Northern Ireland hosts an abundance of distilleries which you can visit to learn more about the process of making a tempting tipple.
Irish whiskey consumption spread throughout Ireland by the 16th century and quickly became the fastest growing spirit in the world, adding to the rich heritage of the country.
From gin to vodka, there are all sorts of alcoholic processes to marvel at as you embark on a tour of how these fantastic drinks are made.
Here is a list of some of the best distilleries in the country.
1. The Copeland Distillery, Manor St, Donaghadee
The Copeland Distillery is situated close to Donaghadee’s historic harbour in Co Down. Hear the story of how award-winning drinks go from grain to glass. Tours last approximately one hour and include a behind the scenes look at The Copeland production process, as well as an opportunity to sample gins, rum and whiskey in a range of drinks. Tickets can be booked at copelanddistillery.com
Photo: Image from The Copeland Distillery via Facebook
2. Hinch Distillery 19 Carryduff Rd, Ballynahinch
Choose between Hinch Distillery’s The Classic Whiskey Tour, which offers a tasting of their two flagship whiskeys, small batch and 5 Year Old double wood, or take the Premium Whiskey Tour, including a tasting of four flagship whiskeys, Small Batch, 5 Year Old Double Wood, 10 Year Old Sherry Finish as well as Peated Single Malt Whiskey. If you’re an established gin fanatic, the Hinch Gin School Experience will give you insight into how the Hinch Distillery makes their gin. Learn everything from the importance of getting the recipe right, the botanical ingredients, the distilling process and get a chance of tasting and making your own gin to save for later. Tickets can be booked at hinchdistillery.com
Photo: Image from hinchdistillery.com
3. The Echlinville Distillery 62 Gransha Rd, Kircubbin, Newtownards
The Echlinville Distillery is rich in history and home to Ireland’s first field to glass distillery. The stillhouse is a must-see, showcasing copper pot stills and collumn stills used to create their finest whiskeys. On The Tour & Tipple you will learn about how barley is sown, grown and harvested on the distillery farm, have the chance to explore the warehouse and enjoy two drinks of your choice at the bar. There is also the option to taste award winning spirits and cheese on the Irish Spirits & Irish Cheese tour which will take you on a guided tour of the distillery, provide you with the opportunity to indulge in whiskey straight from the barrel and trial a variety of spirits and cheese from The Echlinville’s partners Indie Fude. Tickets can be booked at echlinville.com
Photo: Christopher Heaney
4. Bushmills Distillery 2 Distillery Rd, Bushmills.
Bushmills is the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery, with official records dating back to 1606. Now, over 400 years later, whiskey is still being created in the village of Bushmills. Bushmills Distillery offers a 1 hour guided tour showing first-hand how the whiskey’s are crafted, the history of grain to glass and the process of mash tun to barrel. Taste the whiskey for yourself afterwards in the 1606 bar. Tickets can be booked at bushmills.eu
Photo: Image from Bushmills Distillery via Instagram