Irish whiskey servings
Irish whiskey servings

See Ireland’s Whiskey Distilleries

Are you eager to see Ireland’s whiskey distilleries on your next visit to the Emerald Isle?

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Now there’s a new whiskey passport to help make the experience an even better one.

IrishWhiskey360°, an initiative of the Irish Whiskey Association, recently launched the passport as part of its outreach campaign to help visitors discover the range and diversity of Ireland’s many whiskey distilleries.

Stop by any of Ireland’s 24 distilleries that are currently members of the association and pick up your card.
Whiskey blending at the Roe & Co. whiskey distillery in Dublin. Photo: ©Roe & Co, Christopher Heaney, photographer.

Collect six stamps and become an IrishWhiskey360° Champion, which comes with its own set of special rewards (soon to be announced).

You’ll need to email [email protected] with your name, address, and photos of the stamped passport to qualify for the rewards.
The Hinch Distillery in Co. Down. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

The Discovering Ireland’s Whiskey Distilleries campaign includes a downloadable map and other information on the Irish whiskey distilleries that you can visit.

See Irish Whiskey Distilleries with the help of a Rental Car

The History of Irish Whiskey

It is the monks from ancient Ireland who are credited with bringing whiskey to the country.
Irish monks did more than just write in ancient manuscripts. They are also credited with creating Ireland's first whiskey. Photo: Public Domain.

Their original version included alcohol flavored with herbs like mint, thyme, or anise, a recipe that centuries later was recreated by the makers of Irish Mist, the popular liqueur.

By the 16th century, whiskey consumption was widespread throughout Ireland.

The first known whiskey license was granted to Sir Thomas Phillips, a landowner in Bushmills, Co. Antrim in 1608, but the Old Bushmills Distillery itself was not registered to trade until 1784.

That makes it the second-oldest distillery on the island of Ireland after the Kilbeggan Distillery in Co. Westmeath.

The effects of the Irish War of Independence and prohibition in the U.S. greatly impacted the Irish whiskey industry, cutting off access to its most important markets, the U.S. and the U.K.

a company sign see Ireland's whiskey distilleries
The Kilbeggan Distillery, Co. Westmeath. Photo: Simon Crowe, Failte Ireland.

Whiskey production went into decline during most of the 20th century, with only a few distillers doing business at that time.

Today, the industry has rebounded, becoming a popular tourist attraction for many visitors to Ireland.

The Irish Whiskey Museum in Dublin is well worth a visit if you want to learn more about whiskey making in Ireland

Ireland’s whiskey distilleries are located across the country, from Dublin in Ireland’s Ancient East region to Northern Ireland, where you’ll find the above-mentioned Bushmills Distillery.

In addition to the older, more established whiskey distilleries, you’ll find lots of newer ones around the country, too, that reflect the environment of regions of Ireland.

Some of those include Achill Island Distillery, Co. Mayo; Dingle Distillery, Co. Kerry; The Shed Distillery, Co. Leitrim, and Glendalough Distillery in Co. Wicklow.

Visit the Irish Whiskey Museum & Enjoy Its Whiskey Blending Experience

a large building with lights along its entrance path see Ireland's whiskey distilleries
The Shed Distillery in Co. Leitrim. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Now that tourist attractions have reopened after several lengthy Covid lockdowns, you can see Ireland's whiskey distilleries again.

Most offer a range of safe and fun activities, from self-guided tours to outdoor tastings and cocktail experiences.

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