NORTHERN IRELAND WHISKEY TRAIL
A two day whiskey trail departing from and returning to Dublin. We visit three working distilleries, including Old Bushmills, and you discover many highlights of Northern Ireland along the way.
DEPARTURE FROM DUBLIN AT 9:30am
This morning we take you by road from the capital of the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland which forms part of the United Kingdom. Your Whiskey Expert Host will meet you at the Celtic Whiskey Shop in Dublin and in executive transport, you depart for the North. After crossing the border into Northern Ireland, we’re only a short distance from our first stop – Killowen Small Batch Distillery.
Situated in the heart of the spectacular Mourne Mountains. Killowen Distillery is the creation of Brendan Carty who travelled across the globe for years and learned the secret to distilling premium Irish Whiskey.
The guys at Killowen will explain their unique whiskey making process followed by a tasting of gin, Irish coffee and new make spirit of choice: Peated or non peated. In Ireland the default is usually non peated so it’s a rare opportunity to try Irish peated, the way our cousins in Scotland do things!
Next we’ll bring you into Downpatrick, and to the Saint Patrick Centre where you can learn about our patron Saint. You’ll even have the chance to visit dear Patrick’s grave and you’ll have the chance to grab lunch in the centre also. We then head not far to the little village of Crossgar. We meet the folks at Rademon Distillery – Home of Shortcross gin & Single Malt Whiskey. At The San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Shortcross Gin received a Gold Medal for ‘setting the standard for its category’. We’ll have a quick introduction to the gin process from Head Distiller at Rademon, David Boyd-Armstrong, and he will tell you all about his plans for his whiskey range coming soon. The tour ends in the tastings bar for a Shortcross gin masterclass. The combination of David’s passion and love for what he’s making and the style of the gin masterclass, makes our time at Rademon very memorable.
Depending on availability, instead of Rademon, we may take you on a ferry from Strangford that will connect us with the Ards Peninsula, a most beautiful part of Ireland. We soon arrive at at Echlinville Distillery, the first newly licensed whiskey distillery in Northern Ireland in over 125 years.
We’ll have a quick look at the facility which is a proper bona fide ‘field to glass’ distillery. All the barley is grown onsite and their whiskey is maturing in their onsite warehouse. We finish in the impressive Echlinville manor house for two samples of their flagship whiskeys (or gin).
Once we say our goodbyes at Echlinville, we depart for Belfast, enjoying spectacular views out over Strangford Lough. We’ll check you in at your 5***** city centre hotel and you can enjoy the wonderful city of Belfast this evening at your leisure. We will guide you on where you should check out for dinner and drinks – the pubs of Commercial Court are an absolute must!
A FUN NIGHT OUT IN BELFAST IS A CERTAINTY!
Enjoy a full Irish breakfast at your leisure, in your hotel (included in the rate). Executive transportation with chauffeur is waiting for us at the hotel and we’re travelling north out of the city to the Antrim coast road – the famous Causeway Coastal Route – one of the most beautiful driving routes in the country. After just a quick hour, we’ll make our first stop at the picturesque village of Ballymena where we invite you to appreciate the art of Irish Coffee at The Londonderry Arms Hotel, a former home of former British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. We enjoy an Irish Coffee here in the hotel’s cosy Arkle Whiskey Bar.
TO THE HOME OF BUSHMILLS IRISH WHISKEY
Before we hit today’s highlight, we visit a UNESCO world heritage site – The Giant’s Causeway, one of the most unique places in Europe. It’s an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. The scientists will tell you the rock formations are the result of a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. The locals believe differently however, they’ll tell you the columns are the remains of a causeway built by a giant – the Irish legend, Finn MacCool. We’ll let you take it all in and decide for yourself! Enjoy the site at leisure and enjoy some lunch while you’re there! Just two minutes down the road, dating all the way back to 1608 AD, Old Bushmills Distillery is the oldest licensed distillery in the world. Today, you will tour the historical distillery. Famed for its range of single malt Irish whiskeys, you will have the chance to try them during a premium tasting in the very impressive Master Distiller’s tasting rooms. Included in the tasting is; Bushmills Original & Red, Black Bush, Bushmills 10, 16 & 21 year old single malts. You also compare with a Scotch and a Bourbon. Finally, you’ll try their 12 year old reserve in the bar – exclusive to Old Bushmills.
NORTHERN IRELAND WHISKEY TRAIL