Founded in the early 19th century, the Old Midleton Distillery is home to some of Ireland's most famous whiskeys. Jameson, Paddy and Powers were all produced here for 150 years before commercial production was moved to a more modern plant next door.
Today, you can tour the historic distillery buildings to learn about the traditional processes used here and see the original water wheel, malting houses, corn stores and still houses as well as the world's largest pot still. In the company of an expert guide you'll discover the secrets of whiskey distilling and blending and get a tutored tasting of several varieties of whiskey.
The two-hour tour takes place in a small group and once you arrive at the distillery you’ll be asked to wait for a short while until your group has assembled and is ready to start the tour.
You begin with a short film introducing the distillery, the brand and its history, before moving on to explore the distillery itself. Your tour guide will explain about the milling, mash and fermentation processes as you walk through these areas of the old distillery, then take you to see the stills themselves.
You then learn about the process of distillation and visit the experimental micro-distillery where you’ll have a short classroom theory session along with a sample of whiskey. There's the chance to see this distillation in practice, before you move on to the casks to learn about the maturing process. Finally, visit the cooperage, where you’ll be taught about this craft and the casks' significant role in determining the final taste and tone of the whiskey. You can also try another whiskey sample while here.
The last stop behind the scenes is the distiller’s cottage, where you can peruse the full Old Midleton collection and read archive notes with another whiskey sample. Finally, return to the visitor centre where you can end the tour with either a whiskey or a whiskey cocktail.
You round off your tour with a chance to explore the historic buildings which are full of character. Once the tour is complete, you can have lunch (not included) in the on-site restaurant or browse in the well-stocked distillery shop.