Thursday, May 26, 2011

Midleton, Waterford and a Reprise of the South Coast

Our friend, Catherine Middleton, came from Sarasota to visit us in Kinsale.  She wanted to kiss the Blarney Stone, and so we went back to Blarney Castle.  We also visited the Jameson distillery in Midleton, located just east of Cork.  Tony Boland tells us that all Irish whiskey is distilled there, except for Bushmill's.  Midleton whiskey is especially choice, costing 150 euros per bottle at the Supevalu grocery store across the square from us in Kinsale.  As the driver, my only taste was a smidgen to go on my tongue.  No problem, because I have never been much for hard liquor and especially the yellow ones.  It is a good thing that this was not a winery or brewery tour.  But it was still very interesting.

This oven provides the heat to process the barley and the malt.

A classic old truck to haul away barrels of whisky.

Grain storage building.

In this mash tun, the barley and malt are mixed to produce mash.

This is the largest pot still in the world. 
Catherine in front of the distillery's old fire engine.

After the Jameson tour, we drove east to Waterford.  The countryside becomes more lush and fertile as you go father east.  It rained heavily and so we didn't tour much around the city of Waterford itself.  We did take the tour of the Waterford Crystal factory, which I think was a highlight for Catherine of her visit to Ireland.  At this plant, they now make only special pieces and things on commission.  The  bulk of their production takes place in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.  Penny didn't buy anything.  She hates to shop.  She doesn't wear jewelry except on the rarest of occasions, and she is a fantastic money manager.  I am truly blessed!

The glass production facility was quite interesting.  We have been to a couple of those in Mexico, and also to a pottery plant in Quimper, France.  Here are some photos of various stages of the production process:

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