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Teeling Tasting Single Pot Still Batch 2

Whiskey Tasting

Review of Teelings Single Pot Still Batch 2

Thank you so much Dave O’Connell from davesirishwhiskey for having me at a special whiskey tasting in Teeling Distillery recently, sampling the new release of their Single Pot Still Batch 2
After a tour of the distillery, Alex Chasco, the master distiller talked us through the journey of their Pot Still so far.
We got to taste the raw spirit first, the poitín, then Batch 1, finishing off with Batch 2

 

Serghios Florides, Peter White and Alex Chasco (master distiller)

 

 

The heart of the distillery

It was fascinating to taste all 3 spirits side by side.

This review is by no means perfect, I am writing my own perception

Tasting

All set for the Tasting

The Poitín has a strength of 52.5 % and is a clear spirit. The nose I got, was pear which continued to the palate, sweet, fruity and reminded me of pear schnapps I had in Southern Germany.
This spirit is maturing in sherry butts, American oak casks and white wine cask to become the Pot Still

Teeling Single Pot Still Batch 1
I get a nose of orchard fruits, this time the pear is still there but I also get a hint of apple
On the palate it feels fruity, but also peppery spice at the front of the tongue. It’s very zesty with a long finish.
A drop of water opens up the nose to make it even more fruity and on the palate the spice was more prominent. A very promising drop, very light and raw.

Teeling Single Pot Still Batch 2
This is the very same spirit as batch 1, only it is matured for 4 more months. What a difference.
On the nose it’s milder but deeper and again pear and apple. On the palate the zestiness is gone, instead I have a set of nice spices, a bit peppery and very light on the front of the tongue. It’s taste is more refined than Batch 1.
I like the long lasting finish.
A drop of water brings out the fruitiness and the typical Pot Still Spices

There were only 6,000 bottles available of Batch 1 when it was launched in October 2018 and they were sold out in a very short time.

There are 10,000 bottles released for Batch 2, which are already available in the distillery and will be on sale in selected shops in Ireland.
This won’t be the last batch of the Single Pot Still and I am looking forward to the next few releases. When four month make such a difference, what will happen in a few  years time?
If you want a more refined nose and tasting, WhiskeyTalk2U  has a great blog about it.

How did I get started with Irish Whiskey?

A personal journey into exploring Irish Whiskey – Part 1

8 Suggestions for YOU to start off

As a tour guide I often had to translate for foreign guests in Irish Whiskey distilleries and sometimes the stories didn’t add up. Like – do you really roast barley to get Whiskey? Hang on – they do that to get red ale or stout, right?
Because I’m a guide, I didn’t ask the question while the group was around – you are not supposed to steal the show.
“Pot still whiskey is called pot still because it’s distilled in Pot stills” Seriously? I thought it’s a mix of malted barley, un-malted barley and maybe other corn?
I was confused but didn’t know enough to answer questions from my clients and had to tell them that I’m not a whiskey expert but will find out.
My first tasting was with Shane Fitzharris, brand ambassador for Walsh Whiskey at the time – it was in Tullys Bar Carlow and wow, it was an eye opener. That was also my first encounter with The Irish Whiskey Society who hosted the event. We tasted Writers Tears, Founders Reserve,  and 12-year old Single Malt… and in the raffle, I won a bottle of Writers Tears – then called Pot Still, now it’s the Copper Pot. My very first bottle of my collection.

 

Walsh Whiskey Selection

The Start of my collection

I got hooked, and I wanted to know more.
A Course came along by Mitchell & Sons “Irish Whiskey Appreciation Course” where we got all the details and could ask as many questions as possible without looking daft.
It was a very comprehensive course covering blends, malts, independent bottlers and pot still whiskey. We had great ambassadors like Seamus Lowry from Bushmills, Ger Garland from Irish Distillers (The Jameson Distillery in Midleton), and others. It was a great course but I still had a problem. During the tasting I heard: “you should get floral notes – or – maybe a hint of spice” No, sorry, I only get a burning taste in my mouth. When I asked how to develop my palate I was told “drink more whiskey” What a hard task!

Selection of Irish Whiskey

My first day in School

My journey began. Whenever I was somewhere, I tasted Irish Whiskey and took notes. I still do that most of the time today and compare them with the notes I did earlier. It’s very interesting and also proves that palates change with times.

