One of the worst things I could think of being asked to do is to write a blog post of who
I am, and how I became involved in Whiskey. So with no previous experience, here goes nothin…..
My name is Brian Hennessy. Im a local Dj, engineer (retired), shockingly bad golfer and whiskey lover/drinker. I have had somewhat of an unusual upbringing as I was born in Kilkenny, but spent the better part of 15 years growing up in the states, New York state to be exact. I moved “home” during the Celtic Tiger period, settling in Kilkenny, and I haven’t really stirred since.
(Brian - third from left - enjoying an evening with Kilkenny Whiskey Guild)
As a typical young lad at the time I needed a bit of spending money, so a job in a pub was a logical choice. Pocket change was more or less used for any kind of alcoholic beer/spirit I could get my hands on. My “palate” was less refined back then one might say…. Skip a few years down the road, after extensive research, I was introduced to one of the finest spirits in the world, Irish Whiskey.
I can still recall the time and place I was introduced to what would have become a passion and journey for knowledge in Irish Whiskey. Whats more important was the brand that got me hooked and really changed my whole outlook on Whiskey in general. It was a glass (neat) of Midleton Very Rare. An exceptional dram by any standards one might agree, or not.
From that first taste of whiskey proper my exploration and learning hasn’t stopped. Fortunately through years of working in the bar trade I’ve come to know some amazing people who are incredibly knowledgable and passionate about the dark spirit. It was through this group of friends and colleagues that my entire understanding of Irish whiskey, and other forms, has evolved and grown in such a short period of time.
Enter the Kilkenny Whiskey Guild.
What I would consider as one of the best ways to really understand whiskey, brands, history and of course meet similarly like minded individuals who enjoy a good piss up, or eh em, are on a quest for knowledge. It was actually a near miss me not joining as I had forgotten to contact Cyril and set up the membership for myself, a good memory is not one of my strong points. Luckily there was a space left and the rest is history.
Through Guild events from Powers, Redbreast, Bushmills and the release of our very own Kilkenny Whiskey Guild Single Cask (Powers, 15 yr old, exceptional!), to distillery visits, private tastings, and being involved in the Irish Whiskey Awards. Not only has it been an amazing experience, but making new friends, learning new methods and opening doors to things I would have never considered any interest in once upon a time, would not have happened without The Guild.
I truly applaud all who are involved in the setting up, maintaining and running of this great Guild. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have learned so much without being a member. I look forward to more great things to come, and meeting new and inspiring people. Sláinte.