The Heretic

Mark Reynier believes the Vikings invented whisky. The nomadic distiller claims that, contrary to the common belief that it was Irish monks who discovered it, it was the Vikings who first started to distill barley to make the water of life. Why would monks make such strong spirit, Reynier counters to anyone who objects to […]

Coull runnings

Kerry is Ireland at cask strength. As a Cork man, it pains me greatly to say anything nice about our neighbours to the west, but The Kingdom is a place of raw and startling beauty. Obviously there is a danger here of over-romanticising it, engaging in some noble savage mythos with proto-fascist symbolism of pure […]

Power & Glory

There are three key strands to any whiskey marketing campaign. First, there is place; your water is the cleanest, your loch is the coldest, your warehouses are kissed by the sea, your home is where the hearts are. Then there are the people; tales of founders, their ancestors, coopers, barrelmen, distillers, gaugers, bootleggers. Finally, there […]

Indo col 110

My house is almost the same age as me. This might explain why I find it so hard to accept that it needs work. Just as I can ignore my greying temples, creaking limbs and need for occasional physio, I have been pretending that our leaking shower, inefficient heating and threadbare furnishings are really all […]

Indo col 109

Greetings and salutations from Salou, where you join us on what is most likely our last family holiday for some time. Our stay here is half board, presumably named because within 48 hours of dining in the resort you will be half bored of the entire concept of food. This isn’t helped by me, Ireland’s […]

Indo col 108

Parents of adult males, a question for you: Does the food consumption ease off at any point, or does it only get worse? I have three sons and I’m not quite sure whether to feel proud or concerned at the locust-like rate they devour food. It has taken a while to get to grips with […]

Indo col 107

The time has come for me to choose a career for my eldest child. Like most humans, I realise that each life we bring into the world is really just another chapter in the eternal Groundhog Day of our DNA – we just keep repeating a life until we get it right, and then when […]

Indo col 106

I am pleased to report that I have survived a weekend without my spouse. Not only that, but I also managed to avoid misplacing any of the children left in my care. Who knew I had such skills? Certainly not my wife, who spent the last few weeks laying the groundwork for her bonding trip […]

Indo col 105

I sometimes joke that if our house went on fire, the first thing I would save is the computer. I usually qualify this by explaining that obviously, I would drag people out first, but of the personal belongings, the computer would be the only one worth running back into a burning building for. This isn’t […]

Indo col 103

And so we come to the Easter holidays, when we pause and reflect on the greatest martyr of all – the average parent. I would have written this column several weeks ago if I had known the Easter break was coming, but like most people I had no awareness of it until I noted my […]

Indo col 102

Do you know where your kids are? On a related note, do you know how much they are paying for ecstacy? I do, primarily thanks to the gardaí who gave a drugs awareness talk in my daughter’s school. Apparently, kids in our town are paying two euro a pill. It seemed an odd angle to […]

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My kids go to Catholic schools. They were Christened in the local Catholic church, make their Communion and Confirmation there, and at some stage down the road they may very well get married in a Catholic church, just as my wife and I did. We don’t go to Mass, nor do we pray, nor do […]