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.
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 Discovering Ireland’s Whiskey Distilleries campaign includes a downloadable map and other information on the Irish whiskey distilleries that you can visit.
The History of Irish Whiskey
It is the monks from ancient Ireland who are credited with bringing whiskey to the country.
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.
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.
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.