(Guest post by The Better Half)
I don’t cover as many events for wmdm as I used to. But if Julie does a good job of piquing my interest, I can be coaxed out of semi-retirement.
This particular invite begins, “Hey, Sweetie, interested in free shots of Irish whiskey?”
“It’s on a Saturday, and you get free shots of your favorite…Tullamore D.E.W.”
As Julie alluded, Tullamore D.E.W. is my favorite Irish Whiskey. My first experience with Irish Whiskey and with the brand took place while I was on a vacation in San Francisco about fifteen years ago. Chilled like a fine white wine, I took the advice of another tourist who told me that if I really wanted to warm up, I should walk to the Buena Vista Cafe, just around the corner, and have an Irish Coffee. It turns out that the Buena Vista is place where Irish Coffee was invented in 1952. This rich and creamy beverage warmed me to my toes. The BV uses nothing but Tullamore D.E.W. in its Irish Coffee. (It’s also fun to watch the bartenders at the BV make a dozen or more Irish Coffees at a time.) To this day, if I have a leisurely morning to myself at home with no afternoon commitments (commitments that involve driving, anyway), I’m likely to spend it catching up on missed TV episodes while drinking Irish Coffees made with Tullamore D.E.W.
Tullamore D.E.W. brand ambassador and Irish pub historian Tim Herlihy is traveling the country, hitting all fifty states and the District of Columbia in thirty days via trains, planes, and automobiles. Herlihy’s goal is to discover how people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all across the nation. The Tullamore D.E.W. True Irish Pub Tour began in Los Angeles on February 17 and ends on March 17 in New York City. Herlihy’s tour stopped on Saturday at Hap’s Irish Pub in Hyde Park.
Herlihy was a very popular guy indeed as he bought a round of Tullamore D.E.W. shots for the entire pub, where a large gathering of rugby fans had assembled to watch a match. (Personal aside: When it comes to spirit and boisterousness, rugby fans make soccer fans look like the Tuesday morning ladies’ sewing circle.)
The tour also celebrates the opening of the brand’s $50 million distillery in 2014. This marked the first opening a new distillery in Ireland in 100 years and the return of the brand to the town of Tullamore, County Offaly. The brand had been distilled in Clonmel and Dublin for sixty years.
Herlihy was also touting the release of a new Tullamore D.E.W. whiskey, Trilogy. The fifteen-year-aged whiskey was just released last year. It was an honor to be allowed to sample a whiskey that is fifteen years old…yet brand new. Trilogy is aged for a time in bourbon barrels, Oloroso Sherry butts, and rum casks. The result is a rich and very complex taste with hints of fruit, nuts, and spice.
Another favorite was the limited-edition Phoenix. This whiskey was distilled and manufactured to commemorate the world’s first aviation disaster: a 1785 hot-air balloon accident in Tullamore, Ireland. The resulting blaze nearly destroyed the town. To this day, the town’s coat of arms features a Phoenix, to recognize the resilience of the citizens of Tullamore. The town had completely rebounded with establishing of the Tullamore D.E.W. distillery in 1829. The Tullamore Phoenix (the whiskey) is another complex, spicy taste with flashes of toffee, caramel, floral. It’s a truly satisfying whiskey.
At approximately the midpoint of his tour, Herlihy showed no signs of slowing down. A master storyteller, he charmingly regaled the patrons with stories and led the pub in a toast that paralleled the The Lord’s Prayer.
God Bless Tullamore D.E.W.