My big idols are Ivor from WhiskeyTalk2You, Omar Fitzell from ThatsDramGood,  Dave from Daves Irish Whiskey or Stuart Mcnamara from IrishWhiskey.com.  There are many more, but those are the ones I follow regularly on twitter, their blog or on facebook and instagram.
I got involved in a few Irish Whiskey Societies because I realised I have an expensive hobby. Shots in a pub can be very expensive too, more so buying bottles.
In the beginning I didn’t like Pot Stills at all because there was too much going on in my palate. Now I love a good pot still.
Another question always strikes me: “What is your favourite Whiskey?” I honestly can’t tell because there’s a few I really like. It depends on my mood, the occasion and the company.
For a nightly sup, I like a Writers Tears Copper Pot. It’s a blend of Single Pot Still and Single Malt Whiskey
Well, I’m a bit biased as my first bottle I started my collection off with was a bottle of Writers Tears.

Writers Tears

Writers Tears Copper Pot, expecially bottled for my by Walsh Whiskey Distillery

In trying different types of Whiskey, I discovered at the time, blends are not too bad after all. I also discovered grain whiskey and after a few months I had a second go at Pot Still. What an experience. Now I got it: the different spices, the creaminess, the entire complexity of the different whiskeys. Also if you add a couple of drops of water, it can change the nose and the taste completely.
At this stage I love my pot still but I’m open to everything.

I like Rum cask finish, Marsala Cask,  in short, I have a sweet tooth.

Blended and Malt Whiskeys

v.l.t.r. The Irishman 12YOSM Marsala Cask finish, Tullamore Dew XO Rum Cask Finish, The Irishman Founders Reserve Caribbean Cask Finish

I don’t like peated Whiskey for example and in my opinion, if you don’t like Whiskey, you just haven’t found the right one for you yet.
How to get into Irish Whiskey?
1. Start with “easy to drink” variations in the lower price group. There’s nothing wrong with a Jameson, Paddy, PowersTullamore DEW, Bushmills. That’s how you get the first different nose and taste notes. Why not try a Slane Whiskey, a Lambay Cognac Finish, Glendalough Double Barrel, Irishman Founders Reserve, Teeling’s Small Batch, Bushmills Black Bush or the likes of that. You don’t have to invest much, start with the lower price range or have a look a your local off-licence when they offer tastings or suggest a tasting with them. Don’t invest too much money, believe me, the more you taste the more you want to buy. The Celtic Whiskey Shop or L Mulligan Whiskey Shop do great regular tastings, have great knowledgeable staff and answer all your questions. Don’t hold back, we all started that way

2. Join a Society. They usually meet once a month, have different whiskeys at one go and you don’t have to buy the stuff. That way you get to experience different whiskeys, can ask the experts and don’t have to buy a full bottle. The first society I joined was the Celtic Whiskey Club. You don’t have to get out of the house, the samples are delivered to your house and you can try them in your own time or enjoy the tweet tasting where you can compare tasting notes with other Whiskey enthusiasts. The second Society I joined was the Kilkenny Whiskey Guild. That was an eye-opener in itself. All of a sudden you meet like minded people. Real whiskey enthusiasts and occasional drinkers alike. Not only are you enjoying a few samples, you have a good bit of fun too. The Aviators Whiskey Society is a great bunch of people. They are easy going, very informal and they do a lot of distillery trips.

 

 

Meeting in the Parade Tower

One of the special meetings of the Kilkenny Whiskey Guild in Kilkenny Castle

3. How to drink: get a “nose” first. That’s your first impression of a whiskey. Get a good sniff and think of what you can smell: fruity, floral, spicey, something different? Get a small drop into your mouth, “chew” it, let it roll around before you swallow it. Then decide if you want to add s few drops of water. Think about what you can taste: sweet? Dry? Remind you of something? What about the finish. Does it feel warm, does the taste linger? Aftertaste?

4. Take notes – it helps you remember the different whiskeys. Compare them with previous tastings, because with more experience, your palate will change

5. Keep trying different Whiskeys and keep asking questions. Even if you don’t like Whiskey neat, why not try a cocktail. There are great mixologists about. One of the best ones I know is Chris Hennessy from Biddy Early and Dylans Whisky Bar.

