What's nearby
HomeIreland's Ancient East6 distilleries to visit i ...
6 distilleries to visit in Ireland’s Ancient East
Include a visit to a distillery on your trip to Ireland's Ancient East.
Ireland's Ancient East colour logo
From the first time monks distilled Irish whiskey from local ingredients in the 1100s, it has been a part of Irish culture. Today there are lots of thriving distilleries in Ireland keeping up the tradition and to understand their history, you can visit the producers.

Head to these distillery destinations in Ireland's Ancient East and try their fine tipples firsthand.

1Slane Distillery, Meath

Savour some fine amber nectar in Slane, County Meath, a spot known for its magnificent castle and legendary live concerts. You’ll find Slane Distillery in the 250-year-old stable block on the Slane Castle estate.

Learn not only about the whiskey, but also the history of the family and the local area. Combine a tour of the distillery with a trip to the Castle, making the most of a visit to the Boyne Valley. Pair your Slane Whiskey with some fine dining at Bellinter House Hotel in nearby Navan.

2 | Ballykeefe Distillery, Kilkenny 

Based on the farm where they grow their own ingredients, visit Ballykeefe Distillery near the medieval city of Kilkenny. A true treat for those who enjoy eco-friendly spirits, choose from whiskey, vodka, gin and a cheeky little poitín too. Journey on to the Marble City for some great food and drink spots, head to the Dylan Whisky Bar and savour ‘Kilkenny’s best Irish coffee’.

A tour of the Ballykeefe Distillery in Co. Kilkenny
Take a tour of the Ballykeefe distillery just outside Kilkenny.

3 | Highbank Orchards, Kilkenny

For a distiller with a difference, find Highbank Orchards ten minutes outside Kilkenny City. Their organic Highbanks Orchards Spirit Single Estate is very popular with whiskey lovers, enjoy on the rocks or try it in a cocktail. Give the apple juice a go, taste the cider and bring home a bottle of the cult product, Highbanks Orchards Syrup.

4 | Jameson Distillery, Cork

If you travel the world and mention Irish whiskey, Jameson is always a firm favourite. Founded in Dublin over 200 years ago by John Jameson, the distillery moved to Midleton in Cork in 1975 as demand and production grew. Go behind the scenes at the original Jameson Distillery Midleton, learn about Jameson’s history and taste test a range of whiskeys. Stop off at the on-site Malthouse Café and enjoy some tasty snacks or linger in the Jameson Bar to round off a memorable day.

5 | Powerscourt Distillery, Wicklow

Visit the Powerscourt Distillery at the beautiful Powerscourt Estate in Wicklow and enjoy tastings of their Fercullen whiskey. Learn what foods are best paired with the whiskeys, try a folklore and food tour, or “Meet the Master” and quiz Master Distiller Noel Sweeney — there are plenty of ways to learn about this delicious dram. Check out the restored old Mill House, and wander through the gorgeous Powerscourt House Gardens. Pop into the gift shop and pick up a bottle to take home.

6 | Boann Distillery, Meath

Experience the close-knit community at family-run Boann Distillery in County Meath. Try their rich whiskey and the famous gin, infused with botanicals and native to the Boyne Valley. Get to grips with their proud local ethos, even the distillery’s water comes from a well on the land. Meet the Cooney family and discover the traditional methods of Ireland’s master distillers.

Explore more of Ireland's Ancient East

Book tours in advance to avoid disappointment, explore the visitor centres, try out the immersive tasting experiences and enjoy responsibly. Make sure to check out our Food Experiences page to pair your distillery tour with something delicious to eat. 

Mail Icon SVG
Mail Icon SVGTravel inspiration to your inbox?

Subscribe now to receive destination inspiration, travel tips, upcoming events and all the best things to do around Ireland.

Sign me up