Saturday, March 29, 2008

I found out why Irish eyes are always smiling

The first time I ventured to Ireland, I did so with a bad case of pneumonia. I spent much of my five days there asleep or wishing I would just up and die. While I wouldn’t consider myself a complete booze hound, when I made plans to go there I dreamt of sipping Guinness and whiskey where it was the freshest. Not so much. Five days, two sips of alcohol… not my idea of a good time.

So leading up to this trip, I popped extra vitamins and stayed away from anyone who coughed, sneezed or even looked remotely sick. That proved to be effective as I was as health as I could possibly be when we landed. And my plan was to make up for all of the drinking I didn’t do the first time I was in Ireland. Ding ding – game on!

It took all of 30 minutes for us to have beers in hand. 8am local time (4am eastern time) to be more precise - a good way to start the trip. Over the next six days we schlepped around the country in a tour bus with 40-some other people. Dublin, the Blarney Stone, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher – Ireland is truly a beautiful country. And in between all of that tourist stuff, we managed to throw back a few brews and shots of whiskey. All in all, very productive.

I feel that after a week in Ireland, I’m pretty much a connoisseur of Irish stouts. And I’m here to tell you that there is a little known one that takes the cake. Below is my official updated ranking of Irish stouts. Write this shit down:
  1. Beamish
  2. Murphy's
  3. Guinness

As far as Irish whiskey goes, Tullamore Dew (a.k.a. the mother’s milk) still reigns supreme. I brought back a bottle of their 12-year-old blend, so if you're in the area stop on by for a drink.

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