6. Try out different glasses – I personally don’t like tumblers as I find I can’t get a right “nose” out of it. I like my Glencairn glass. In general, thin bulb shaped glasses do the job, or ask someone who really knows, like Ivor from WhiskeyTalk2U

drinking glasses

Different Glassware

7. Want to know more? There’ a magazine dedicated to Irish Whiskey. You get all the back ground information about the distilleries, the ambassadors, history, tasting notes and much more: Irish Whiskey Magazine. Join facebook groups – great knowledge but also great banter there. I made friendships in real life due to contacts on facebook or twitter. I love my social media, and it’s great to meet the people in real life.

8. Don’t take yourself too seriously, Hey, Whiskey is fun – enjoy and Sláinte 😊

Five Facts you probably didn’t know about Co. Carlow

Carlow Town, located in the heart of the South-East of Ireland is often overlooked because Kildare and Kilkenny are just a stone’s throw away. This is the reason why Carlow would make an ideal base for a short break so you can discover the real hidden gems in this beautiful county.

Why not discover a few facts about the hidden gems in the County

Easter was determined in Co. Carlow

Easter is the most important day of Christianity but by the 5thand 6thcentury there was a divergence within the church as how to calculate Easter. In a nutshell, the Celtic Church celebrated Easter on a different date than the Roman Catholic Church.

In 630 AD Pope Honorius wrote to the Irish threatening excommunicacion if they did not conform to the Roman way of calculating Easter. As a result of this letter the church in Ireland held a synod in 632 at Magh Léne or as it is known today Old Leighlin in Co. Carlow. The synod probably took place at the site of Old Leighlin Cathedral which is built upon the ruins of an early monastic site founden by St. Gobban in the early seventh century. At the time of the synod St. Laserian, who is also known as Molaise, who was the successor of Gobban was the leader of the religious community here.

Hard to imagine that all that was going on where there were no proper roads in the country, never mind the economical impact it had on the local community. Evidence suggests that at the time about 1500 monks lived on the site where the Church is now.

Today Old Leighlin is a small rural village a few miles to the South of Carlow town and St. Lazerian’s Cathedral now belongs to the Church of Ireland.

Ref: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Old_leighlin.htm,

Carlow was once the capital of Ireland

Carlow Castle was constructed by William Marshal (about 1207 – 1213) to guard the vital river crossing and it served as capital of the Lordship of Ireland under King Edward III from 1361 – 1374. The castle remained impressive until 1814 when a Dr. Middleton tried to convert it into a lunatic asylum and blew it to bits. Only the Western wall with its circular towers remains today. However it still is an impressive landmark in the town.

Today Carlow Town has about 23000 inhabitants and provides the ideal base for day trips in the neighbouring counties. With severalB&B’s, hotels and selfcatering accommodation, it caters for all budgets and needs.

All shops are in walking distance on Tullow and Dublin Street. The Fairgreen Shopping Centreis also located close to the town centre.

The oldest working bridge in Europe is in Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow

The focal point of Leighlinbridgeis its valerian-bearded bridge, built in 1320 by Maurice Jakis the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin beside the Black Castle which is one of the earliest Norman castles in Ireland. Although the bridge was widened to accommodate motor traffic, it is still the original structure.

Although only small, Leighlinbridge has a close knit and active community which manage and maintain a few nice community gardens. It even won the gold medal in the Entente Florale competition in 2001.

Leighlinbridge is the ideal base for walking, boating and cycling and is part of the Mount-Leinster-Heriage drive.The Lord Bagenal Hotelprovides its own mooring and is one of the finest hotels in the County.

St. Patricks College is the oldest Catholic college in Ireland

St. Patricks College Carlowwas founded in 1782 by Dr. James Keefe, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin and his co-adjutor Bishop Daniel Delaney and opened in 1793. From the start it was both a lay college and a priests seminary with the studies of Humanities at the core of the academic curriculum. However, in 1892 it became a seminary exclusively.

In 1990, nearly 100 years later it finally opened it’s doors again to lay students. The last priests were ordained here in 2001 and theoretically, the college is still open for seminarians. However, there are only very few at the present so the semenarians from the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin are sent to Maynooth.

Today the college is located in the heart of Carlow town in the “Cultural Quarter” with the Carlow County museum, the library, Carlow Cathedral and the Visual/ GBS Theatreliterally on its door step.

The Barrow is the second longest river in the country

At 192 km (119 miles) the Barrow(An Bhearú) is the second longest river in Ireland. Along with the River Nore and the River Suir, the Barrow is one of the Three Sisters.

The Barrow Valley is considered one of the most scenic and fertile valleys in Ireland where several waves of immigrants left their stamp. The evidence can be found all over Co. Carlow and beyond.

