Spirits of centuries past
It's all about seeing, smelling and tasting at Kilbeggan Distillery. Built in 1757, it was a powerhouse of whiskey production until it closed in 1957. But thanks to a community of determined volunteers, it sprang into 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, don’t miss out on Tullamore D.E.W. distillery, named after stable boy turned distillery owner, Daniel E Williams who opened the original distillery in 1829. The full tour takes you through each stage of the whiskey-making craft 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 the Powerscourt Distillery, you can feel the passion of the team, 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.