…which as it turns out, is actually pronounced ‘pah-cheen’.

Straight after our afternoon sampling all the Guinness storehouse had to offer (see part 1 here and part 2 here), we headed back to hotel which was understandably rather festively decorated.

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (1)

Maybe I’d just been away from London for so long and missed it but it definitely seemed like the Irish (or at least Dubliners) take Christmas a lot more serious than back in London. Everything everywhere was done up to the nines – and I mean everywhere.

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (2)

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (3)

With a foiled attempt at napping (thanks to this post), we put our glad-rags on and got ourselves ready for what was promising to be a rather exciting party! First stop though – a trip to the Teeling Whiskey distillery. Our friend Niamh had been invited over and we just decided to tag along – after all, a trip to Ireland is incomplete without a little sampling of whiskey (right?).
Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (4)

We weaved our way through tempting cake shops and signs that seemed to call our names (case in point below) as we headed in search of whiskey… and with any luck – some mince pies.

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (5)

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (6)

The fact that I thought about mince pies on the walk over somehow meant that by the time I arrived, all I could think about was mince pies! Thankfully, there were loads on hand and literally all my manners flew out of the window as I proceeded to scoff my way through the lot. I even got some extra for Lloyd who’d just popped to the loo but they were just sooooooo heavy I had to eat them. Okay, fine they weren’t heavy at all but it’s not my fault for prioritising eating pies over popping to the loo – we all needed the loo, some of us just stuck it out till we had our pies.

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And with that, I now realise that I’ve been talking about mince pies for far too long so awkwardly and swiftly moving on…

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (7)

…we made our way through the distillery…

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (8)

…where a trio of carollers serenaded us as we checked out the distillery.

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (9)

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (10)

I’d no idea tours of the distillery were even going on at this point, I was a slave to the hunger in my tummy so with that beast slightly sated, I paid a bit more attention and realised we could go on a guided tour.

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (11)

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (12)

I don’t even know where I got that candy cane from. All I know is that I found 3 more in my pockets the next day.

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (13)

The tour was fascinating but in truth, I don’t think I’m any wiser about how to make whiskey. I think I was just so enthralled by the machinery and work that goes into what a lot of us no doubt would refer to as a ‘fun night in a bottle’. 🙂

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (14)

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (15)

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (16)

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (17)

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (18)

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (19)

The one thing that did stick in my memory was this bottle below. See, it a bottle of Poitin which is an alchol made of potatoes. I say alcohol rather than specify what sort of alcohol it is as I think it’s its very own drink. Even wikipedia refers to it as a an Irish distilled beverage.

Now what’s interesting about Poitin? Well back in the day, Poitin was made so strongly, that it was almost pure alcohol! We’re talking 90% ABV here – it was one of the strongest in the world. So strong that the government banned it. This ban has only been recently lifted, as long as (if I remember correctly), it not allowed to go above 80% ABV. The version below is 61.5% ABV which is tame by Poitin standards but pretty strong by today’s standards!

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Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (20)

I knew I had to sample a little bit to see what it tasted like.

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (22)

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (21)

…and no, that’s not it above! 🙂
Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (23)

We made our way to our own booth, where the whiskey tasting and education started.

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (24)

Part way through though, I couldn’t resist it anymore and had to ask to taste Poitin. Oh boy, does it pack some punch! I had the tiniest sip to start and could still feel it long afterwards.

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (25)

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (26)

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (27)

Eventually, we had to say our goodbyes and head off to our party to celebrate the 15th birthday of the Guinness Storehouse…

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin (28)

… but more on that very soon!

Irish Festive Fun With Teeling And A Rather Strong Poitin



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  • Great photos & words Yaya! What a fab tour, just added you guys on snapchat I can’t wait to see your snaps!

    http://abigailalicex.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! Thanks so much Abigail. 🙂
      xx

  • Vicki Wilde

    I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland! Your trip sounds like it’s been amazing. Looking forward to more posts and pictures!

    <3 Vicki @ Wilde in the World

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’ll love it Vicki! Such a wonderful country to explore. We can’t wait to discover more of the West Coast soon.

      xx

  • Nancy Wilde

    Have you tried the real poitin, as in the moonshine? They say it’s so strong it can blind you! Temporarily, I hope. I only tried 2 brands of poitin, Teeling is not bad for a “legal version” of it and it’s definitely on my top 10 distilled spirits. I had pancreatic pain after a week of drinking way too much of it so for now I’m sticking to whiskey only ahah xx

    nancywilde.blogspot.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      No tried the real poitin at all – that sounds so scary! BLIND?!? I bad hangover, well okay, but blind… yikes that must be super strong!

      Haha! I think I’d do the same too! 🙂

      x

  • I had no idea you guys were in Ireland!! Psh, did you come to Cork? 😉 Haha I also had no idea poitin was legal at all. I thought that the brand name poitin was just a joke…. because a) Nancy’s right. Poitin is Irish moonshine, and b) it’s strong AF.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      I wish we came to Cork! 🙁 We want to explore so much of Ireland, we feel like we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.

      Ha! Well, I’m pretty sure it’s not as strong as the Moonshine time – I don’t think we’d have been able to walk (or see!) from what Nancy mentioned.

      Can’t wait to get back to Ireland!

      xx

      • Hahaha I know! Well, if you ever make it down to Cork (or near!) let me know xx 😉

        • HandLuggageOnly

          We will for sure! 🙂

          xx

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