A Cheat Sheet for Touring the Whiskey Bars of Dublin - The Whiskey Wash

A Cheat Sheet for Touring the Whiskey Bars of Dublin

Ireland has been heading through a bit of a whiskey renaissance recently. With the opening of new distilleries left right and center, I found myself lucky enough to be living in Dublin during this time. So, if you’re a whiskey drinker and passing through, where are the best places to be settling in for a dram?

Dingle Whiskey Bar
44 Nassau Street, Dublin 2

Dingle Whiskey Bar is nestled along Nassau street as a jewel in Dublin’s whiskey scene, somewhat fitting as the building was formerly a jewellery store. The name Dingle may ring familiar to some, as the bar is an extension of the distillery of the same name in County Kerry, producing some of Ireland’s most exciting young whiskies. The same care that has gone into their whiskey is shown here – as you wander in the bar stretches along to your left, and on the right cask staves hang from the wall, listing the names of the first 500 founders carved lovingly into them before an expanse into a back area with couches.

Dingle bar has always had a focus of whiskey, not only in the drinking but in the understanding – each Tuesday at 7pm, author Fionnan O’Connor, author of A Glass Apart, hosts a tasting for €23 per person. Behind the bar, talk to Gemma, duty manager and whiskey lover. For something different, try the Dingle Batch 3 Cask Strength, and then sit back and watch Dublin go by.

Dingle Whiskey Bar (image via Dingle Whiskey Bar)

The Palace Bar
21 Fleet Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

Built over the decades, the Palace Bar is quite simply a Dublin institution. With a wee snug on the right as you head in, and a sitting area through to the back, you can tell the bar is built of more than wood, glass and high gracing ceilings – Garret Fitzgerald, Maeve Binchy and John Banville of the Irish times all drank here, and the Irish Times Crosaire Crossword was born here. Heading upstairs however is the real gem – the Whiskey Palace has one of Dublin’s greatest whiskey collections, with old, rare and vintage bottlings stretching out in front of the patrons.

Situated in the old sitting room of the house the bar used to be, now it houses whiskey and drinkers galore. Catch Willie behind the bar and have a chat with him sometime provided he’s not too busy, and inquire about the Palace Bar Redbreast, an all sherry cask offering from one of Ireland’s most esteemed distilleries.

Bowes Lounge
31 Fleet Street, Dublin 2

“The Board Room,” as it is called by some patrons, is Dublin’s most extensive whiskey bar, holding whiskies not found anywhere else in Dublin. Licenced since 1880 and named after the legendary John Bowe, old world appeal hangs in the air as you walk in. The wooden interior stretching out in front of you, a snug to your right and sturdy wooden bar perfect to lean against while having a dram and chat.

Sunday night also has traditional Irish music filling the room, making Bowes a destination for any keen visitor, whiskey drinker or otherwise. While the bar hosts most of Ireland’s whiskies, they make room for drams from all over, and paired with one of Dublin’s best pints of Guinness make for a perfect way to enjoy the night.

Honourable mentions

L Mulligan Grocer
18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7

While not a whiskey bar in its own right, L Mulligan Grocer hosts a wide range of whiskey on the wall, with staff knowledge to match. Nary a year passes without their kitchen being nominated for one award or another, so best to put through and get a whiskey and some food to go with it.

Against the Grain
11 Wexford Street, Dublin 2

Better known for their extensive beer collection, Against the Grain still manages to host a wide range of whiskies, sometimes pairing those whiskies with a draft beer of their choosing.

The Temple Bar Whiskey Room
45 Temple Bar

Often missed by passer-by’s, the Whiskey Room holds a great collection of whiskies, including their own Temple Bar Whiskey, and they pour a fine selection of flights to make your night memorable.

Teeling Distillery
13-17 Newmarket, The Liberties, Dublin 8

I couldn’t finish the list without mentioning Teeling, Dublin’s first functioning whiskey distillery in over half a century. Try the tour, and then relax at their bar for all the Teeling news and whiskey you can enjoy.