A large Kentucky-made copper still sits in front of stained-glass windows at Dublin's Pearse Lyons Distillery.

Dublin’s Pearse Lyons Distillery offers tours of the restored church it operates within. (Photo by Whisky a Go Girl)

Distilleries Within A Day’s Drive of Dublin

Powerscourt Distillery (Enniskerry, County Wicklow)
Located on an estate, the distillery is housed in a restored mill house. Their visitor center opened in May of this year and, along with a retail space and café, offers tours, tastings, and events.

Slane Distillery (Slane, County Meath)
Their triple-cask blended whiskey is produced out of the former stables of Slane Castle Estate. A variety of tours are offered, including a combination distillery and Slane Castle tour.

Kilbeggan Distillery (Kilbeggan, County Westmeath)
Take a step back in distilling time with the sights and sounds of their wooden water wheel and steam engine. Tours with tastings, their Whiskey Bar, and a shop that sells the full range of Kilbeggan whiskeys and souvenirs are on-site.

Tullamore D.E.W. Old Bonded Warehouse (Tullamore, County Offaly)
Situated on the banks of the Tullamore Grand Canal, the Old Bonded Warehouse is where you’ll explore Daniel E. Williams’s journey to create the whiskey that bears his initials. Pick up a bottle in the gift shop and grab lunch at The Bond restaurant.

Royal Oak Distillery (Carlow, County Carlow)
Set in a beautiful parkland on an 18th century estate, Royal Oak opened in 2016 and is distilling pot still, malt, and grain whiskeys. Tours include a tasting.

Taste of Dublin: 6 Whiskeys to Try

When it comes to savoring whiskeys that can transport you to Dublin, there are many to choose from. The good news from Dublin is that this list is only going to get longer and tastier over the coming decade.

Dublin Liberties Copper Alley 10 year old—89 points, $60
Velvety sherry-finished sourced whiskey with flavors of sherry fruit, dark orange, chocolate, and wood spices.

The Dubliner—90 points, $28
Easy-drinking bourbon-cask blended whiskey brimming with blossom, honey, vanilla, peach, and butter toffee that will be sure to put a smile on your face.

Jameson Bow Street 18 year old Cask Strength—93 points, $179
Aged blend distilled in Midleton and given a fresh bourbon cask finish inside the heart of Dublin’s only active maturation warehouse at Jameson Bow St.

Pearse Founder’s Choice 12 year old—87 points, $60
Honey, apple pie, dried grasses, and herbal notes on the nose of this single malt meet a distortion of spice flavors cavorting through the palate and finish.

Powers John’s Lane 12 year old—94 points, $70
A single pot still whiskey with rolling oily notes, Bramley apples, marmalade, and the sensation of spices writhe across the tongue.

Red Spot—91 points, $120
This single pot still whiskey is bursting with sugar-covered autumnal berries, all spice, oak, and worn leather.

Teeling Single Grain—91 points, $45
Ahead of the U.S. debut of their Dublin-distilled whiskeys, lose yourself in this soft grain whiskey where the California cabernet sauvignon barrique drapes the roasted spices in autumn fruit.

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