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Water of Life: A Journey of Irish Whiskey

Craft spirits meet warm hospitality in Ireland’s foodie capital

Itinerary

Destination

Start

Cork Ireland

Finish

Cork Ireland

Early 2023

Duration

5 Days

Format

Guided

Group Size

Small group

Overview

Cliff walking ⋅ Cheese tasting ⋅Distillery visits ⋅ Smokehouse dinner

Irish whiskey and good times have been friends forever. The rich diversity of the Emerald Isle produces superlative flavors, from the richness of the dairy to the fresh shellfish of the cold Atlantic waters. With farmer families and master distillers as our guides, we’ll spend five days blending good times with great spirits on a journey of taste to the heart of Irish whiskey and the warm Irish hospitality that invites celebration at every sip. 

Highlights

Distill it down on a fun and friendly journey of taste through Ireland’s foodie capital, where heartwarming hospitality and the dramatic beauty of seaside villages and emerald hills nourish at every sip

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01 |GRAIN TO GLASS

Go behind the scenes at Jameson for a visit to the microdistillery and cooperage before raising a glass of their world-renowned ‘water of life’

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02 |RUGGED CLIFFS

Hit the trail for a cliff walk along the deep blue Irish Sea, the perfect introduction to the dramatic landscapes of County Cork

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03 |REBEL CITY

After time to make our own Cork adventures, we’ll head to dinner at a smokehouse eatery that expertly pairs good times with great spirits

Itinerary

Day 01

GRAIN TO GLASS 

Ballycotton cliff walking ⋅ Jameson distillery visit ⋅ Pub dinner 

Our spirited journey begins in Cork, the self-proclaimed culinary capital of Ireland, and our jumping off point for a delicious journey of discovery. Together with new friends and the local Tastemaker who will bring this extraordinary trip to life, we’ll hit the road and then hit the trail for a thrilling cliff walk along the deep blue Irish Sea at Ballycotton. This rugged trail, lined by meadows on one side and white-tipped waves on the other, is the perfect introduction to the dramatic landscapes and lush, rolling countryside of County Cork. The Irish know that a brisk walk sets the taste buds alight, and lunch today will be a tasty one as we tuck into the best of seasonal bites at a quaint farm café. Later, we’ll head to the Jameson Distillery Midleton for an exclusive visit to the  newly-reopened microdistillery and cooperage as well as a behind the scenes visit to the Distiller’s Cottage for a tasting of their world-renowned ‘water of life’.

 

Late afternoon we’ll arrive in the colorful seaside hamlet of Kinsale for some time to enjoy the laid-back vibe of this casual charmer before a boisterous pub dinner at our favorite local.

Day 02

HAILED HAMLETS    

Harborside walk ⋅ Day for fun ⋅ Group sundowners 

Located along the Wild Atlantic Way, Kinsale is a vibrant coastal town famous for its colorful streetscapes and rich history. Today, after a breakfast of rich Irish specialties, we’ll have the day to choose our own adventure, from a coastal walk towards Scilly and the heritage site of Charles Fort, to active pursuits such as stand up paddle boarding, or food experience such as mead tasting. Mead, or ‘honey wine’ is believed to be the world’s oldest alcoholic drink, dating back to 6000 BC. Using a blend of ancient recipes and modern techniques, Kate and Denis Dempsey have resurrected a love of Mead through the sustainably made, award winning meads created at their family run meadery. 

Early this evening the group will come together for a round of sundowners before an evening that is what you make of it. Whether you want a featherlight fish and chips or a heartwarming stew, the ‘Gourmet Capital of Ireland’ at Kinsale has pubs, restaurants, tea shops to suit all appetites.

Day 03

FOODIE FUN

Cheese farm visit ⋅ Artisanal salmon smoking ⋅ Country estate dinner  

This morning, after a tasty breakfast to power our explorations, we’ll hit the road for new pastures and a day of foodie fun. Our first stop is a place where the Gulf Stream touches the Atlantic, and a farm where a cheesemaking family has been practicing their passion in this unique microclimate for six generations. After a sample of something truly unique on Earth, we’ll head into nearby Skibbereen for a taste of the precious wild smoked salmon that artisan Sally Barnes has been creating the old fashioned way for forty years. 

