Saturday, October 29, 2011

Waterford (yeah, where they make expensive glass)

Friday, October 28th - Waterford, Ireland

Hi there, remember me?  I was here before.  Well not here, here.  I was at your other distillery the one in Dublin.  Well, this time I'm prepared.See This
If this post seems long it's because it was a feckin' long day.  We pack a lot in, starting with a tour of the old Midleton Distillery. 
Andy, Jason, Chris and Greg.  Do you remember that awesome bottle in the wood box?  They made it here.

Long story short; you make beer, then you distill it and you get whiskey.  Scots and Americans smoke their malt.  Americans use vigin Oak casks, Irish use bourbon and sherry and port.  The Irish triple distill (which means nothing by the way) vs. twice for the Scots and only once by the Americans.
Any who... If you saw this rollin' down the interstate, you wouldn't hijack it? 

Tour over, time for the free booze.
Yes, I will be your taste tester and yes I'll take everyone elses leftovers. 
Don't like Jack?  Pass it on over.  Don't like Johnny Black?  I'm sitting right here.  Yes I'll take my free drink neat and yes I'd like my certificate.  What's my name?  You know who the F I am!

Just noon and already a belly full of whiskey (Hey its the weekend!  No wait, it's still Friday?  Fuck, this is gonna hurt).
Heading Northeast along the coast past Youghal.

Arriving in Waterford, County Waterford we struck out for some lunch.
What's more rock and roll than a Mexican playing the pan flute?  A Mexican playing "Winds of Change" by German rockers Scorpions, in Ireland.  Everybody's got to make a living some how.

We'd heard about T&H Doolans as being a geat place for local food and music in the evenings.  Potato and Leek soup, Quiche Lorraine and a ham and cheddar ciabatta melt.  Feckin' grand!

Random factoid: Sinead O'Connor started her career singing in Doolans.  That's right!  Before she became an insufferable man-hating bitch, she fucking sang Danny Boy to the tourists!  Where's she at anyway?  Probably in the kitchen, making our lunch.  I think she might have heard me and I hurt her feelings...whoops.

Who's bright idea was it to let "Grace" into the Waterford Crystal showroom?  I was really into the €30,000 globe but I'll have to work on the whole head of Scepter/James Bond nemesis career path before I can afford it.

Yeah, I'm making fun of expensive glass but to be honest, I never knew how much went into their wares.  Coming from my background, I expected everything to be automated.  Instead it's 100% manual process, almost unchanged for 300 years.
Every Waterford wine glass or champagne flute you've held was shaped by a craftsman, not a robot.  That is something special.
In the mold room they show off some of the 1-off wooden molds used for trophy's and awards. 

The molten crystal is pulled out of the kiln (pronounced "kill in" in these parts) on an iron rod and shaped by hand.
If you've ever watched "How It's Made" you know the rest.  The only difference is that crystal contains lead, which imparts the "sparkle" and the "ring".

After an 8 year apprenticeship, master engravers cut the pattern into the crystal with diamond tipped grinding wheels.

Yeah, it's expensive but I'm buying into the whole "it's a usable piece of art" bit.  Seriously talented craftsmen here.  Something to be admired.

There were no discounts at Waterford, so forget any ideas about Christmas presents from Ireland....
Instead of spending the mortgage on a vase we headed to the second recommended pub, Downes.  Strange and rambling, with a Squash court and nerdy-but-friendly locals, we liked it a lot!

I post this for Dad.  Tired of stout and cider, Gena, in Ireland orders an MGD!  "That's my girl" as my dad would say.  (If you are near my dad when he reads this, he will be giving a thumbs up to no one in particular).

On a recommendation from the locals, we headed over to L'Atmosphere for the €20 early bird special.
I tried to take a photo of the goat chese with rocket salad and onion relish starter, but I ate it before I remembered the camera.  It was literally right next to my fork.

For the lady; leg of duck with fresh vegetables in jus.

Chicken, potatoes and veg in bechamel with bacon.

Chocolate souffle with vanilla ice cream and a meringue penis (I surely don't know why, it just was).  My dessert was better than yours.  I guarantee it!

After destroying dinner it was back to Doolans for some live music. 
I felt bad for the old guy on guitar.  The kids on banjo and squuze box tore it up!

As much as I like Doolans, I don't like the shamrock on the Guinness.  What am I a tourist?  Well, yes I am, but I don't want to feel like one!

And as you do at Doolan's, we (Gena and I and our new Polish friends) signed a bill and stuck it ot the ceiling.  Hey, Tomaz and whateverhernamewas are going to email us.  We're going to share photos, and if we're ever in WAZESXRDCYTUYGVB, Poland, we're going to visit....

Finally, a short walk (OK not a short walk) back to the hotel, where Gena will fall asleep semi-upright with her glasses on.  Good times!

1 comment:

  1. I do remember that delicious nectar from the wooden box. You would think I didn't though because I seem to forget things and sometimes fall down when I'm over served whiskey.