The Author and Irish Whiskey
Maurice Walsh was a connoisseur, if not expert, in all things related to Irish Whiskey – as opposed to the distillation referred to as ‘Scotch’ – being both an altogether different libation elliptical of the drink itself and a different spelling to its Scottish equivalent.
In Steve Matheson’s 1985 biography of Walsh, he cites a letter from the great man to his niece in 1924 extolling the virtues of four great Irish whiskies: John Jameson Three Star, John Powers Three Swallows, DWD Fifteen Years Old and Paddy Flaherty.
Walsh wrote an extensive article for The Bell (Vol. 2, Issue 5) in 1941 extolling the virtues of Irish Whiskey and lamenting the loss of Ireland’s distilleries, it’s unique process of pot distillation and recipes for the Uisge Beatha – Water of Life.
Some of the old whiskies long-gone include, George Roe, D.W.D., Kilbeggan or Monasterevan in Dublin; or Banaagher and Persse’s Nun’s Island in Galway which, according to Walsh, at its best was the finest whiskey in the world.
As the character of Gillian Morris Snr. in Castle Gillian is an ageing thoroughbred horse trainer descended into alcoholism after the death of his wife, the dilution of good Irish Whiskey with strong black tea by his loyal factotem, Timmy Tadg Shawn, must have amused the author as much as writing the reactions of characters in the story unwittingly accepting the offer of a dram from Gillian’s decanter!
The original article is below for your enjoyment.
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