With brains and bellies brimming, we’ll head to our historical home for the night. Liss Ard Estate sits on 163 acres of pristine nature and has a fun and friendly atmosphere that is rich in Irish hospitality. This evening, we’ll enjoy a superlative dinner inspired by the seasons before a round of Irish whiskey in the lounge to cap off a perfect day.

Day 04

REBEL CITY

Maritime whiskey tasting ⋅ Explore Cork ⋅ Smokehouse dinner  

After a brisk morning walk and hearty breakfast we’ll head east to Rosscarbery, a historic town overlooking the rugged West Cork coastline, for a harbor stroll. From there it’s on to the family-owned Clonakilty distillery for a maritime tasting of their whiskeys overlooking the pristine Atlantic coast. With a kick in our step we’ll head into vibrant Cork for free time to enjoy the best of Ireland’s “rebel city”.  From bustling food and flea markets to architectural sights, art galleries, and artisan shopping as far as the eye can see, there is something for everyone. 

This evening, after a round of whiskey cocktails expertly blended by a mixologist friend, we’ll head to dinner at a smokehouse eatery that expertly pairs good times with great spirits. Together, we’ll raise a glass to new friends and the warm and welcoming Irish hospitality. Later, we’ll hit Cask for a round of after dinners and see what the night brings. 

Day 05

IRISH GOODBYE 

This morning after a leisurely breakfast it will be time to say goodbye for now.

Accommodation

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Accommodations are hand-selected for each and every trip from a portfolio of rigorously-vetted hotels. Our Trip Design team prioritizes location, comfort, and design to ensure your stay is a winning mix, every time. On our Irish Whiskey trip we often stay in hotels such as Liss Ard Estate and Hotel Dean.

Countryside: Set in with 163 acres of pristine nature and manicured gardens and featuring a 40 acre private lake (and James Turrell’s Sky Garden), along with a cozy bar scene and an awarded restaurant, the Liss Ard Estate is something to write home about. 

Cork: In the heart of Cork’s Victorian Quarter, Hotel Dean is a slice of boutique bliss in the heart of one of Europe’s most exciting cities. Bespoke rooms that will make you smile and a roof-top restaurant with a view like no other.

What's Included

Almost everything.

Curated activities, local cuisine and libations, new knowledge, delightful travel companions – and so much more.

  • Four nights hotel accommodation

  • Daily breakfast

  • Meals per the itinerary

  • Nightly round of drinks

  • Activities mentioned in the itinerary

    • Guided Ballycotton cliff walking
    • Behind the scenes Jameson distillery visit
    • Cheesemaking demonstration
    • Artisanal salmon smoking experience 
    • Family-owned distillery visit 
  • Return transportation to from all scheduled activities when required

  • Services of a brilliant local Tastemaker (=Trip Leader)

  • Tips and gratuities at hotels and at group meals

  • All local taxes

What's Not Included

  • Flights are not included

  • Tours, events, and activities outside those noted in the itinerary

  • Airport transfer

  • Any food or drinks outside except where specified/detailed

  • Personal items and expenses

  • Any additional services at the hotel (room service, phone calls etc)

  • Travel insurance

FAQs

Question

  • What is a Spirited Stories trip and what makes it different?
  • Who are Spirited Stories trips for?
  • My friends and I want to book a private trip, is that possible?
  • I have never done a group trip before. What is the group like?
  • Is Spirited Stories a travel agent?
  • How do I contact you?
  • Where can I submit a press inquiry?

Answer

  • Spirited Stories are traveling celebrations. Over three to five days we bring people together in a casual way around food and drink. Think the dreamiest long weekend you can imagine, with great local friends doing all the curating. You just turn up and enjoy the fun.

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