Ireland's whiskey trail
Irish whiskey has legions of fans scattered across the globe – but if you're not content to enjoy its complex flavours from afar, join us on the ultimate Irish whiskey trip!
We'll introduce you to the passionate distillers and the unique characters of our "uisce beatha" (ishka baa-ha) or whiskey. In between, you can admire the lush landscape, buzzing cities and warm Irish welcome that comes as part of the deal. If you still can’t get enough of our whiskeys, visit Irish Whiskey 360° for an in-depth look at the people, place, culture and traditions that shape Ireland's whiskey.
Grab your tulip-shaped glass and pay a visit to some distinctive gems on the Irish whiskey trail in Dublin’s fair city.Explore Day 1
See where it all began for Jameson’s whiskey
They may not make whiskey here anymore, but at the Jameson Distillery Bow St., you’ll get an amazing story, a taste of this exceptionally smooth whiskey and a good look at how it all comes together in this triple distillation process (hence the extra "e")! Check out the Whiskey Makers Experience and blend your own, or perhaps opt for the Whiskey Shakers Masterclass. Just imagine the stories you can tell your friends when you head back home…
If you have more time, drop into the Irish Whiskey Museum for a tour that will take you through the dramatic story of Irish whiskey through the ages.
The cool new kid on the block
Named for George Roe, the man who helped bring about the golden age of Irish whiskey in the 19th century, Roe & Co Distillery is one of Dublin’s coolest whiskey distilleries. Nearly a hundred years after the original distillery closed its gate in 1926, Roe & Co reopened, taking advantage of the renewed interest in Irish whiskey to start producing its mellow blended whiskey, aged in bourbon casks. Expect a fun and interactive experience on your tour where you can learn about blending techniques, mixology and the science of distilling.
A new distillery with an old legacy
The Teeling Whiskey Distillery was the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years, but the Teeling family is not new to the business. They have been distilling whiskey since 1782, when one Walter Teeling set up a craft distillery in the Liberties area of Dublin. Rekindling the family’s love affair with whiskey, Jack and Stephen Teeling have brought a sense of real innovation to the family brand. And while they’re doing that, everyone’s invited to discover Teeling spirits on the engaging distillery tour.
Can’t get enough of Dublin’s whiskeys?
You can plan a whole whiskey trip and never have to leave Dublin – that’s how varied the city’s whiskey offering is. If you want to extend your stay, then make time to stop in Pearse Lyons Distillery, based in the restored St James’ Church. You can admire beautiful stained glass windows while enjoying a fascinating tour around the 12th century church and graveyard. On the distillery tour, you'll learn about the history of whiskey making in Dublin and meet Mighty Molly and Little Lizzie, two copper stills from Kentucky that help distil Pearse’s first-class whiskeys.
If you’re still not satisfied, try one of the city’s newest establishments, The Dublin Liberties Distillery where you can explore its production process before sampling its award-winning whiskeys at the Tasting Bar.
Time can reveal big flavours, and nowhere understands the power of time better than Ireland’s Ancient East.Explore Day 2
Reviving ancient traditions in the Boyne Valley
With fertile soil and pristine waters, the Boyne Valley is an ideal spot for distilling whiskey. In the past, several distilleries called this picturesque region home, but all eventually closed down. Now, Slane Distillery is bringing whiskey back to the Boyne Valley for a new generation. Learn all about the whiskey-making process on the distillery tour and try a tutored tasting of the triple casked Slane Irish whiskey. You can finish there, or for a fee, delve into the colourful history of Slane Castle on a guided tour.
Spirits of centuries past
It’s all about seeing, smelling and tasting at Kilbeggan Distillery Experience. Built in 1757, it was the powerhouse of whiskey production until it closed in 1957. But thanks to a community of determined volunteers, it sprang to life again in 2007 and now produces an incredible 250,000 bottles of smooth, blended whiskey every year. Check out the creaking timber water wheel and giant steam engine – all the workings of the distillation process preserved since the 1800s.
Only a short drive away, you'll find the Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre, named after stable boy turned distillery owner, Daniel E. Williams who opened the distillery in 1829. The full tour takes you through each stage of the whiskey-making, and even gives you the chance to create your own unique blend.
If you have more time, head east to the Old Mill House on the Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow. Here, at Powerscourt Distillery, you can feel the passion for tradition as you walk around the faithfully restored barn – the bell that originally called the estate’s workers to lunch still hangs on the wall. Learn all about the history of the estate and the processes that drive master distiller, Noel Sweeney.
