|Part Four | Part One - Part Two - Part Three - Part Five|
During our Holiday in Ireland we only pre-booked the Kilbeggan Distillery. Along the way it turned out we came across more opportunities with regards to Whiskey related topics. I was fortunate enough that we could include them in our travel schedule.
The Kilbeggan Distillery
On the day before we leave for home we finally arrive at the Kilbeggan Distillery. We had pre-booked a tour to make sure we could attend. After stopping at our B&B for dropping our baggage we traveled to the Distillery. As we were a little bit early we had lunch in the restaurant next door. The red door on the left in the second picture. Even the Restaurant is pieced together with memorabilia.
As you can read on the sign, this is more an Experience than it is a Distillery. As the majority of the spirit is produced at the Cooley Distillery this Distillery is more a museum than an actual Distillery. While waiting for the tour to start you can wonder around the open area of the Distillery property. On the second picture in the top row you can see the double green door that leads to the tour start.
Once the tour starts you will find that time stopped somewhere along the line... the whole area of production holds the legacy of the Irish Kilbeggan Whiskey tradition. During the tour you will see the stages of production with the tools of days gone by.
In the beginning the Distillery was driven by waterpower. The water wheel is still in place and operational. For the low water season a Diesel powered engine was put in place. The engine is kept in shape and started every once and a while to keep it in good condition.
The Kilbeggan Distillery had is own Cooperage to repair barrels and casks. The remains can be seen during the tour.
Outside you will see the old Copper Pot Stills. Unfortunately these areas not from the original distillery. Although the size and shape are similar as the originals they are actually from the old Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery. Also some Coffey Stills are on display.
Next stop is a small Distilling Area. Normally you are not allowed to take pictures in this area, but as the production was stopped we had a unique opportunity. The spirit distilled here will be released in the future as special batches, or so we were told.
Then you go inside to hear (again) about the process of making "beer". While the show and tell area displays the old wooden washbacks you can see the new stainless steel process in the back.
Safety First when you go outside to the filling and storage warehouse. Inside it is not allowed to take pictures as most warehouses I visited. But inside you can smell the fresh filled spirit in casks that still need the cork to be tapped in. Up 'till now the warehouses I visited had the casks lying on their side. In this one up till 6 barrels where standing on a pallet, and the the pallets where stacked up 'till three layers.
Last stop is the tasting area. In a cosy area with a bar and high tables you are offered four brands produced by the big Cooley Distillery up north. As we had a made a calculation error in our B&B booking I had to drive back and received two of the samples in miniature form to take home with me.
After saying goodbye to our touring party and host we left for our B&B in Tullamore and grab a taxi into Tullamore town.
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