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A Tour around the Old Bushmill Distillery

Whiskey has always been synonymous with Scotland, but what most people forget is that Ireland also makes excellent whiskies. In fact, aside from the difference in spelling (Irish is whiskey with an ‘e’), it is also different in taste. Since the barley malt is not smoked Irish malt whiskey has more of a honeyed malt flavour. The home of Irish malt whiskey is the Old Bushmills Distillery. In fact, it is the oldest licensed whiskey-making distillery in the world. Since 1608 it has been making high quality whiskey. It is here that single malt whiskies like Bushmills and Blackbush are distilled. “Uisce Beatha”, literally the water of life in Irish Gaelic, has been distilled at Bushmills as early as the 13th century. But it was officially in 1608 that King James I granted the distillery an official license to distill whiskey. Since then the distillery has been churning out the best Irish malt whiskey. And it should because it has a 400-year whiskey-making tradition to uphold. “Old Bushmills” whiskey has earned a distinction and world renown for its warm, very distinctive taste. The actual craft of distilling this whiskey has been handed down from generation to generation. Interested travellers and whiskey lovers can actually have the opportunity to see how Irish whiskey is made through the tours available at the site. The whiskey-making tour takes visitors through the actual process of distillation – from getting the water from the freshwater springs of St. Columb’s Rill, to the transformation of Irish barley into malt, to the entire triple distillation process in huge copper stills. The process ends with the aging inside oak casks. The tour is capped with a sampling of Bushmill whiskies. The Old Bushmill distillery is easily accessible by rented car. In fact renting a car is the best way of travelling through Ireland. Car hire companies offer competitive car hire packages to travellers who want to tour Ireland by car.