St. Patrick’s day is not just about green beer. In fact, some hypothesize that the Saint himself was the first distiller of Irish Fine whiskey. Irish whiskey is distinguished from American whiskey by the type of grain used. American whiskeys primarily use corn and rye while Irish whiskey is primarily a blend of barley and malt. The whiskey is stored for at least three years and the rarest selections for upwards of 10 years. Just like the 364 days between St. Patrick’s Days, the best Irish whiskeys are well worth the wait.
Mac McGee Irish Pub
Hours: Sun to Wed 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Thurs to Sat 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Decatur is known for having a plethora of great liquor establishments and Mac Mcgee Irish Pub is certainly one of them. The selection of Irish whiskey includes Jameson, Bushmills, Michael Collins, Clontarf Black Label, and Middleton Very Rare. If this selection wasn’t sufficient, the whiskey collection also has an extensive selection of Scottish, Canadian, Japanese and American whiskeys. Mac Mcgee Irish Pub often hosts tastings which you can register for via the website.
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The Marlay House
426 W Ponce De Leon Ave.
Decatur, GA 30030
Hours: Mon to Thurs 11:30 a.m. to midnight, Fri – 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sat 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Marlay House offers approximately 19 Irish whiskeys. Although the Marlay House carries more recognizable distillers such as Jameson and Bushmills, it is one of a few venues which also carry some of the lesser known distillers such as the Green Spot. The list is updated and changed as the owners bring back new brands from Ireland. Live and traditional Irish music is played on Tuesdays, and you can enjoy all of it from the large patio.
822 N Highland Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30306
Hours: Mon to Wed – 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Thu to Sat – 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sun- 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
If you are new to whiskey, Limerick Junction offers several shooters containing Irish whiskey. The Irish Quaalude combines Irish whiskey, Bailey’s Irish Crème and Frangelica, while the Irish Kiss combines Irish whiskey, Blue Curacao and orange juice. For St. Patrick’s Day, Limerick Junction hosts a block party behind the pub with live music, both Irish and non-Irish, Irish food and the notorious green beer. Limerick Junction is very dedicated to responsible partaking; before you indulge in all of the offerings you can make arrangements for a designated driver.
Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub
12650 Crabapple Rd
Milton, GA 30004
Hours: Sun to Mon – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tues to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
At the Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub, you can climb into one of the snugs (enclosed booths) and cuddle up with your Irish whiskey. There are at least 14 Irish whiskeys including Bushmills, Middletons, Blackbush, Tyrconnell Single Malt, Powers, Jameson, Tullamore Dew, Clontarf and Michael Collins. The bar also carries a number of lagers, bourbons and over a dozen scotches. The beautiful interior and food selections make Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub an excellent location to host and cater any event.
Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub
15 Atlanta St. SE
Marietta, GA 30060
Hours: Mon to Fri – 11 a.m. to 3 a.m., Sat – 11 a.m. to 3 a.m., Sun – Closed
If Johnnie MacCrackens was an Irish whiskey it would be Bushmills 21 years. Housed in the oldest standing fire department in Cobb County, the pub and décor gives tribute to the location’s beginnings. The selection at Johnnie MacCrackens includes Middletons, Jameson, Tyrconnell, Kilbeggan, Powers Tullamore, Rebreast, Bushmills, Michael Collins, Connemara and Clontarf. You can enjoy your selection in the main room where music is featured or in the smaller back bar room with sofas and overstuffed chairs opening to a courtyard.
Sebrina Bush is a freelance writer in Atlanta. She is covering Food & Drink. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.