20 Irish Whiskey Distillery Tours You Should Consider for Your Trip to Ireland

My first tour of an Irish whiskey distillery was Bushmills in County Antrim.

It was a blustery day in November. Snow was spitting from the sky and I was wrapped up in my Big Bird yellow jacket.

Don’t ask me what I am doing here except walking in the rain/snow with my Big Bird jacket. :-)

Instead of swinging on the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, we opted to get out of the weather and try a bit of Irish whiskey (a very good decision I’d say).

As we collected our tickets for the tour and began exploring the Bushmills memorabilia in the large entrance hall, the lovely hostess asked if I wanted a hot toddy.

Oh my.

If I wasn’t warmed up already, I certainly was by the time my drink was done. Perfectly hot whiskey, water, honey, cinnamon and clove.

Irish Whiskey Distillery Hot Toddy

Even though we don’t drink too much, I am tempted to make some for the holidays this year. I don’t think Joe would mind. :-)

In 2017 we went to the Dingle Distillery–so you’d think I’ve had enough. But I’m already working on our plans for our next trip to Ireland, and I am definitely planning another tour.

Thinking that we’ll do something a little less well-known, I am loving the sound of Pearse Lyons Distillery in Dublin.

Housed in St. James church, the tour includes the traditional Irish whiskey distillery bit, but also history/tour of the church and cemetery.

Sounds right up my alley.

20 Irish Whiskey Distillery Tours

Earlier this year, I put together a list of breweries that you can tour in Ireland. It’s become quite a popular reference, so I thought a distillery tour list was due.

You should know that the Irish whiskey business is booming (so book ahead to guarantee your spot).

I’ve included a few distilleries at the bottom of this list that don’t have tours (or offer them quite yet). But, check their websites for info, because many seem to be making plans.

Irish Whiskey Distillery Barrells

Irish Whiskey in County Antrim

Old Bushmills Distillery
2 Distillery Rd, Bushmills, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
Multiple tours during the day (number dependent on time of year). First come first serve basis.

 

Irish Whiskey in County Carlow

Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak
Royal Oak, Clorusk Lower, Co. Carlow
Tours operate every day of the week except Monday. Book online, call +353 59 9186653 or email booking@walshwhiskey.com.

 

Irish Whiskey in County Cork

Jameson Distillery Midleton
Distillery Walk, Midleton, Co. Cork
Multiple tours each day (number dependent on time of year). Book online.

West Cork Distillers
Marsh Road, Skibbereen, West Cork, Co. Cork
West Cork Distillers doesn’t operate standard tours, but tries to accommodate interested visitors. Call +353-28-22815 or email info@westcorkdistillers.com

 

Irish Whiskey in County Down

The Echlinville Distillery
Echlinville House, 62 Gransha Rd, Newtownards, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
Distillery tours mostly on Saturdays, two to three times a month. Check website for availability. Book online.

They also have a really cool Festive Afternoon Tea option with traditional afternoon tea (well, traditional tea + whiskey) in the Echlinville House, which includes a tour of the Distillery. (Steph’s note–love this).

 

Irish Whiskey in County Dublin

Pearse Lyons Distillery
121-122 James’s Street, Dublin 8, Co. Dublin
Tours run every day every hour on the hour. Book online or buy tickets at the door.

Jameson Distillery
Bow Street, Smithfield Village, Dublin 7, Co. Dublin
Tours run every day every hour on the hour. Book online or buy tickets at the door.

Teeling Whiskey
13-17 Newmarket, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8, Co. Dublin
Tours occur multiple times per day every day of the week. Book online.

 

Irish Whiskey in County Fermanagh

Boatyard Distillery
3 Tully Bay Marina, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh
Tours available. Book online in advance. Full visitor’s center experience opening in 2018. Check website for details.

 

Irish Whiskey in County Kerry

The Dingle Whiskey Distillery
Farranredmond, Dingle, Co. Kerry
Multiple tours during the day (number dependent on time of year). Email tours@dingledistillery.ie or call +353-66-4029011 to schedule.

 

Irish Whiskey in County Kilkenny

Ballykeefe Distillery
Kyle, Ballykeefe, Cuffsgrange, Co. Kilkenny
Tours are Monday-Friday at 2 PM and 4 PM.

 

Irish Whiskey in County Leitrim

The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney
Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim
Vistior Experience Center is under construction. Check website for updates.

 

Irish Whiskey (ok, Irish Gin) in County Louth

Listoke Gin School
Whitethorn House, Ballymakenny Rd, Listoke, Drogheda, Co. Louth
An elaborate and informative class on Gin distilling (complete with tour, tasting, and bottling your own). Book online. Runs multiple Fridays and Saturdays each month.

 

Irish Whiskey in County Mayo

Connacht Distillery
Belleek, Ballina, Co. Mayo
Tours are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 12:30 PM & 3:30 PM. Book in advance by emailing hello@connachtwhiskey.com or call +353 (0)96 74902.

 

Irish Whiskey in County Meath

Slane Castle Distillery
N5, Slanecastle Demesne, Co. Meath
Tours occur multiple times per day every day of the week. Book online.

Boann Distillery
Lagavooren, Platin Rd., Drogheda, Co. Meath
Visitor Centre is opening soon. Check website for details.

 

Irish Whiskey in County Offaly

Tullamore D.E.W.
Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co. Offaly
Tours occur every day multiple times a day. Book online.

