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“Best Distillery in Ireland”

Old Kilbeggan Distillery
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$934.01*
and up
5-Day Northern Ireland and Atlantic Coast Tour from Dublin
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Kilbeggan
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: In the heart of Ireland, just over 1 hour from Dublin lies the town of Kilbeggan, home to the world's oldest distillery, established in 1757. It is the quintessential Irish whiskey distillery - whitewashed walls, weathered slate roof, brick chimney stack, creaking timber water wheel, even regular ghost sightings. This is no mere "visitor centre" but a real working distillery run by a team of young enthusiastic craftspeople (and a few wise old heads too), skilled in the traditional ways of making Irish whiskey. Open 7 days (except during Christmas and New Year). Whiskey Bar. Gift Shop. Free parking.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

We absolutely loved this quaint, charming stop that many passby in favor of Tullamore. DON'T MAKE THIS MISTAKE.

Killbeggan lets you tour on your own, which allowed us time to wander through the gorgeous old buildings and really play with the information they gave us to get a thorough understanding of the process. We learned a lot, and also got to run around and be silly on our own.

Even though we had more planned for our day, we ended up staying a while in the tasting bar chatting with the lovely bartender and exploring the range of Killbeggan, Cooley, and Locke's (my new favorite!).

Perfect visit.

I just noticed a negative review, saying the price is high for "nothing but a few tanks" and nothing actually "working." My response to this is that if you have no interest in whisky and no imagination or appreciation for simple beauty then go ahead and skip it!

1  Thank christyvollb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lily T, Public Relations Manager at Old Kilbeggan Distillery, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

We're delighted that you had such a good time at the distillery and that you felt free to learn all about our history and traditions.

Our people are particularly important to us so we're glad you felt so welcome that you stayed longer than intended! We'll hope to welcome you back to the distillery very soon.

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Write a ReviewReviews (452)
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"irish whiskey"
in 27 reviews
"self guided tour"
in 59 reviews
"great tour"
in 17 reviews
"gift shop"
in 14 reviews
"whiskey making"
in 5 reviews
"take away"
in 6 reviews
"back in the day"
in 5 reviews
"great insight"
in 4 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 20 reviews
"water wheel"
in 23 reviews
"a nice touch"
in 5 reviews
"tasting room"
in 13 reviews
"souvenir glass"
in 12 reviews
"gold tour"
in 8 reviews
"steam engine"
in 8 reviews
"distilling process"
in 8 reviews
"whiskey tasting at the end"
in 7 reviews
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294 - 298 of 452 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2013

Cool stop on our way from Galway to Dublin. You get to see the old and new equipment. It's really close to the freeway as well. And of course whiskey tasting.

Thank Benmac2142
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lily T, Public Relations Manager at Old Kilbeggan Distillery, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

We're thrilled you loved our tour! It's a really fundamental part of the distillery for us that we can display our traditional methods and it's fantastic that you picked up on that. And great to hear you enjoyed the whiskey tastings too!

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Reviewed March 19, 2013

My partner and I are pretty keen on both whiskey and boutique beers, and make a point of visiting a broad range of distilleries and breweries. Once you have an understanding of the processes, what you're looking for is something different - an experience that brings something precious or special to your understanding of the brewing and distilling business.

Being in Ireland we toyed with visiting one of the name brands - but nothing really grabbed our attention. Then I found a mention of Kilbeggan, and as the world's oldest operating distillery, we thought it would be well worth a visit - boy, were we right!

We booked a Gold tour - because it offered a chance to talk to the people behind the scenes, and was so very reasonably priced. It ended up being a private tour for the two of us with the totally delightful Tracey (I hope I get everyone's name right - apologies if I don't). Aside from all the amazing information she had about the history and rebirth of this brilliant old facility, she was also happy to let us poke around and ask a whole raft of questions, which she answered with enthusiasm. Seeing the recently refurnished old water wheel actually working, and the original old steam engine and mash tubs and workings was just magical. The lengths that have been gone to, and continue to be, to return the distillery to production with the historic equipment, are heartwarming.

But we haven't even touched on the actual whiskey yet - which starts with a visit to the storehouse and the brilliant Seaney - who is a real honey, and happy to talk about everything whiskey related. Then we had a chance to chat with the lovely Andreana who is in charge of the pot stills and distillation, and who was willing to answer all our questions about the particulars of the micro setup at Kilbeggan.

The tour finished in the tasting room with the charming Pascal - and a sample of a range of products from Kilbeggan and it's sister distilleries. Sadly we then lost Tracey to another group, but we managed to prop ourselves up against the bar and enjoy (and purchase a scrumptious peated single malt).

As it was freezing and wet outside, and we were feeling warm and quite happy where we were, we retired to the small restaurant, and enjoyed a generous cottage pie while we admired our new purchase and rhapsodised about our new discovery.

Kilbeggan Distillery is a unique and truly amazing place if you love history, the art of distilling, or just a damned nice drop of whiskey. The people there love it, and their love shows. Let's hope it stays in such good hands, and they continue the journey of restoring it to full productivity.

If I sound a little bit enthusiastic - I am. This was one of the best parts of our trip to Ireland.

1  Thank CAK05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lily T, Public Relations Manager at Old Kilbeggan Distillery, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2013

Thanks so much for your very thoughtful review - it's great to know that you had such a fantastic time.

Our heritage and people are at the heart of what we do and we intend to keep it that way, so we're really proud that that shone through on your tour.

We'll hope to see you again soon at the Distillery!

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Reviewed March 13, 2013

This was a self guided indoor very cold tour. The cost was like 12 euros each for nothing but a few old tanks. We didn't actually see anything working. They lady working even said the best photo was the waterwheel out front.

Thank Linda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lily T, Public Relations Manager at Old Kilbeggan Distillery, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2013

Sorry to hear of your bad experience Linda.

We hope you were advised that there are a number of tour options available including both guided and self-guided.

With regard to the temperature inside the distillery, as this is a listed building we must retain it in its original form, which we also think adds to the authentic experience as the distillery remains unchanged in this respect.

With regard to production, this usually takes place Monday to Friday, but as with all distilleries there may be a number of reasons why production is temporarily suspended, for example for maintenance, cleaning or training.

We'd love to welcome you back to the distillery on a warmer day and when we can guarantee that production will be up and running, to which end we've sent you a message requesting further details.

We'll hope to see you again at the distillery very soon.

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Reviewed March 11, 2013

Whiskey still being distilled here. Great insight into the distilling process and much of the old equipment and machinery maintained in working order. Quite fascinating and the whiskey samples are good too.

Thank JohnAtk99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lily T, Public Relations Manager at Old Kilbeggan Distillery, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2013

We're really glad you enjoyed the whole experience, especially as our heritage and our traditional methods are so fundamental to who we are and what we believe in.

And it's great to hear that you loved the whiskey too - after all, that's what it's all about! We'll hope to welcome you back to the distillery again soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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