A dram of Writers’ Tears and a drop of James Joyce to banish the COVID-19 blues

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.
Martin Moodie

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A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. – James Joyce, Death (from Dubliners)

I’ve long had a soft spot for the Walsh Whiskey team in Carlow, Ireland, whose Irish whiskey brand Writers’ Tears is particularly close to my heart.

Not only do I love the name – after all, the relentless at your throat pressure of endless deadlines down the years has several times brought me close to tears – but I love the whiskey itself. It’s a beautifully balanced, soft and fruity whiskey which, cut with just a little water, is one of my favourite evening drams here at The Moodie Davitt Interim (although it doesn’t feel too interim at the moment) Lockdown Bureau

Bernard Walsh and his team at Walsh Whiskey and their rugby-loving PR and communications agency man Conor Dempsey have tended to give me a hard time down the years on the (rare) occasions when the Irish rugby team has beaten my beloved All Blacks, as I detail in the short video clip attached. But they do it with class – actually delivering a bottle of specially labelled Writers’ Tears after the first-ever Irish victory over the All Blacks in 2016 (in Chicago of all places) by 40 points to 29 and this was certainly a writer in tears on that occasion

The story didn’t end there. A few weeks later when normal service was resumed and the All Blacks got their revenge in Dublin by 21 points to 9, Walsh Whiskey sent me a bottle of another outstanding whiskey, The Irishman, again adorned with the score.

So I was excited to receive a package in my Lockdown Bureau a few days back from Writers’ Tears that appeared to be a book, accompanied by a bar of soap. Were they trying to tell me something? Attached was a note saying that this was the Writers’ Tears ‘COVID-buster’ routine. It sounded like some kind of fitness regime and in a way it was, I suppose, at least for my mental fitness.

Who you gonna call? COVID-Busters (Walsh Whiskey)

Rather than wax on too lyrically here, I decided to film myself implementing the routine. Camera crew are in short supply in the Lockdown Bureau so I used my iPhone propped up against a bottle of The Irishman. Now that’s what I call a versatile whiskey.

Click on the icon to see Martin Moodie enjoy a dram of Writers’ Tears and a drop of James Joyce

Background

Sweny's Pharmacy, Dublin

As the annual Bloomsday (16 June) celebrations in Dublin, Ireland approached in 2019, Irish whiskey entrepreneur Bernard Walsh came to the aid of Sweny’s Pharmacy – one of the most celebrated venues featured in James Joyce’s epic novel, Ulysses. Writers’ Tears would provide financial and other support to Sweny’s which was under threat of closure from rising rent.

“I created Writers’ Tears as a homage to Ireland’s literary and creative greats and thankfully, a bit like Ulysses, it has come to be enjoyed by people in countries the world over. Writers’ Tears is a rare blend of two premium whiskeys (Single Pot Still & Single Malt),” said Walsh. “This style of whiskey was extremely popular in Joyce’s time and we designed the bottle to reflect that same Victorian era. So Sweny’s and Writers’ Tears are a good fit for each other on several levels.”

In addition to contributing to the rent, Writers’ Tears is promoting Sweny’s need for support in the 50 countries it is sold in worldwide and to its customers through dedicated content via online channels. Writers’ Tears has also committed to buying hundreds of bars of the famous lemony soap to help promote interest in the unique venue.

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