7 deadly sins WHISKY tour, Northern Ireland….


Picture #2

Picture #2

7 deadly sins WHISKY tour, Northern Ireland

Five days and nights in Belfast, a vibrant city with so much to see both in the city and surrounding areas, this is a tour Paul, Mark and Sean love to bits! Five days, five nights, seven deadly sins!

Day 1.  Welcome to Northern Ireland and the Country’s capital Belfast, where you  will stay for your duration of your tour. We start this morning  taking a tour of Belfast with some Game of Thrones locations en route, (quite different as your driver spent years as a soldier on the streets of the city during the troubles).  Free time to pub crawl in Belfast.  Your driver lives locally so knows the good spots in the city, overnight Belfast.

Day 2.  We head up the outstanding North Antrim Coast, visiting various Game of Thrones locations, such as Ballintoy Harbour which was the back drop for Theons return to the Iron Islands – and where the burning at the stakes was held on the beach, Portsteward Strand.  Early scenes of the Dothraki on horse back were filmed here, also the coast of Dorne, Downhill beach, which was the shores of dragonstone’s. The Dark hedges, which was the Kings road and one of the most requested locations to visit, were planted in the 18th century to impress visitors by the Stuart family.  Visit Cushendun Caves, where the red priestess Melisandre gave birth to the shadow creature.  See Larrybane Quarry, where Renly Baratheons camp in the storm lands and where the tournament in which Brienne of Tarth is introduced. Time for lunch in the Fullerton Arms in Ballintoy, it also has a GoT themed room and the fantastic door of thrones No6 to 10 carved from the trees of the Dark Hedges. There’s a a private dining room set in the world of GoT complete with banners and its’ own replica Iron Thrones.  We also visit Giants Causeway and Bushmills Distillery – In the small village of Bushmills, on the banks of the river you’ll find the oldest working distillery in Ireland, for over 400 years kept to the philosophy that hand crafting small batches is the way to produce beautifully smooth tasting Irish whiskey.  Matured in Sherry Casks is Paul’s favourite. Black Bush combines a high amount of malt whiskey matured in former Oloroso Sherry casks, with a sweet, batch-distilled grain whiskey. Return to Belfast where you stay overnight.

Day 3.  This morning we head down to Castle Ward, where in the opening scenes (season one), the 5 stark children and the bastard John Snow each adopt a Direwolf pup.  Get to meet real Direwolfs Odin and Thor and the chance to dress up in the costumes for photo ops.  Visit the castle where Bran falls from the window ledge in the winter fell courtyard and the cottage (aka) the Brothel of Winterfell. Then we drive to Echlinville Distillery – Northern Ireland’s first licensed distillery in over 125 years distilling its first spirit in 2013. Tours will be personally welcomed and guided through the process, from the barley arriving from the fields, to the maturation warehouse where the Angels are certainly enjoying their share. And after you have discovered the flavour, colour and mouthfeel of our spirits, relax and enjoy drinks of your choice in our bar. Tanks are also on this tour! Return to Belfast. Shall we blend tonight darling? https://whiskytours.scot/dunvilles-old-irish-whiskey

Day 4.  A drive south of the Border today, to the Great Northern Distillery  a private company owned by the Teeling Family, Jim Finn and David Hynes who between them established the Cooley Distillery and rebuilt the Kilbeggan Distillery before selling them in 2012. The Town of Dundalk has always been ideally suited to foster a distilling industry with access the purest water from the nearby Cooley Mountains. Since the late 1600’s brewing has been at the heart of Dundalk with breweries in the area. The Dundalk Distillery operated in the Town between 1708 and 1926. Two of the distillery buildings, the grain store and maltings, still exist and now house the County Museum and Dundalk Library. The Distillery operates two distinctive distilleries pot stills and columns that produce a diverse range of Irish whiskey spirit’s including grain, triple malt, double malt, peated malt and pot still whiskey. The distillery has a current capacity of 16 million litres of spirit with an opportunity to expand production. We spend some time down here in the Republic, with free time in Dundalk to experience the local pub scene. Back to Belfast.

Day 5. This morning a drive to Gosford Castle and park.  The castle has become known as the gloomy home of HouseTully. It was first seen in season 1 when Rob Stark executes Richard Karstark for treason and later used for season three’s gory Red Wedding in which several main characters were killed. Then a visit to Armagh to see the two main churches in the city situated on two hills, one Protestant and one Catholic.  Return to Belfast, your final night.

Whisky pubs we recommend in Belfast; The Harp Bar, incorporating the Dunville & Swinging Diddy Lounges is decorated in plush red velvet fabrics and adorned with antique furnishings resonant with Victorian Belfast. Walls and cabinets feature rare memorabilia inspired by the building’s origins as a bonded warehouse – the headquarters of The Old Bushmills Distillery Company. Paul’s favourite Belfast bar.  The New Orpheus. The Orpheus: Ballroom of Romance has been a vision of Willie and Joanne Jack, alongside their late business partner and friend, Bruce Kirk. An extension to the Harp Bar on Hill Street Belfast, The New Orpheus is a stunning monument to one of Belfast’s lost architectural treasures, the Orpheus Ballroom, York Street (1932). The Dark Horse and you can enjoy some of the finest coffee and Suki tea served in Belfast. You can also appreciate the superb decor and special atmosphere with beautiful antique surroundings, furniture and artefacts from some of the city’s most famous hotels and buildings from bygone times – all providing a rare and unique glimpse of Belfast’s historical past…Nestled along a narrow, cobbled alleyway, The Duke offers a traditional Belfast welcome of craic, music and humour in contrast to the modern, fashionable establishments currently blowing into the surrounding streets.  All these bars are owned by rhe same people and, all within yards of eachother, but YOU MUST pay a visit here, in the midst of all the bars; The Friend at Hand is a unique whiskey off-licence combined with a mini museum charting the whiskey distilling history of Belfast. Browse and buy from the biggest collection of Irish Whiskeys available anywhere and get exclusive access to own brand 13yr old whiskeys. https://whiskytours.scot/seven-deadly-sins-whisky

Paul McLean

Your Host Paul Mclean

Some further reading  https://whiskytours.scot/whisky-or-whiskey

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