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Want to know more about Irish whiskey? There’s never been a better time

How to Drink Better: There are events, tours and tastings around the island for those who have a taste for more

I tasted a few whiskeys recently and really liked them, but I know nothing about it. How can I find out more?

You could not have picked a better time to start learning about whiskey (or whisky, if it comes from elsewhere). We have a long and noble whiskey tradition in Ireland, one that almost died out, but there has been a huge revival in recent years. We have new distilleries scattered all around the country and most of them are very keen to show you how they make their whiskey. Many run tours that go through the whole process of distilling and ageing whiskey and finish up with a tasting of the delicious spirits they produce. Expect to pay anything from €20-€40 for a tour and tasting. Some, such as Powerscourt Distillery, include a food and whiskey pairing. The Irish Whiskey Museum in Dublin also runs tours, tastings and masterclasses.

If you want a more in-depth experience, Irish Distillers has an excellent training facility in Midleton, Co Cork, and run a series of day-long courses that include expert tuition, food and accommodation. See for details. Taking things a step further, if you want a full immersion into the world of whiskey, buy a ticket to Whiskey Live which takes place in Dublin on May 18th and 19th, or Belfast Whiskey Week in July. These events are packed with talks, masterclasses, tutored tastings and other interesting events. See and for details.

To get started, it is worth checking out your local off-licence to see if they run tastings. Specialists such as Celtic Whiskey in Dublin and Killarney, The Friend at Hand in Belfast and others run regular tastings. These can also offer a great chance to meet new friends. Celtic Whiskey also offer at home Zoom tastings and will send you out samples beforehand, or you can simply order 5cl tasting bottles to try yourself at home. See for details. Alternatively, if you can put together a group of 10 or so participants, most distilleries will set up a tour and tasting especially for you and your friends.