 

Irish Whiskey in County Waterford

Renegate/Waterford Whiskey
Grattan Quay, Waterford, Co. Waterford
Tours by appointment during the week in the morning. Email info@waterforddistillery.ie for more information.

 

Irish Whiskey in County Westmeath

Kilbeggan Distillery
Lower Main St., Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath
Multiple tour options dependent on the depth of information you want. All offered at various times during the day. Book online.

 

Other Irish Whiskey Distilleries

Blackwater Distillery Unit 3 Cappoquin Enterprise Park, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford

Cape Clear Distillery Cape Clear Island, Skibbereen, Co. Cork

Carrick Mill Distillery, Derrylavan Carrickmacross Co. Monaghan

Glendalough Distillery Unit 9 Newtown Business and Enterprise Centre, Newtown Mount Kennedy, Co. Wicklow. No Tours until 2019.

Great Northern Distillery Carrick Road, Dundalk, Co. Louth

Lough Gill Distillery Hazelwood House, Sligo, Co. Sligo

Powerscourt Distillery, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow

Shortcross Gin Rademon Estate Distillery, Downpatrick, Co. Down, N. Ireland

Sliabh Liag Distillery  Ionad Fiontraíochta Shliabh Liag, Line Road, Carrick, Co. Donegal

The Quiet Man Distillery 10 Rossdowney Road, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland

Tipperary Boutique Distillery Newtownadam, Cahir, Co. Tipperary


Tell me, have you been to an Irish whiskey distillery tour? Are you planning one for your next trip? Have you already been to one you loved? I want to know it all. Share in the comments below. :-)

Irish Whiskey distillery
Irish Whiskey distillery

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14 Comments

  1. 20!! Wow I’ve got a ways to go. We have done Jameson in Midleton (twice ?), Kilbeggan and Tullamore. We tried to do Bushmills but the day we were there very high winds prevented tours because slate tiles were being blown off the roof—too dangerous!! However, at the reception desk they did give us a nice small bottle of Bushmills since we couldn’t do the tour. I obviously need to put a few of these on my itinerary for 2018!! ?

    1. I know! I’ve got a ways to go to! 2 down 18 to go. Haha! There are quite a few that are at the top of my list. I’m wondering how long it will take me to get to ’em (and how many new ones will open up in the next few years!).

      Well that was nice that Bushmills at least gave you a little parting glass. :-)

  2. My wife and I toured both Jamison’s in Midleton and Kilbeggan. Both were good tours, Jamison’s was guided and Kilbeggan’s was self-guided. We also visited the tasting room/store for Tullimore D.E.W. but not the distillery itself. I agree that even if you are not a whiskey drinker, taking a distillery tour is lots of fun. On my 2018 trip I’ll be over-nighting in Midleton and will visit the store even if I don’t take the tour,.

    1. They really are a lot of fun. Just learning about the process and the stories of each distillery (which often is more about the people and the community than it is about the whiskey itself) is worth the price of admission without the gratis drink at the end. Enjoy your time in Midleton! So much to see in that area that many miss. I bet you’ll love it!

  3. Go to Tullamore. Made outside of Tullamore for years, they have returned their operations to their town of origin. Great whiskey and a very good tour. The town of Tullamore is probably worth a stop for some of its pubs. Not a long drive out of Dublin if you’re looking for an easy day trip.

    1. Love this Lee! I’ve had so many of my one-on-one clients go to Tullamore and say the same thing. It’s high on my list to visit!

  4. I would think the best distillery tours and tastings are in the small independent distilleries. Many of the Irish distilleries are owned by big international companies and lack the charm of the local independents. Similar to visiting distilleries in Scotland, the best ones are the small ones that do everything in house on a small scale. I’m interested in your list because a lot of these are not ones you here about.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more Mark. I love, love, love small and intimate experiences. The guides aren’t typically hired to just do the tour–they are usually involved with the actual process. This is true for lots of experiences in Ireland I think.

      I am really intrigued by Nephin Distillery–while they’re just getting up and going, the strong community vibe and the hospitality of the owners really seems to shine through in the website.

      Glad to hear the list was helpful!! :-)

  5. Thank you for compiling this list. My husband works at a distillery here in the States, and I have just discovered that balancing our Ireland trips between hill-walking and distilleries makes us both happy. A gin distillery we hope to visit this year is http://thebearadistillery.ie/our-story/ in Castletownbere.

    My husband took the day long Irish Whiskey Academy class at Midleton last year and learned so much from it. It is not cheap, but for a deep dive into understanding the science and chemistry of distilling, it was well worth the cost.

    1. Welcome Susan! I am hope it’s helpful. :-) That distillery looks great! I’ll have to add it to the list. Thank you!!

      I have heard nothing but absolutely wonderful things about all the tours Midleton does. That one is still on our bucket list, but we love Cork so I don’t think it will be on there long. :-)

  6. We are planning a trip in May 2020 and would love to do dinner distillery tours. Of course Jameson, but would also like to do Teelling, Bushmills and Tulamore DEW. Thanks for the great info!

    1. Welcome Suzie!! I think you’ll love them. I’d put a plug in for Pearse Lyons or Kilbeggan too! They are fantastically atmospheric and historic.

  7. Great list, Planning a whiskey run to Ireland in May and just browsing to see the various ones. You have a great list.

    will watch it carefully.

  8. If you haven’t done it yet, the Whiskey Museum in Dublin is fascinating. It talks about different types of Irish whiskey, where they came from, and how they’ve survived the decades. Plus…samples!

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