Friday, July 19, 2024

Whiskey dinner at Auld Dubliner in Long Beach to feature some hyper-exclusive bottles of Bushmills

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The amount of Irish whiskies that sit at home inside The Auld Dubliner wavers between 80 and 100 depending on what’s been finished, what’s been added, and what’s on the way—but it is definitively home to the city’s largest selection of Irish whiskies.

And with it, The Dub holds the deep relationship with these Irish brands to conduct business in a way that most pubs (let alone anywhere in Long Beach) can’t reach—and that means exclusive dinners with some exclusive bottles of some of the world’s best whiskies.

So what is this Bushmills whiskey dinner at The Auld Dubliner all about?

Come Feb. 21, The Auld Dubliner in Downtown Long Beach will greet Xander Brown, the SoCal brand ambassador for Bushmills and a longtime whiskey educator.

“Continuing the Auld Dubliner’s long relationship with Bushmills, we are delighted to present a tasting dinner,” said co-owner David Copley. “In addition to allowing us the showcase Irish foods alongside the whiskies, it’s a distinct honor to pour newly released single malts from Bushmills.”

Those newly released bottles are a 10-year, single malt from a Bordeaux cask and a 12-year, single malt from a tequila cask, the latter of which Copley describes as “truly special: there’s the beautiful layer of a 12-year-old Bushmills followed by the distinct brightness of tequila—and it works rather nicely.”

The dinner will have four food courses and five drink courses: A welcome Bushmills punch; Irish smoked salmon served with Bushmills Original; Dublin coddle (a chicken’n’sausage stew) paired with Bushmills Black Bush, a longtime Irish staple and favorite; their beef Wellington paired with the 10-year Bordeaux cask of Bushmills; and a crème brûlée served with the 12-year tequila cask of Bushmills.

Why is The Auld Dubliner important to Long Beach culture?

For those that haven’t been to Long Beach’s OG Irish pub, The Auld Dubliner, it is a space that is defined by its Irish roots in a sense that no other social space is in Long Beach. And for those that haven’t been to Ireland—Copley was born in Limerick—it is particularly hard to grasp the depth to which this connection exists and why the space is an important part of the city’s cultural machinery.

It goes beyond the pub’s incredibly odd location—smack dab in the middle of Conventioneer Central, smashed between theaters and corporate food giants like Islands and California Pizza Kitchen. 

It goes beyond the step-inside-and-you’re-removed-from-Pine-Avenue vibe. (A vibe, mind you, that was designed in Ireland and imported into the space for the build out to create a traditional pub vibe.)

It goes beyond its stellar plates of Shepard’s Pie and fried Haddock with chips. 

It goes beyond the fact that locals and “annual locals”—conventioneers, brought to Long Beach annually because of a convention, named so by the workers of the Dub—both enjoy the place.

The Dub is not only a space where there is a perpetual play between American culture and what Ireland itself is becoming as it finally finds a grasp on its own independence. It is also a direct reflection of when the beauty of immigration is met with the opportunity America has (or, at least, has for some) and how that can make a local environment flourish. The realness of that opportunity is something Copley is not remiss to directly address continually, despite having arrived decades ago.

With continual trips with both patrons and family to Ireland, The Auld Dubliner is a constant reflection of not just what Ireland once represented but where it is going as it sees a new explosion in economic growth and population booms.

In that sense, it is the rare Irish pub that—despite always feeling the same—is continually growing culinarily, culturally, and communally.

In other words: It is a Long Beach gem. Go.

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The Bushmills whiskey dinner will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 6:30PM at The Auld Dubliner, located at 71 S. Pine Ave. Reservations are required and must be done through email: david@aulddubliner.com

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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