Although there is a never-ending discussion about where whiskey came from, there’s one thing it is possible to point out. Ireland was the home country of the first whiskey distillery in the United Kingdom, back in 1608. Since then, the region is one of the most important whiskey producing countries in the world and the Distilleries in Ireland are a mandatory tour for any Irish whiskey lover.
In this article we’ll pin out some of the best Irish whiskey distilleries one should, definitely, visit and explain to you why they are so important for Irish Whiskey History.
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- 6 Mandatory Distilleries in Ireland to Visit
6 Mandatory Distilleries in Ireland to Visit
The Kilbeggan Distillery in Westmeath
Of all the distilleries in Ireland, Kilbeggan Distillery is considered a top one. For both malted and unmalted barley, The Kilbeggan Distillery in Westmeath remains one of Ireland’s oldest distilleries, opening its doors more than 260 years before. It is also one of the most well-known.
Located in Kilbeggan, Ireland’s Old Kilbeggan Distillery remains one of the country’s oldest legal establishments.
In the early twentieth century, the company manufactured Irish Whiskey except until the bad times struck due to the events like the Irish Civil War and Prohibition in the United States, and production was discontinued in 1957.
The distillery had been reopened as a museum back in the 1980s after a final renovation. Finally, it was reopened for distillation in 2007. Members of the public may visit the distillery and take a journey back in time to learn about artisanal whiskey distillation, meet the family who formerly owned it (in the museum), and view the historic equipment that was once utilized in the whiskey manufacturing process.
Guests may also learn about modern-day distillation and whiskey manufacturing from the experts on hand.
Midleton Distillery is a new Cork distillery (for the Jameson Whiskey Experience)
Near the Cork town of the same name, the New Midleton Distillery is a vast facility that houses one of biggest whiskey distilleries in Ireland. It is one of the world’s biggest whiskey distilleries. In 1975, three well-known Irish Whiskey distillers joined to establish the John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son, and the Cork Distilleries Company. The whiskeys produced at the plant are Jameson, Midleton Very Rare, Paddy, Powers, and Redbreast.
Bow Street Distillery, built-in 1780 by a Scottish man called John Jameson, was one of Dublin’s four magnificent distilleries until 1971, producing the world-famous Jameson Irish Whiskey. Bow Street Distillery closed its doors in 1971. The museum in Dublin offers guided tours, as well as tastings, led by an expert.
The Old Midleton Distillery in Cork was turned into a visitor’s center due to the partnership between the three distilleries. It also houses the Jameson Experience. The Jameson Experience, regarded as one of the best Ireland whiskey tours, is a guided tour in which guests learn about Jameson’s history via a series of reproduced scenes from the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin and videos illustrating how distillation took place in the company’s early days. In this sense, this is one of the best distilleries to visit in ireland.
The Old Midleton Distillery is home to the world’s most giant pot still, which is an interesting tidbit to know.
The Pot Still is one of the factors that make Irish Whiskey Different from the rest! Get to know the others, in this article: https://www.whiskyflavour.com/blog/what-makes-irish-whiskey-different/
The Bushmills Distillery may be found in Antrim, Northern Ireland
Bushmills Distillery, situated in the Antrim town of the same name, is a well-known and one of the best distilleries in Ireland. It is located in the north of the country and was established in 1784, having survived fires and world wars. The Bushmills Distillery have also celebrated 400 years of whiskey production in Northern Ireland.
The distillery is run by family and friends who believe in producing limited handmade batches of the best Irish whiskey. Through investment, Bushmills now has twelve distilleries that create single malts aged 10, 16, and 21 years. They also produce blends like the Original and Black Bush brands, which are among the most well-known globally and often feature on top 10 Irish whiskey lists.
Bushmills Distillery is Ireland’s only whiskey distillery that has been in continuous operation for almost 200 years. This popular tourist spot in Northern Ireland attracts over 120,000 visitors each year, making it one of the most frequented in the country. They provide Irish whiskey tastings in addition to guided tours of a working distillery and tutored tastings.
Teeling Distillery is a whiskey distillery in Dublin, Ireland
With the establishment of the Teeling Distillery in Dublin, Ireland’s first new distillery in 125 years, Jack and Stephen Teeling, sons of Cooley Distillery founder John Teeling, became the country’s first new distillery in 125 years. When the Teeling family first got engaged with Whiskey in 1782, they opened a distillery on Marrowbone Lane.
Teeling Distillery, maybe Dublin’s most magnificent distillery, is a popular tourist site, with over 350,000 visitors each year. Teeling Whiskey Distillery tours are fully guided, enabling visitors to see all of the stages involved in the manufacturing of Irish whiskey firsthand. There are also guided tastings with a whiskey professional available and a variety of sample experiences to choose from.
Tullamore DEW Distillery is situated in Offaly County
Tullamore DEW Distillery in County Offaly is one of Ireland’s most stunning whiskey distilleries and well worth a visit. Tullamore DEW Whiskey was created at Tullamore in 1829 at the Old Tullamore distillery. Due to financial troubles, it, like many other Irish whiskey distilleries, was forced to shut its doors in 1954.
When John Powers & Co. bought the Tullamore whiskey brand, it was manufactured throughout Ireland, including at Powers in Dublin and Midleton in Cork, among other places. The brand’s current owners, William Grant & Sons, opened a new distillery in Tullamore in 2014, bringing production back to the town. Tullamore DEW is frequently regarded as one of the world’s top ten Irish whiskeys and the house is one of the distilleries in Ireland truly worth visiting.
The Ancient Tullamore Distillery has a visitor’s center established in a rebuilt, old bonded warehouse where travelers may walk in the footsteps of Daniel E Williams, the creator of Tullamore DEW, and learn about the distillery’s history. This visitor’s center offers guided tours and tutored whiskey tastings that range in length from 50 minutes to 5 hours.
Meath is home to the Slane Whiskey Distillery
Slane Castle Distillery is a newer distillery in the country. Slane Irish Whiskey was launched two years after construction started in 2015. In 2018, the distillery officially opened its doors.
The Brown family, descendants of a 147-year-old Kentucky whiskey-making dynasty, collaborated with the Conyngham family of Slane castle to develop this triple-casked mix. The Whiskey for this blend is taken from different Irish whiskey distilleries and aged in Slane’s “Triple Casked” process, which employs virgin oak, seasoned Whiskey, and sherry barrels to produce the desired taste profile.
The distillery is fully operating and provides daily guided tours via its visitor’s center. The Slane Distillery Tour is an interactive and immersive journey through the Conyngham family’s history and the Slane Distillery in Ireland.
Distilleries in Ireland – Conclusion
The distilleries in Ireland have a lot to tell about Irish Whiskey itself and there are quite a few truly worth visiting. Bushmills Distillery in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, is the only original 28 still producing today, despite being forced to close and reopen several times. The Republic of Ireland Distilleries only survived by amalgamation in 1966, with Jameson, Power, and Cork Distilleries Co.
A new state-of-the-art distillery in Midleton, Co. Cork, close to the historic distillery where “Paddy” was manufactured for generations, founded the Irish Distillers Group.
They bought Old Bushmills Distillery in the early 1970s and controlled all Whiskey produced in the nation.
John Teeling created Cooley Distillery in Riverstown, Co. Louth, in 1987, and it remains independent today. Cooley, Bushmills, and Midleton make up over 100 distinct Irish Whiskey brands, including Jameson, Power’s, and Paddy. Distilleries have not perished completely: Even in 21st century Dublin remains of the formerly six distilleries, as well as those around the country, are possible to be found.