Taking a wander around Belfast whisky scene with a pal.
This is a blog written by Paul, who went around various locations with Mark Burgess. Flew myself over to Belfast, checked into the hotel, dumped bags and had a dram. A quick call to Mark to ensure we are ok for a dram or five next day, then it’s time to chill oot and soak in the Belfast atmosphere, Mark opened the East Belfast Whisky Club, and to be sure I had to drink to its’ health!
The owner of The Duke of York and Harp Bar has opened a unique mini-museum and off-licence in Cathedral Quarter’s Hill Street. Willie Jack, the owner is an ex-director of the former Distillery Football Club. Now, Lisburn Distillery FC, the head office of Bushmills whiskey was not always in the town which gave its name: but a few steps away from where the shop is.
The Friend At Hand, it is also a mini-museum in Belfast. Named after his pal Bruce, who died suddenly last year. The off-licence has 500 different bottles of whiskey but 300 will not be for sale as they are about celebrating the city’s distilling history – one bottle valued at £12,000!. Mr Jack is also producing a ‘Friend at Hand’ brand and there will be a series of 13. The first is already labelled ‘Reconciliation’, with hands clasped in friendship. I bought one, along with a few other bottles. Too many really! We also made a journey to Echlinville Distillery doon in the Ards peninsula, this was a great private tour and we thank them for that and the samples provided. They are the guys doin the Feckin whiskey, Three Crowns and a Dunville – amongst a gin or three and more, you can read a friends blog about Three Crowns here;
Dunville’s – Three Crowns – Review
“Until recently the only place you could find a bottle of Three Crowns was at auction. Now, we’re reviving this great whiskey to bring its flavour to a new generation.” Bold words indeed, but these are the words that greet you on the Echlinville webpage dedicated to the upcoming re-launch of this once revered Dunville’s brand. Since 2013, when they received the first Northern Irish distillers licence in around 125 years, Echlinville Distillery has been going from strength to strength with their new distillery / visitors centre and the introduction of some fine whiskey and gin to local market. This has been further backed up with their PX finished 10 year old single malt being awarded “Best Irish Single Malt (12 years and under)” at the recent Irish Whiskey Awards. I think it could be something very special indeed. Slainte. http://whiskybelfast.blogspot.co.uk/ with thanks to Stuart Irvine.
THIS BLOG IS FROM BELFAST, STUART IRVINE IS A HELL OF A WHISKY BLOGGER, see the larger blog, and more on his website, many thanks Stuart.