Ireland is currently seeing a huge spike in its whiskey market, with new brands and distilleries popping up all over the country. If you really want to get to know your Emerald Isle hooch, we recommend jumping on the next red-eye and checking out these five distilleries.
It’s hard to top the Jameson Distillery Experience at Midleton, with its suite of tour options that allow you to do everything from mix classic cocktails to sample drams straight from the cask. Regardless of what you choose, know this: You’ll get a deep hands-on history of Ireland’s most successful whiskey.
Bushmills is the oldest licensed distillery in the world, so yeah, you should probably pay a visit. The 60-minute tour, part whiskey distilling 101, part brand history lesson (Bushmills is, after all, Ireland’s oldest whiskey company), takes you through the sprawling 400-year-old facility, perched on the country’s north coast. The best part? Finishing up with a dram of the old “grain-to-glass” in the 1608 Bar.
Tullamore D.E.W. is a new brand with a long history. It’s based in its hometown and namesake Tullamore, in Offaly country, where it has an amazing, new visitors center, which is based in the Old Bonded Warehouse. Tullamore allows you to get up close and personal with its history. You are invited to learn about the brand and how it’s developing a new name for itself in the Irish whiskey market, as well as all about how whiskey is crafted.
Kilbeggan in Westmeath is a wonderful little distillery that will give you a taste of traditional distilling. It’s packed full of Irish nostalgia, with a water wheel and steam engine to really bring you back in time. There are several tour options available, each with different things to see and do. But even the standard tour will immerse you in life in Kilbeggan. This is a tour that will educate and entertain and definitely have you buying a bottle before you leave.
When it debuted in 2015, Teeling had the first new distillery to open in Dublin in 125 years. There are three separate tours on offer, each one taking you through the guts of the operation, which includes a shoot system that delivers barley directly into the mill and three separate stills, named for each of founder Jack Teeling’s daughters. Things cap off with a visit to the tasting room for samples of the Teeling Trinity, the three releases currently available in the U.S.