Ireland’s booming economy has led to phenomenal growth at Dublin airport in the 1990s and 2000s. Last year the country’s main international gateway broke the 20 million-passenger mark for the first time, and 2007 is set to be an even busier year.
The high-percentage of transatlantic traffic means the airport shops are particularly well stocked with Irish whiskeys – what better gift for American tourists returning home? There are three Travel Value shops selling whisk(e)y at the airport, which are located in Piers A, B and C, all of which stock between 50 to 60 varieties.
The assortment even contains a few whiskeys, which may be of interest to collectors. These include Midleton Very Rare 1973 (duty-free €1,600/duty-paid €2,000); Midleton Very Rare (duty-free €95.15/duty-paid €125); Dungourney Pure Pot Still (duty-free €395/duty-paid €450), and finally Jameson 18 Year Old Master Selection (duty-free €72/duty-paid €100).
There is a nice range of Irish malts from Bushmills too such as the acclaimed Bushmills 21 Year Old Madeira Finish, Bushmills 16 Year Old and Bushmills 10 Year Old.
The shops hold frequent tastings and promotional offers run on a regular basis. Recent deals have included buy any two for €30 on Paddy, Powers, Crested 10 and Ballantine’s; and buy two and save 20 per cent on Jameson 18 Year Old and Midleton.
If you want to check whether a particular whisky is in stock, ring the free customer service line on +353 1800 747 747 before you travel. You can pre-order with your credit card and collect before you board your flight.
25 Years Old
The Glenlivet range continues to grow and grow in duty-free under the ownership of French drinks giant Pernod Ricard. There are now three travel-retail exclusive products –The Glenlivet 12 Year Old First Fill, 15 Year Old and 16 Year Old Nàdurra – but this spring attention turns to the new and more widely available 25 Year Old.
As you’d expect from a whisky this old, The Glenlivet 25 Year Old is a complex and well-balanced dram with plenty of fruit and spice on the nose, more spice, dark chocolate and orange peel on the palate, and a dry, spicy finish.
In travel-retail it will be priced at about £120 and should soon be available in leading airports in Europe, Asia and North America.
17 Year Old
If you are a Laphroaig lover, then look out for the recently repackaged Islay Mist 17 Year Old. The world famous Islay brand is one of the signature malts behind this top-quality blend from MacDuff International, lending the whisky a powerfully rich, peaty flavour.
There is plenty of gingery oakiness, suggesting that some much older whiskies were used in the blend, but there are also some lighter citrus notes, adding a pleasing complexity.
Islay Mist 17 Year Old has been repackaged in a new see-through gift carton and is positioned at about the same price level as Ballantine’s 17 Year Old, but exact prices will vary from market to market.