Showing posts with label Ireland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ireland. Show all posts

21 May 2018

Giant's Causeway at Cobh, Northern Ireland




Stop at the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland's only Unesco WHS. Rainy day but fun to see this unusual site and waves crashing on the shore!

20 May 2018

Killybegs, Ireland

Biggest hand-operated loom in the world made with Canadian pine wood. The lady said she can do 1000 knots per hour!

These carpets are in Irish embassies around the world and other major public places.

At a local pub, some musicians and crew singers from our ship fraternize.

The town sports a small "cathedral" and lots of fishing boats. A quiet walk under the warm drizzle.


15 May 2018

Whisky Museum in Dublin, Ireland



What better way to spend a rainy day in Dublin than in the whisky museum?

Notes from a guided tour.

Uisce is the Irish word for water
beatha means of life

book of Kel 1405 first record of the word whiskey, it was then made by monks.

Was the original purpose communion, instead of wine?

Used as perfume, originally from Iran came with with moors to Spain

must be aged at least 3 years by law

Angel share lost to evaporation is about 20% per year, therefore old whiskey expensive: you pay for lost whiskey!

the more you lose to angels the faster whiskey ages

Shibeen illegal distillery in Ireland

Pogee? unaged whisky

malting, germinating by soaking in warm water 3 days, starch changes into sugar

Stop the process by drying with hot air or burning peat to make smoky flavor get grist.

Yeast to transform grist to alcohol, about 12pc beer is the result

Whiskey is distilled beer in a nutshell

In Ireland cìit is allowed to make whiskey at home but not sell or even give away because fear of methanol.

... and also because of tax revenues suffered!

There 8192 illegal stills in Ireland in 1834 , more than ten times more than in Scotland

Triple distillation in Ireland makes for smoother alcohol.

Stills made of copper

Add sulfites as in wine to stabilize

Toasting barrels just 20 seconds or so to get flavor caramel and vanilla from America oak barrels, only use barrels once.

Also continuous still, can get as much alcohol in one week as normal in nine months. Started in 1937 with continuous stills.

Learned to blend now 18 stills up from only 2 before they turned to continuous, more to open soon

no spitting in whisky tasting! must get ending with swallowing
can dilute however, only reason to swirl is to look fancy! no use...

Tasting today:

1. glendalough single grain see photo, double barrel
Smooth

2. powers gold label
malted and raw barley together
started because maltée barley was taxed more traditional
aged in bourbon barrels only
round long

3.the Irishman power reserve
70 pc single malt
spicy

4. Tullamore 12 yo
youngest whisky in bottle is 12yo.
60pc single grain 20pc single malt
smoothness because sulfites lose burn over time.

Just next  to the whiskey museum is the famous Peterson pipe shop, I cannot not go in, and after a good chat with the salespeople who give me a good discount I end up buying two pipes to add to my collection.

End the day with a walk around town looking at some typical architecture.


14 May 2018

Cork, Ireland

Took some time to get ashore as they had to check Lifang's passport. As a UK resident and married to an EU national she does not need, and does not have, a Schengen visa, which the cruise staff should know... So we had to wait for a chubby Irish official to board the ship and check the documents of all non-EU passengers and she, of course, smiled and said all is OK and we can go ashore...

Cork is the 2nd largest natural harbor in the world after Sydney, it has a huge 5m tide which requires skill to operate in. The river is navigable 12 miles up to the city of Cork. It was a poor town for a long time, lots of emigrants going from here to the USA.

Now it is doing very well. Ford established its first factory outside the USA here, but now it is Apple Computers which is the largest employer.

20,000 students at university and 25 million euro golf course bought by Chinese investors!

Only 15pc of population speak Irish as main language but all must study in school

Cork means marsh in Gaelic

Main road called Patrick, was a canal, now lamp posts like ship masts

Lots of billboards in every street for and against the upcoming abortion referendum

Interesting fish at a local market!