Golf and Irish Whisky
Golfers touring in Ireland may choose to include a visit to a whiskey Distillery. After a period of decline new distilleries have been opening and Irish whiskey is booming. The process in Ireland does not generally use peat in the malting process giving a smoother product than some Scotches. Traditionally it was produced in pot stills. This article is limited to distilleries that have visitor facilities.
Visiting golfers will be aware of Royal Portrush, Portstewart and Castlerock on the Causeway Coast. Old Bushmills Distillery is on this coast near the famous Giants Causeway. It is the oldest Irish distillery licensed in 1608 by King James I of England. Bushmills produces a range of blends (Bushmills Original, Black Bush) and single malts (Bushmills 10, 16, 21 year old). A bottle of Distillery Reserve 12 year Single Malt Whiskey is available only at Bushmills gift shop. Excellent tours are available. 14 people or less, first come first served. 15+ may book in advance. No Sunday bookings.
The Echlinville Distillery is a craft distillery in Newtownwards County Down 10 miles east of Belfast. A visit could be combined with playing Royal County Down. They have established themselves in the whiskey industry winning gold at the World Whiskey Awards and the Irish Whiskey Awards. Guests will be personally welcomed and guided throughout. All tours must be pre-booked. Available dates are on the website.
Dublin has two excellent links golf courses close to the city centre, Royal Dublin and St Anne’s, Outside the city but nearby are Portmarnock, The island and Portmarnock links.
Old Jameson Distillery in the centre of the city is purely a museum. It is a very good visit and a top tourist attraction. You see a reproduction of the distillery established here in 1780, learn all about whiskey-making in Ireland and enjoy a tipple.
The Teeling Whiskey Distillery is in the historic Liberties area of Dublin City Centre. Tours are available but booking ahead is encouraged which can be done online. Teeling whiskeys follow the family tradition of quality over quantity. From grain to bottle the small batch production process ensures that each bottle of Teeling is crafted to the highest standard.
Pearse Lyons Distillery is a new craft distillery in the Liberties area of Dublin. A passion for brewing and distilling, family history and an entrepreneurial spirit inspired restoration of the former St. James’ Church site. Visitors can enjoy a story of local history, curious characters and signature Pearse Irish Whiskey. While small-batch copper pot stills are distilling the next batch, you can sample craft Irish Whiskeys in the nave of the church. Distillery tours are every hour on the hour and are small in size, making an enjoyable personal experience. They include a guided tour of the church and distillery and 3 samples of the Pearse Irish Whiskey range.
Golfers can play two highly ranked courses, Cork G.C. and Old Head
The Old Midleton Distillery dates to 1795, it closed in 1975 when production moved next door to a modern new distillery. The old distillery was converted into a Visitor Centre, known as the Jameson Experience. It is about 30 minutes east of the city and one of Cork’s most popular tourist attractions.
The Jameson Experience is a guided tour which brings the stories of Jameson’s rich heritage to life. Experience Includes: Audio visual presentation, fully guided tour, Jameson signature drink, 75 minutes in duration, Available 7 days.
Behind the scenes - For those who want a deeper understanding there is a special extended tour. Tour Includes: Video presentation, guided distillery tour, visits to key distillery buildings, tutored tasting of the distillery’s premium range of whiskeys. 2 hours duration, available 7 days.
Academy experience – At Midleton the Irish Whiskey Academy is located, also home for self-proclaimed Irish whiskey nerds.
The Academy Experience Includes: Welcome & Introduction to Distillery, Pot Still Whiskey Distillation Demonstration, New Make Spirit Tasting, The Wonder of Oak Wood Maturation, Working Stillhouse & Warehouse Visits, Barrel Opening & Whiskey Sampling, Premium Whiskey Tasting, 2hrs 45 in duration.
Golf courses in Kerry close to Dingle are Tralee, Ballybunion, Dooks and Dingle G.C.
Dingle Distillery – is a craft distillery located in the town of Dingle. They have special stills modified to produce smooth spirit at an early stage. They take the best Irish malted barley and make pure pot still malt whiskey. Next put it in casks and let the mild, moist Dingle air do the rest. This creates a whiskey of superlative quality and unique character on the far Atlantic coast of Ireland. Tours are available but at the time of writing whisky tasting does not seem to be offered only a gin or vodka sample.
County Meath – Slane Castle and Distillery
From Dublin golfers often play golf at highly ranked County Louth G.C. This is not far from the world heritage site at Newgrange. Now there is another nearby attraction.
Slane Distillery is housed within the 250-year-old stables of Slane Castle estate. Slane castle overlooks the River Boyne just upstream from Newgrange. There is an interactive and immersive tour of the ‘state of the art’ working distillery. Finish the tour in the best way possible, with a taste of the signature triple casked blend, Slane Irish Whiskey. Tours offered 7 days a week, duration 1 hour, arrive 15 minutes prior to tour start time.