Insider Tips

Dublin’s Best Whiskey Activities

By Visit Dublin

27th July 2020

If you’re a fan of Irish whiskey, you’re living in a modern golden era. Demand is thriving, and distilleries are popping up all over Ireland.

Dublin has risen to the occasion with no fewer than four shiny new distilleries; whiskey-related museums; and specialist tours. With all this variety on the doorstep, it’s time to reacquaint yourself with this liquid gold in a glass by checking out Dublin’s best whiskey activities…

Man with chalkboard behind bar at the Irish Whiskey Museum

Walk through whiskey history

During your guided tour of the Irish Whiskey Museum you’ll learn – and laugh – as you visit four different areas, each themed to represent a different period in Irish history. Top off the tour with an interactive tasting of three or four different Irish whiskeys. Not being tied to any one distillery, the Irish Whiskey Museum offers the opportunity to select from a huge variety: and the museum’s whiskey experts are on hand to help you find just the right spirit to savour.

Try a whiskey distillery tour

In 1780, John Jameson began distilling in Smithfield’s Bow Street, where the site grew to upwards of five acres, known as a ‘city within a city’ at its busiest. Today, walk the cobbles to the alleyway, enter the courtyard and experience the original Jameson Distillery Bow St. Try a tour and tasting, or get hands-on: create your very own one-of-a-kind blend; master the art of whiskey cocktail crafting; or sample the spirit straight from the cask in Dublin’s only live maturation warehouse.

People raising glasses and sampling Jameson whiskey

When they built the first new Dublin distillery in over 125 years, the current generation of Teelings followed in the footsteps of forefather Walter – who set up his own operation a stone’s throw away on Marrowbone Lane back in 1782. Rising like the phoenix pictured over their front door, Teeling Distillery opened in 2015 and kicked off a Dublin whiskey-making renaissance. Visit and discover the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a true working distillery.

Pearse Lyons Distillery has its own local ties to draw upon. Established in 2017 at the 12th century converted St James’ Church on Thomas Street, founder Pearse Lyons’ grandfather John Hubert Lyons is resting peacefully just outside (the graveyard is part of the tour of the beautifully restored building and grounds). A boutique distillery, this is all about quality over quantity; small but deliciously formed, here visitors have the rare chance to literally worship at the altar of whiskey.

Two women holding glasses and enjoying the scent of whiskey

Roe & Co Distillery offers a different blast from the past – and brings us full circle. Opening in 2019 in a refurbished building which formerly housed the Guinness Brewery power station, the distillery sits alongside the site of George Roe's original Thomas Street Distillery (a giant of whiskey’s original 19th century golden era). Though temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, when it re-opens on August 13th you can celebrate the whiskey revival with a tour including history, the science of distillation, the art of blending and a hands-on flavour workshop (where you punch the clock to start your mixology ‘shift’). Once the shift is over, relax with a complimentary cocktail in the Power House bar.

Tours can fill up quickly, so booking in advance is highly recommended to avoid disappointment and secure your preferred time slot (and naturally all destinations encourage you to enjoy their nectar of the gods responsibly). As we found on our very own whiskey wanderings, like Teeling’s symbolic phoenix, once again spirits are rising in Dublin. With interest in – and appreciation of – the Irish whiskey distiller’s craft skyrocketing, there’s no better time to get tasting. Sláinte!

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