Black Swan

The great Soviet ballet dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev said that you live as long as you dance. It’s a sentiment Alan Foley echoes when talking about the abrupt and cruel end to his time as a professional dancer; “Dancers die twice – first when their time as a dancer ends and then when their […]

The Equaliser

It’s Good Friday, and West Cork Distillers is going through an audit for its organic certification. John O’Connell is practically running he is walking so fast. All is going well with the audit; O’Connell seems pleased. Despite breaking the land speed record as he moves from room to room, he still finds the time to […]

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 […]

Blue blood and brown spirit at Powerscourt Distillery

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 […]