Ireland day 0860. Monday 05 February 2024- Tullamore *

Ireland day 0860. Monday 05 February 2024- Tullamore
Today’s summary It was a bank holiday here in Ireland today (Imbolc/St Brigid’s Day) so Val and I drove over to Tullamore to visit the Whiskey distillery.  An excellent tour which we thoroughly enjoyed.   Drove into Tullamore town afterwards for lunch and a look round.   A great day out
Today’s weather Bright with occasional watery sun and only a little occasional drizzle.  Brisk westerly wind.   Appx 11c
Today’s overview location
(The red mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The red line shows where we walked)
(No GPX today)

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

Tullamore seems to be famous for two main things.   The first as being the unfortunate site of the world’s first air disaster – in 1785 a hot air balloon crashed into a thatched roof cottage and the subsequent fire burned half the town down.   The second is as being the home of Tullamore DEW whiskey (the DEW, by the way, stands for “Daniel E. Williams” – an early owner of the distillery).

Our destination today was the distillery, and we had booked onto a tour at 11am.   It meant a relatively early (for us) start as Tullamore is situated right in the middle of Ireland, not that far from Athlone, so was about 90 minutes’ drive from Malahide.   But today is a public holiday in Ireland so the traffic was light and the drive was straightforward.   (The holiday is celebrating Imbolc – St Brigid’s Day – one of the four “quarter” days in the Irish calendar, and often thought of as the first day of Spring).

I have to say the tour was excellent and I think I learned more about how exactly whiskey is made from Ita, our very knowledgeable guide, than I had from any of the other tours I’d done in the past.   One particularly interesting feature, that I hadn’t fully appreciated before, is that 70% of the flavour comes from the re-used sherry and bourbon casks the liquor is aged in.   The distillery we visited today is actually quite new – and it looks it.  Although originally located in downtown Tullamore when it was founded in 1829, in the 1950s production was moved first to Dublin and then to Midleton in Co. Cork, and only returned to its current home back in Tullamore in 2014.

There were ample opportunities throughout the tour to sample the various types of whiskey produced by Tullamore, though I had to be frustratingly restrained as I was driving.   But even a small taste – and the nose –  was enough to give you a good idea of the wide variety of flavours on offer.

The tour lasted about 2 hours and was worth every penny of the €42 (each) it cost.   Highly recommended, I’d say.   Anyway, eventually all good things come to an end so we jumped back into the car and drove the short distance back into Tullamore town where we had lunch in a nice café, took a quick look at some of the fine Georgian buildings, walked down to the canal, and then drove back to Malahide.

All in all a great day out and definitely one I think we both felt we would be happy to do again.

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Awaiting a cup of Irish Coffee in the visitor centre.  The whole place was spotlessly clean and had a wonderful woody alcohol aroma From the visitor reception area, there’s a fine view over the production hall
Irish coffees to start the day (sadly mine had to be almost alcohol-free) Samples of ancient brews on display in the tasting area at the end
The tasting area felt like a bit like a chemistry lab and it was lovely! Downtown Tullamore.   A nice town with a canal and a railway line
The main mash fermentation area
Interactive map

(No map today)

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