To name but one example: St. Mullins was and still is a magical place founded by Moling in the middle of the 7thcentury. Not only did he build the first saw mill but also established the longest running ferry across the river Barrow. The ferry stopped in the late 1960s and was running for about 1300 years continously. St. Mullins had the same significance as Glendalough and Clonmacnoise at the time, so it’s a real hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

The Clashganny Lock between St. Mullins and Borris is one of the most scenic landscapes on the river and probably the most photographed lock on the Barrow. The picture speaks for itself.

Today the river offers several activities for the entire family. Cycling, Hiking, boating or a leisurely walk and much more are waiting for anybody who is ready to indulge in the landscape along its banks.

St. Mullins – 1400 Birthday Party

Guided Tours in Ireland

In the tranquil landscape between the foothills of the Blackstairs Mountains and the bank of the river Barrow, the now nearly forgotten village of St. Mullins still withstands the ravages of time. Well known in pre-Christian times by virtue of a holy well and standing its ground for several centuries against Vikings, Normans and the Irish themselves, only ruins and fallen down buildings remind of the once busy hustle and bustle of a lively early monastery.

It’s hard to believe that it’s famous name saint, Moling, was born 14oo years ago and maybe it is a blessing that this birthday is not greatly celebrated. That way this special place in South County Carlow will keep it’s charme and natural beauty.

Moling soon discovered the wealth of the Barrow valley and build a corn mill which led the farmers in the area to settle even closer together to form a loose community. Later Moling instigated a ferry service which was in constant use until the middle of the 1960s. Only the progress of modern times and with it the car stopped this service after more than 1300 years of continious operation.

After Clonmacnoise, and Glendalough, St. Mullins was once rated the third most important ecclesiastical site in all Ireland. Not much is left of the once majestic buildings but the spirit of generations long gone.

After the Vikings came up the river to raid the monastry several times, the Normans built a motte to defend the area. Even the kings of Leinster recognised the special spirit in St. Mullins and found their final resting place here.

Walking around the area you still can feel the special magic of times past.

The last big historic “event” was the rebellion of 1798 and today their graves are identified with green markers which are dotted all among the graves.

Don’t forget to stop on the view point for Clashganny for a few pictures before you head back to Carlow.

Come on, let’s celebrate St. Molings birthday this year…

http://www.carlowtours.ie/portfolio/st-mullins-and-borris-village/

Guided Tour in Waterford


Christmas Spirit in Waterford City

What a great way to get into the spirit of Christmas – Winterval in Waterford – still time to go

Waterford in the South-East of Ireland has a lot to offer for the entire family.

For history buffs – visit the oldest Norman tower on the island: Reginalds’ tower where you can explore the Viking past of this city.

Built on the remains of a timber structure it is nothing short of history and interesting features inside.

…or why not take a look in the newly built Medieval Museum – which houses Santas Grotto. So you can entertain the kids as well as yourself…

and why not get the discount ticket which covers for the entrance into the Bishops Palace as well.

Again… loads to see for the little ones while you enjoy the re-enactment of Waterfords rich history.

Get yourself onto the horse-drawn carriage to get an idea of Winterval – the Christmas Festival in Waterford.

Make sure you get a ride on the nostalgic carousel or try out a day in a Viking village.

All well done and makes you hungry for more – don’t worry, nobody has to get hungry or thirsty here. A lot of huts prepare food from all over the world.

And when you get tired why not relax in Reg’s pub where you can enjoy a continental mulled wine while your kids enjoy a Christmas movie.

Make sure you don’t miss the light show after dark behind the Medieval Museum.

As there is so much to see and do in Waterford city alone- we intend to go down again soon. From an Ice-rink to a petting zoo and many more attractions, not to forget the friendly people we met during our 3-day stay.

Waterford also has ample parking ability around the city which is easily accessible from Carlow and anywhere else in the country due to great roadworks and ample sign posting. There is also plenty of accommodation for every pocket available. From B&Bs on the outskirts of the city up to 4-Star-Hotels with all amenities.

Family fun in Wexford


Guided Tours in Wexford

History with a difference

Do you want to do something with your kids? This fantastic location is Entertainment for kids of all age as well as for grown-ups. We are headed to the Irish National Heritage Park in Wexford

During school holidays and on weekends you can join a guided tour with a viking, a celt or a norman knight. The tour takes about 1,5 hours, takes you to 9000 years of history in a very entertaining way and keeps your children occupied.

