Partaking in the Angels’ share

Merrion Row from the Shelbourne Hotel, St Stephen’s Green c.1895; by Walter Osborne (Dublin 1859 – 1903 Dublin). Picture credit: National Gallery of Ireland.

After a mammoth breakfast at our hotel–complimentary, so had to make the most and hence it turned into a six course feast–Big Al and I trotted to the Jameson The Old Jameson Distillery on Bow Street to pay homage to Irish Whiskey making.Every day at the Jameson Distillery the equivalent of 6,000 bottles of Jameson evaporates through the casks–known as the Angels’ Share.

At the end of the tour, we volunteered to take part in a whiskey tasting session and so we sniffed, sipped and held in our mouths, then swallowed Irish Jameson, American Jack Daniels and Scottish Johnny Walker. All ten tasters favored the Jameson. Long live Ireland. We left feeling in good spirits.

Next we hit the General Post Office, scene of the 1916 Easter Rising on Easter Monday. Funnily enough the date it occurred, April 24, is the same as my birthday.

Afterwards we managed to reach Parnell Square’s Dublin Writers Museum just before it closed. With not much time, we whistled around the beautiful restored Georgian mansion and past the great Irish literary figures of old: James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Cecil Day-Lewis, Oscar Wilde,  Patrick Kavanagh and George Bernard Shaw, among others.

Darkness descended on Dublin as we made our way along O’Connell Street and toward the historic Shelbourne Hotel. Big Al ordered a couple of “No. 27” cocktails: named after the address at which it was created, the drink is stirred with plenty of ice and a combination of Bourbon, herbal liquor, honey and fresh lemon juice with a dash of orange bitters. Invigorating stuff.

So, though our legs ached like those of old men, still the night was young…