After spending our afternoon exploring Kilkenny and Kilkenny Castle, we drove nearly 3 hours to check into our first B&B in Killarney, the quaint Windway House.
It was a 7 minute walk to the Downtown area of Killarney, which, even when not decorated for Christmas, looks and feels like it. We were exhausted, and starving, but we wanted to relax for a few minutes, and had a cup of tea in the shared lobby area, and our host Frank greeted us warmly and recanted stories about his daughter who had moved to New York. He was the sweetest man, and had exactly the Irish hospitality we were hoping for when we chose to do a B&B heavy vacation.
We took the quick walk into the city, and had read about a restaurant called the Irish Whiskey Experience and Celtic Whiskey Bar and Larder in our research on Trip Advisor.
Irish Whiskey Experience has 5 stars on Trip Advisor, and all the reviews we read said that even without the whiskey, the food is incredible. So… Good food? Check. Good Whiskey? Check. And oh yeah, this is a blog about Beer. Good craft beer. Check.
We sat at a table for two, with a large collection of Irish Whiskeys behind a glass partition lining one side of the restaurant, across from the bar. We were told by our server that the Whiskey behind that glass wasn’t for sale, but more of a collection, and there were some pretty rare bottles. We were handed menus, and greeted by some delicious looking Gastropub style food, and an extensive drinks list.
I knew that Holly would be ordering Whiskey (because she’s amazing) so I ordered a fantastic India Pale Lager (a massively hopped lager) called Remix, from Trouble Brewing in Kill (yup, real place), Ireland.
India Pale Lagers are growing in popularity here in the US, so I was surprised to see one in Ireland, and this stands up to some of the Northeast style, hopped up beers I’m so lucky to have here in NY (I compared it to an IPL I had recently tried from Singlecut Beersmiths in Astoria). The fact that it’s a lager makes it a bit smoother around the edges, the sweetness from the malt balances out the amazing citrus (grapefruit, mango, pineapple) from the hops.
Let’s talk food. First, we shared the Artisinal Cheese Board (because OF COURSE WE DID!). Didn’t get a picture of this. We’d been driving for several hours before this and basically inhaled it.
Holly had an 8oz Fillet Steak (because, I failed to mention, I married a beautiful, female version of Ron Swanson, and I couldn’t be happier), with green beans in a whiskey cream sauce, and frites (that’s french fries. Eat ’em.)
I was too busy inhaling my pork belly to get a picture of the steak, but it melted in my mouth when I bit into it. We were told by several people before we left that the food isn’t great in Ireland. Restaurants like the Celtic Whiskey Bar and Larder are changing this stereotype. So, get here.
I DID take a picture of the beer I had with my meal… So, hold up whilst I insert this amazingness into your mind grapes…
Brouwerij Boon Oude Geuze Boon (2013-2014). See here for the description, but this is a blend of young and aged sour ales, creating a funky, tart, sour with notes of red wine, citrus, and wood. This is the closest I’ve ever been to Belgium (hopefully not for long), but it was a perfect compliment to the salty pork belly. (And you can see Holly’s steak!)
Also, please refer to my post about Sour Beers and pucker up for more fun!
After dinner, we decided to explore more of Killarney, and ended up in a Dunnes, which is like a hybrid Target and Macy’s, with a grocery store. And, surprise, surprise, Patrick found the beer section!
Ireland is stepping up its craft beer game!
After galavanting around Dunnes, we went to Sheehan’s Bar, on the recommendation from Frank, as they have live traditional Irish Music, followed by Danny Mann’s, which had modern Folk music playing.
Because we couldn’t stay away, we finished off our evening in gorgeous Killarney with a nightcap back at the Irish Whiskey Experience!
Our legs were jelly at this point (you know, Irish Whiskey….), and we hadn’t eaten in a few hours, so, like real adults, we found ourselves at a DenJoes, which is a hybrid pizza and fried chicken joint, and ordered a two piece fried chicken meal with chips, and enjoyed seeing all the late-night locals who had probably more than we’d had to drink, especially the one lad who was sitting at a table and kept gesturing to us and saying “These are reservvvvvved,” and giggling. He must have said it five times. When his friends joined him, one of them took one bite of chicken and promptly fell asleep. We walked the short block back to our awesome B&B and had one hell of a night’s sleep.
YO, IRELAND IS AMAZING. IF YOU HAVEN’T, Y’ALL SHOULD GO.
And if you go, go to Killarney, and go to Irish Whiskey Experience and Celtic Whiskey Bar and Larder.
Christmas in Killarney. Irish Whiskey. Craft Beer. AMAZING Food. Adventure. Love. This was absolutely the trip of a lifetime.
Until next time, I love you all!