Trip idea: Whiskey trail

Kilbeggan Distillery Experience

Let's raise a glass to the island's distilleries – they've made Irish whiskey so special it deserves its 'extra e'.

Irish whiskey has legions of fans scattered across the globe – but we're not content with letting you enjoy its sweet taste from afar. We want to take you on a journey to introduce you to the unique personalities of our "uisce beatha" (ishka baa-ha) or whiskey. And in between admire the lush landscapes, buzzing cities and the warm Irish welcome that comes as part of the deal – just remember to designate a driver!

Ireland's whiskey trail

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Dublin's fine whiskey heritage

Grab your tulip-shaped glass and pay a visit to some distinctive gems on the Irish whiskey trail in Dublin's fair city.

A walking 15 mins
The Jameson Distillery

See where it all began for John Jameson

They may not make this lovely whiskey here anymore, but at the Jameson Distillery on Dublin's Bow Street, you'll certainly find an amazing story, a taste of this exceptionally smooth tasting whiskey and a good look at how it all comes together in the 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 regale your friends with when you head back home...

If you have more time

JJs in the Distillery serves up a fab selection of whiskey (we've heard Redbreast single pot still whiskey from Jameson will hit the spot)! But if you're out and about, pop into L. Mulligan Grocer in Stoneybatter for great food and company!

B walking 20 mins
The Irish Whiskey Museum

Time travel at the Irish Whiskey Museum

Time travelling via Irish whiskey is a bold statement, indeed, but that's precisely what you do at the Irish Whiskey Museum, tucked into a building opposite Trinity College. Learn the origins of Irish whiskey (they do say the Irish were distilling it long before the Scots), its rise to glory, its dramatic fall and, naturally, end the tour with a little taster. Feeling peckish? Then take on the Whiskey and Brunch experience, or go all out and get to know your pot still from your single malt with a Whiskey Appreciation Course!

If you have more time

Don't stray too far from the museum – head around the corner to Suffolk Street and 300-year-old O'Neill's pub, or walk just a bit further for old-world elegance at 37 Dawson Street – both excellent places to sample warm, welcoming atmospheres and a glass of whiskey!

C driving 1 hr 15 mins
Teeling Whiskey Distillery

A new but very old kid on the block

The Teeling Whiskey Distillery is the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years, but rather than being newbies to this ancient trade, the Teeling family legacy stretches all the way back to 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 are bringing more choice and innovation to the family brand. And while they're at it, everyone's invited to see, smell and taste the new Teeling spirits as they head to market. With all that whiskey in this family's DNA, it would be a shame to pass up on the invitation!

If you have more time

You'll simply adore Bison Bar on Wellington Quay, with no less than 150 different whiskeys to choose from. Plus, you can tuck into some BBQ ribs, fries and all things delicious while you're there.

Walsh Whiskey Distillery

A day trip from Dublin

While working in Europe in a chalet, Bernard and Rosemary Walsh found that making 30+ Irish Coffees every night was rather time consuming. And so the idea for Hot Irishman was born – the perfect Irish Coffee recipe in a bottle. Now at home in Carlow's Royal Oak, the Walsh Whiskey Distillery creates premium handcrafted Irish whiskeys using both pot stills and column stills, with tours enriched by walking the grounds that are surrounded by barley-growing farms!

Artisan charm in Cork and Kerry

On the west coast of Ireland, a fine tradition of excellence creates a delicious tradition for Irish whiskey.

E driving 1hr 40 mins

Learn world-class skills at Jameson

You're in the heart of the rebel county of Cork now, and in an unassuming town called Midleton you'll find another tour that charts the legacy of John Jameson from field-to-glass. But what makes this place extra special is the additional option of the Irish Whiskey Academy experience – a world-class whiskey training centre that has become a sort of spiritual home for self-proclaimed Irish whiskey nerds. Book in advance for some whiskey-laden encyclopedic knowledge!