Blending tradition and innovation
Centuries ago, many small family farms combined agriculture and distilling. Thanks to the passion of Morgan Ging, Ballykeefe Distillery became the first distillery in Ireland to revive this old tradition of growing and distilling barley at the same location. Take a tour at Ballykeefe and you’ll be both educated on the origins of whiskey and entertained by the story of the Ging family’s passion for distilling.
Small but mighty flavours in Ireland’s sunny south-east
The distilleries of Ireland’s Ancient East are all about the personal touch. Blackwater Distillery crafts a Single Pot Still whiskey made the traditional way, using Irish barley, oats, wheat and rye. Book a tour with Waterford Distillery and you can see how it is exploring the influence of Irish terroir on its whiskey. Then head up to County Carlow and visit the Walsh Distillery, where the Walsh family handcrafts whiskeys using both pot stills and column stills. Fans of Irish coffee, take note: this is the home of the Hot Irishman – the perfect Irish coffee recipe in a bottle!
On the west coast of Ireland, a fine tradition of excellence creates a delicious tradition for Irish whiskey.Explore Day 3
A skilful crafting of unique flavours
Surrounded by the unspoiled beauty of County Cork, the Scully family at Clonakilty Distillery nurtures and harvests the area’s unique wild botanicals, which then add to the exceptional flavours of their whiskeys. On a distillery tour, you can immerse yourself in the smells, sounds and tastes of a real working distillery. Afterwards have a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant, a showcase of West Cork’s local producers.
If you have more time, linger in County Cork and head to West Cork Distillers. Inspired by the artisan food of the area, three lifelong friends have distilled a range of classic Irish whiskeys for you to try.
Dingle does it in style
Eclectic, quaint and really rather beautiful, Dingle is a must-visit spot on your whiskey journey! At Dingle Distillery, they use three distinctive, hand-crafted copper pot stills to create what the owners call “the ultimate Irish whiskey.” And if for some strange reason you don’t fancy the whiskey when you visit, the distillery’s vodka and gin are something special, too!
The untamed spirit of the west
Rugged, wild and laden with history, it’s no wonder the folks at Lough Mask Distillery (or as they are also known: Drioglann Loch Measc) set up their headquarters in Killateeaun in County Mayo. Producing whiskey, gin and vodka in handmade copper stills, this distillery is all about quality, not quantity. The end result is small batches of finely blended spirits.
If you have more time, what could be better than a self-guided whiskey trail around Galway city? Official venues on the trail have a stone engraving at their entrance, so look out at Tigh Neachtain’s, Garavan’s Bar and more – there are 11 pubs in total on the trail.
Bold flavours reign over the mighty Wild Atlantic Way
Want to continue your whiskey experience in County Mayo? Then try the Connacht Distillery where the Stapleton family has created a line of hand-crafted distilled spirits that reflect the heritage and history of its Irish and American roots. Or make your way to County Donegal’s Sliabh Liag Distillers, which claims to have been the first new distillery in the county for over 175 years!
A selection of big hitters brings you on a tour laden with history, to some of the most beautiful parts of the island.Explore Day 4
Where whiskey flowed first
If you’ve been lured by the beauty of the Causeway Coastal Route – one of the best road trips in the world – then you simply can’t miss a trip to the village of Bushmills, anchored by none other than the Old Bushmills Distillery. One of the few distilleries in the world to distil, blend and bottle the whiskey under the same roof, it’s also the oldest working distillery on the island of Ireland. So historical is this place that it uses water from nearby Saint Columb’s Rill – a river that’s said to have been blessed by the saint. Maybe that’s what makes it so sweet and smooth?
If you have more time, head on over to Belfast for the Whiskey Walk around Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter with Irish Whiskey Ambassador Joe Magowan. You’ll get to experience a selection of Belfast’s best whiskey bars and a whiskey cocktail demonstration.
From field to glass
In 2013, The Echlinville Distillery became the first licensed distillery in over 125 years in Northern Ireland. The people behind the venture have farmed this land for generations, so they know a little something about terroir – that mysterious term that takes in everything from soil to microclimate. Maybe that’s what enables them to produce a whiskey that is absolutely rooted in place. Learn all about the journey from field to glass on the distillery tour, and enjoy a tasting or even a selection of sweet treats on the Afternoon Tea tour.
Flower power in County Down
Thanks to the abundance of natural resources, distilleries in County Down have a history of harvesting the power of mother nature to create delicious batches of gin and whiskey. Situated in the Mourne Mountains, Killowen Distillery has perfected the science of distilling thanks to its handmade artisan stills. Harnessing natural flavours has also been the key to success of Rademon Distillery. Its Shortcross gin has won a number of awards, and its whiskey is a sure hit as well.