Exploring Northern Ireland; Bushmill´s Distillery

This is the fourth article in a series of five regarding a week´s visit by car exploring Northern Ireland. It was a family trip. During the trip I blogged and uploaded photos here! However, the difference is that I now have the full information and can compare.

Exploring Northern Ireland; Bushmill´s Distillery


Mikael Strandberg

The sun was threatening to make its way through the clouds our 5th day of touring Northern Ireland – this gem of our world. We needed that. No matter how more dramatic things become due to heavy rains, that moment when the sun arrives, that is sheer happiness! And, of course, it does change the perception of the environment. After leaving Dieskirt with three loaded bellies, we once again passed Dunluce Castle and it has such a dramatic positioning poised on a rocky top of sheer cliff walls overlooking the Irish Sea. But I just couldn´t make it look as good as reality when rain was pouring down the day before. Now, in the sun, it was a real postcard view of these romantic remains of this 14th Century stronghold. We stopped there briefly before we headed of for the world’s oldest distillery, Bushmills, next door almost to Dunluce.

I have never been big on whiskey. And after I had spent almost an hour with Ben, a Polish bloke gone Irish, and he had taught me the elementary rules of the different types of whiskey and he made me smell (since I was driving, I didn´t drink of course, but smelling is better than tasting I was told, which makes sense) and see the different colors and quality I realized why a have never been a whiskey man. It has to do with drinking the wrong whiskey. Or I should say being introduced to the wrong whiskey. (Am even spelling it the Irish way, not the Scottish, which is whisky) The case has been, either I have been given or tasted a smoky, peaty single malt Scottish whiskey, which is only for those special occasions in the right setting, but not anything you drink to relax. Or it has been some cheap American bourbon which makes your intestines growl. Let me just tell you, after this visit I am a fan of Irish whiskey, especially Blackbush. So smooth, nice and tasty. The main difference between Scottish and Irish whiskey (and American), is that the Scottish is distilled twice, the American once and, the Irish, three times!

During the time I was engulfed in the inner secrets of Irish whiskey, my spouse and Eva toured the quaint village of Bushmills and of course ended up in a bookshop. (As always we returned far heavier to Malmö, than before leaving. As always with extra books) And that fact of life is one thing I love about my spouse, amongst so many more, her love for literature and books! She is also one of the best travelling partners I have ever had, and I have had many. Always positive, exited, interested, outgoing and so full of knowledge about everything, her knowledge regarding the Troubles is extensive and the Irish literature. She knows her Heaney and Joyce.

After Bushmills we headed to one of the seaside resorts, Portrush, and cruised through a tidy Victorian town of Portstewart and Coleraine, before returning east to explore our own neighbourhood towns of Cushendun and Cushendall. Two Cornish styled villages, very laid back, almost deserted with old houses, very narrow streets, with a distinct British feel.

Fed up with eating out, which always happens after a few days of heavy eating at restaurants, too fat and sweet generally, we went to a local COOP in Cushendall. But finding good bread in this area of the World, the UK and Ireland, is impossible. What is so difficult leaving that tasteless, airy white bread which pollutes all former British colonies all over the world (try it in Nigeria and you will understand) and start eating heavy, full grain bread? It is as bad as that watery American coffee!

However, Northern Ireland is far cheaper than the rest of Ireland and Europe and one can eat out for a family, for a good meal around 15 euro. Everything, including accommodation, is very good value.

For more photos of Northern Ireland, see my portfolio!

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