Prison and Booze

Last night Dad and I went for a long walk way out of the city center. It was good to get away from the other tourists for a while. We walked along a pretty canal-side path. Today we woke up to pouring rain. After eating breakfast we grabbed our umbrellas and set off for the two mile hike to Kilmainham Gaol. This is an old prison which is notable for being the place where many of the rebels from the early 20th century uprisings were executed. It was interesting, but surprising crowded for such a rainy day.

After that we grabbed a great lunch at a pub in the area. I had a huge plate of chicken pot pie with lots of veggies. Definitely one of the best meals I’ve had so far. Well nourished, we went to the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The first exhibit I found to be somewhat boring. It was mostly film-based art. The second exhibit was much better. It was photographs by Thomas Demand.

After the museum, Dad and I split up and I went to the Guinness Storehouse. It was impressive how much they had put into this thing. But, it quickly became overwhelming. My guide book describes it as Disneyland for beer drinkers. I found this to be an appropriate description.

After my pint of Guinness I decided I might as well continue the theme and go to the Old Jameson Distillery. I found the Distillery to be a somewhat classier establishment. It was still just a bunch of marketing for their product. However, we were led through the process of making whiskey by an entertaining and knowledgeable guide. I am proud to say that I was chosen out of our group of about 40 or so people to be on a panel of 4 “whiskey tasters”. So, in front of the whole group I tasted five whiskeys: three Irish whiskeys, Johnnie Walker red label, and Jack Daniels. Of the Irish Whiskeys I like Jameson the best, but in the end I chose the red label as my favorite whiskey. Honestly, I thought the red label and the Jameson were similarly smooth and the red label a more interesting flavor. But, I think my decision was somewhat driven by my desire to overcome the effects of the Jameson marketing that I had just been subjected to. The tour guide was displeased with my decision, but nonetheless still granted me my “Irish Whiskey Taster” certification. Unfortunately, they spelled my name “Chris Reever”, but I will still hang it on my wall and add it to my CV (… well, maybe not add it to my CV).

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