It started when we entered the Heritage park. All children got their “tool kit”, sheets of drawings which they could fill in with the provided crayons. The pictures were motives which could be found in the park. The children were also told to search for gold as there will be a cert at the end.

After we watched a movie to introduce us to the rich Irish history, we hat a reception with our tour guide who was dressed up as a celtic farmer.

As our guide “Dublin Paddy” guided us through the ages we decided to have lunch first.

After the tour we enjoyed a workshop by one of the tour guides and we could try out different armors and weaponry.

Four ways to use a boat on the River Barrow

The River Barrow is the second longest river in Ireland, so why not discover the beauty of it by boat?

Especially in the South of County Carlow, on the border to County Kilkenny the river Barrow offers its entire beauty. Cashganny is one of the most picturesque locks in Ireland. This short stretch of the Barrow between Clashganny and Graiguenamanagh has something for everybody: adventure, tranqulity, peace and action.

February doesn’t really spring to mind to go out canoeing but we did just that. On a gorgeous crispy morning I met Charlie Horan fromGo With the Flow.ie at Clashganny Lock.

1. Canoeing like the Native Americans

After being kitted out with a life west and a short instruction about paddling and health and safety we got into the canoe. The water was freezing but I had no intentions for a swim. I thought it will be a nice tranquil paddle – well, it wasn’t quite that tranquil. We pulled in on the bank where Charlie told me how to hold on and balance our vessel while going over rapids. Rapids? Hang on – what happened to the nice quite trip?


It turned out it was great fun and I wanted to do it again straight away.

2. Carry your vessel like the Vikings

We turned towards the canal to go back to Clashganny. So that meant: get out of the canoe – easier said than done, carry the boat upstream past the lock and paddle upstream to Clashganny. That was the plan… we had to change it because the canal was frozen solid.

3. Conquer the canal with an ice breaker

We even tried to get on top of the ice sheet with the front of the canoe and let the weight break the ice. Much to our suprise the ice was too thick, so what to do now?

“No problem”, Charlie said, “sure – Graiguenamanagh is only half an hour from here” – great!

Out of the canoe and carry it back – again – it’s heavy when you carry a vessel that is built for 4 and there’s only the two of us.

Eventually we got back on the river to continue our adventure.

We paddled along and Charlie pointed out a few interesting views: Ryans Castle which was abandoned and destroyed. I’m fascinated by ruins and always imagine what might have happened in it’s hayday.

And I got my wish granted as we went over another set of rapids. This time a bit faster and it was even better than the first time!!

But then again, I was absolutely stunned by the natural beauty and peacefulness along the river.

Slowly but surely I got tired from the paddling when I realised, you can use a canoe in another way:

4. Using the Canoe as a gym

I was so glad to see Graiguenamanagh appearing behind a bend. What a view!! This trip was even better than I ever expected.

We left the boat at the mooring and started looking for a lift back to Clashganny. Graiguenamanagh is such a beautiful picturesque village with really friendly and warm people. Eventually a gentleman who felt sorry for us gave us a lift back to Clashganny.

I was tired but happy after this trip and never felt cold as the time just flew. We spent the best part of 2 hours on the river. It was a great adventure – Thank you very much Charlie!

If you want to know more about river adventures, you can contact Charlie directly here: Go With The Flow or if you want to incorporate it into one of your trips, please feel free to contact us here: Book now or call Bianka on 0876509880

Did you know Easter was determined in Co. Carlow?

Lesser Known Facts about Carlow

 

 

Easter was determined in Co. Carlow

Easter is the most important day of Christianity but by the 5thand 6thcentury there was a divergence within the church as how to calculate Easter. In a nutshell, the Celtic Church celebrated Easter on a different date than the Roman Catholic Church.

In 630 AD Pope Honorius wrote to the Irish threatening excommunication if they did not conform to the Roman way of calculating Easter. The result was an synod held by the Irish church which took place in 630 – 632 at Magh Léne, today known as Old Leighlin in Co. Carlow. The synod probably took place at the site of Old Leighlin Cathedral which is built upon the ruins of an early monastic site.

When St. Patrick and his followers started to convert the Irish to Christianity, they changed already existing traditions and re-named them, for example, the Spring Festival of Bealtaine became Easter. That way the people didn’t feel under pressure to get baptised, it rather became “fashionable”.

