There’s no shortage of Irish pubs in New York, but none is more renowned than The Dead Rabbit, which has been named number one on The World’s 50 Best Bars list twice over. The famed bar in the city’s Financial District recently released its second book, “From Barley to Blarney, a Whiskey Lover’s Guide to Ireland,” which features 22 Irish distilleries, 50 pubs, and 12 whiskey cocktail recipes.
The Dead Rabbit owners Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry co-authored the book with fellow Irish native Tim Herlihy, and together they conducted two month-long research trips in a VW bus, logging over 4,000 miles and visiting 111 pubs and every working whiskey distillery in Ireland. “We couldn’t find a book on Irish Whiskey, Irish pubs and Irish places…so we wrote one!” says Herlihy. “Irish Whiskey is in the midst of a renaissance. In the last 10 years we’ve seen six distilleries in Ireland grow to 22. This is our love note to our native spirit and our 50 favourite pubs to enjoy it in.”
Though Herlihy might be biased, he maintains that Irish whiskey is the best in the world. “We’re proud of our distilling history and Ireland being the birthplace of whiskey,” he says. But beyond that, it’s simply taste—Irish Whiskey is full of flavor and has a variety of styles: Irish grain whiskey, malt whiskey, pot still whiskey and blended Irish whiskey, each with their own flavor profiles and all worth exploring.” Below, Herlihy shares his favorite places to enjoy the spirit in Dublin.
A classic Victorian Pub dating back to 1823, complete with a snug [Ed note: A “snug” is a small room attached to an Irish bar, originally for women to drink conspicuously or for private meetings] intended to be a temple of talk and famed for being a writer’s haven. The palace has a second floor whiskey den home to one of Dublin’s best whiskey selections.
There’s art, there’s science, and then there’s the intersection of both—AKA magic. That’s how we describe the perfection the Gravedigger’s pint of Guinness, where there’s total dedication to the science of pouring the perfect pint combined with the artistry of brilliant pub. It’s a seventh generation establishment well worth a visit.
Some say there is no better song than the sweet sound of whiskey flowing into a glass, which may be true. However, if you want proper, real Irish music to underscore your Irish whiskey enjoyment, there’s no better pub then O’Donoghue’s. It’s been home to legendary Irish musicians like the Dubliners and Christy Moore.
Supposedly the highest pub in Ireland, Johnny Fox’s has been around for over 200 years. This gem is worth the pilgrimage into the Dublin mountains, as you can catch a Hooley show (traditional Irish dancing and music), and enjoy as many as 50 Irish whiskeys, great Irish fare and a celebration of the craic.
Where time stands still! At over 250 years old, this is arguably Ireland’s best example of a Victorian Pub. It is also famed for its Guinness, gorgeous dark polished wood, mirrors, brass, red upholstery and two clocks—one installed in 1881 and “the new” one installed in 1911. With 60 bottles of Irish whiskey, including their own Powers Single cask Irish whiskey to celebrate their 250 anniversary, it’s a Dublin classic.
A whiskey emporium dedicated to all things Irish whiskey, with over 150 options from Ireland and beyond. It’s also beautifully decorated with wooden cask staves.
Here you can learn everything you’ve ever wanted to learn about Irish whiskey with classes, history, and tastings from multiple Irish distilleries.