If you have more time

Dine out at Sage in Midleton, a treat for the senses – chef Kevin Aherne adopts a philosophy of sourcing all his ingredients within a 12-mile radius, ensuring local splendour is added to your plate.

F driving 1 hr 10 mins
Killarney, County Kerry

A jewel on the Ring of Kerry

When it comes to matches made in heaven, the Irish Whiskey Experience in Killarney seems to have the perfect pairing: a location in the heavenly countryside of the Ring of Kerry, and marvellous courses. These include Irish whiskey and chocolate pairing, an Irish whiskey cocktail making class, and the Distiller's Apprentice experience.

If you have more time

You can pick and choose from quaint and atmospheric pubs and cafés in Killarney, but if you don't want to stroll too far to fill your stomach, then devour a big bowl of chowder or some seared cod at the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder.


Dingle does it in style

Eclectic, quaint and really rather beautiful, Dingle even draws fans from the Atlantic Ocean – resident dolphin Fungie pops up to say hello to anyone in his neighbourhood! If you've headed offshore to see him, then next stop has to be the Dingle Distillery to warm up. It's here that 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 a whiskey when you visit, the Distillery's vodka and gin are something special, too!

If you have more time

If you're this far south, then you must head to the South Pole Inn, which was once owned by Antarctic Explorer, Tom Crean. It's a great spot for a bit of food, craic and a side order of history! In Dingle itself, try Dick Mack’s and experience something really special in these unique surroundings!

A toast to the city of Tribes

Very few places can match Galway for its welcoming atmosphere, beautiful surrounds and aromatic whiskey.

Galway © James Bowden

Galway Whiskey Trail

What could better than a whiskey trail around the city of Galway, with its bohemian flavour, laid back vibe and party atmosphere. This is a self-guided trail, so no need to wait on anyone – just savour the warmth of the whiskey for as long as you like and in as many pubs as you like! Official venues on the trail have a stone engraving at their entrance, so be on the lookout at Tigh Neachtain's, Garavan's, Sonny Molloy's, or An Púcán – there are 11 on the trail.

Come at festival time

Just imagine how much fun this trail would be when the city is bursting with energy during a festival. Take your pick from the Galway International Arts Festival, the Galway Races or even during the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival!

Whiskeys laden with legacy

Three big hitters bring you on tours laden with history, to parts of the island where beauty knows no bounds.

I driving 3 hr 45 mins
The Old Bushmills Distillery

Where whiskey flowed first

If you've been lured by the gracious 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 Old Bushmills. One of the few distilleries in the world to distill, 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 St Columcille. 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. Experience a selection of Belfast’s best Whiskey Bars, a whiskey cocktail demonstration and tasty nibbles.

J driving 15 mins
Kilbeggan Whiskey

Spirits of centuries past

It's all about seeing, smelling and tasting at Kilbeggan. This historic distillery was built in 1757 and shut down in 1957, but 2007 saw it spring into life again and it now produces an incredible 250,000 bottles of smooth, blended whiskey every year. On the Apprentice, Distillers or Connoisseurs tours, check out the ancient traditions, the creaking timber water wheel and giant steam engine – all the workings of the distillation process preserved since the 1800s.

If you have more time

Time your trip for when there's a meet at Kilbeggan Racecourse, described by the Sunday Times as having a charm that “puts bigger racetracks – like Royal Ascot – in the shade”.

Tullamore D.E.W

A tribute to Daniel E Williams

Tullamore D.E.W. is named after stable boy turned distillery owner, Daniel E Williams. He opened the original Tullamore distillery in 1829 in the heart of Tullamore town, but it has a brand new space now – don't expect musty old barrels, this is futuristic distilling at its finest. 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. Tullamore is only a short drive from Kilbeggan with a designated driver, so you could do both in one day! Sláinte.

If you have more time

You're in the heart of Ireland's Ancient East now, so take a trip to Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park – a vibrant outdoor park with a Famine Cottage, Biodiversity Walk and an enchanting Fairy Village.

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