In fair Cork, where we lay our scene,…
A pair of star-cross’d lovers start their life 🙂
Karen and John would not be the only surprise visitors to Rosehill East. With a ring on her finger and a wedding on the books it was time for the long overdue Rose-Hamilton Summit – Iain and Bernadette were coming to Cork.
Arriving on Saturday evening we had some dinner at John’s parents house before retiring to the ‘good room’ to have some drinks and a good catch-up with the stories flowing punctuated by hilarious laughter. John and Karen gave a sigh or relief that everything went well.
The next day we split by gender with the girls heading to Cork City for shopping and the boys heading somewhere a bit more fun – The Jameson Heritage Center
Since the early 1600s one of Midleton’s main industries has been the distillation of Whiskey. In 1966 it became the epicenter of Whiskey making when Irish Distillers Group was formed and they decided to consolidate all production on the island to the one factory.
We were 10 minutes early for the next tour so we went for a look in the shop where Emmet, recently paid, decided to purchase some Whiskey Stout and some Jameson cufflinks. The tour started promptly at 2.30pm beginning with an introduction from our guide – Stephen and a short video describing the history of the Jameson and John Power & Sons families and whiskey making in Ireland.
Soon enough we were led out to the Old Distillery Buildings where we stepped back in time and got lost among the old kilns, mills, maltings and water wheel.
We passed the old distiller’s cottage – which is now an archive and made our way across the yard to the Still House – which contains the world’s largest Pot Still. Here Stephen explained the various terms that you would associate with whiskey such as Single Malt and Triple Distilled.
With the rain easing we were able to make it to the Cooperage relatively dry. In the cooperage, one of the original warehouses from the 1800s, they had various casks on display to show the transformation that Whiskey goes through from origination to Year 30 Maturity. Up to 40% of the contents of a whiskey barrel will be lost to evaporation over 20 Years of ageing. This is referred to as the Angel’s Share. (Not a bad job for an Angel!). You also get to see the whiskey changing color as the Oak barrels mutate the viscous liquid into the familiar hue we pour into our glasses. The casks themselves have traveled a long way – from North America and Spain.
With the tour almost over there was just one more thing to do – Whiskey Tasting. At this point Iain had informed the tour guide Stephen of his ethnicity and began some light-hearted jesting on the oldest question in the world – Scottish vs Irish Whiskey. Stephen offered the best take on this…
The main difference between Scottish Whisky and Irish Whiskey is that when you add water to Irish Whiskey you ruin the Whiskey but when you add water to Scotch Whisky you ruin the water!
Our tasting plate consisted of 3 different drams – Jameson Whiskey (12 Year), a Scottish Whisky (Johnny Walker), and an American whiskey – Jack Daniels (sans Coke!)
After the tour we chatted to the guide, who we found out was fluent in Chinese as he had spent a year in Shanghai and got our Certificates emailed to us to say that we were ‘Genuine Whiskey Tasters’.
With a few hours to kill until meeting up with the girls for dinner we went for a drive to Ballycotton and introduced Iain to some proper pints of
Guinness at the Inn by the Harbour – a real Irish bar located near Ballycotton’s fishing pier.
Midleton has a lot of restaurants but Karen has one favourite – San Marco Pizzeria and it’s Gluten Free Pizza. Cameron won the best-meal prize as his kebab was awesome! We were treated like VIPs afterwards we our own reserved table in the Maple Leaf Bar – courtesy of resident barmaid – Emmet!
Roll on the Wedding in 2016!