That is also the reason why pagan believes and traditions still run parallel to the Christian rituals. So it is not surprising to find a rag tree right beside St. Laserians well close to the Cathedral.

Today Old Leighlin is a small rural village a few miles to the South of Carlow town and St. Lazerian’s Cathedral now belongs to the Church of Ireland.

Why not join us on a tour during the Easter Period? All our tours are 10% off when you mention “Easter” in the special request box on the booking form.

Hidden Gems in the Sunny Southeast of Ireland

Guided Tour to Mount Leinster Heritage Drive

What a smashing summer we had and it looks like it will be a nice and mild autumn.

Starting in Borris, you can explore a village rich in history and tradition. Borris House was built in the 17.th century by the McMurrough Kavanagh clan, the former kings of Leinster. The family still lives there and the house can be visited by prior booking.

Borris is the ideal starting point to the Mount Leinster Drive. Although only 47 miles long, this round trip invites you on every step to stop, take in the natural beauty of the scenery, relax or take a stroll.

Discover Hidden Gems in Kilkenny and Carlow

Guided Tour in Kilkenny

It was a crispy sunny winter morning when we started our tour to Kilkenny last Saturday. It turned out to be a ladies day. Four different women with nothing in common other than the interest in discovering what’s around the corner. Roz Kelly from EcoactiveIrelandcame all the way from Gorey, Co. Wexford to Carlow to join me on the trip. My other companions were friends who I know from line dancing and the Women in Business Network in Carlow.

Part one: Kilkenny Castle

After arriving in Kilkennywe had time to explore the grounds of Kilkenny Castle and were amazed at the size of the park. The 50 acre (approx. 23 hectares) area is accessible for everybody and provides the ideal spot for walking, running or just relaxing.

The castle itself looks more impressive once you walk through the main entrance on The Parade. And it is one of the best preserved Norman castles in Ireland.

We enjoyed our guided tour with Peter Kenny who excelled in his knowledge and passion for the monument and it’s history but also the stories behind it.

Interesting in connection with Carlow is that both, Kilkenny Castle and Carlow Castlewere built at about the same time by the same man: William Marshal in the 12. century.

One of the trivias I remember is, that a lot of the characters and names appearing in Downton Abbeyare based on real people who had dealings with Kilkenny Castle.

Also the tapestries in the ballroom are fixed to the walls with industrial velcro to avoid folds and dust on the original material.

As we were not allowed to take pictures, you have to explore the interior for yourself.

The tea room in the premises of theKilkenny Design Centrewas our next stop where we all enjoyed a nice cuppa and cake served with a smile.

Part Two: Highbank Orchards

Just outside Kilkenny, on the Callan Road you will find Highbank Orchards Farm. Julie and Rod Calder-Potts are growing their apples completely organic which results in excellent cider, syrup and recently in liqueur and spirit. We enjoyed a tour of the farm in their train with stops at the apple jacuzzi, the press, the orchards and the shop. I found it fascinating that absolutely no chemicals are used to grow their apples and that nature looks after itself.

Julie offered us a taste of the different products like the Drivers Cider: sparkly and refreshing but alcohol free.

Highbank Orchards support local food producers and host a range of different events during the year in their converted barn.

The last addition to the premises is the smallest registered distillery in Ireland. It was custom built in Germany and produces a high quality of liquor and schnapps which is bottled and labled by hand in the premises.

Another lovely little detail are the apple shaped bottles which make a nice gift.

I can’t wait to see this hidden gem in the springtime when the apple trees are in bloom.

Part Three: Leighlinbridge– A Hidden Gem just outside Carlow Town

The small but close knit community of Leighlinbridge can be really proud of the so well maintained gardens. We enjoyed the Garden of Rememberance and the Millennium Garden. The village was the deserved winner of a gold medal in the European garden competition “Entente Florale” in 2001. Only one applicant per country is allowed to enter.

Although only small, Leighlinbridge boasts a lot of history. Built in 1320, the nine arch bridge was once the only crossing on the River and is now the oldest working bridge in Ireland, and one of the oldest in Europe.

You might recognise the bridge from the recentChristmas ad for Sparwhere the Christmas tree comes floating underneath the arch.

The remains of the Black Castle is still a main feature of Leighlinbridge. Originally built in 1181 by Hugh de Lacy it is one of the earliest Norman castles in Ireland and changed ownership several times.

With fading sunlight and just before the hailstorm hit us we were back in the van and returned tired but happy to Carlow Town.

Interested in this or similar tours?