Over the past ten years several new distilleries have been popping up across the Island of Ireland. Great news for drinks enthusiasts. The experience of visiting a distillery to see where your favourite tipple is made is becoming more and more popular. Ireland has a great history of distilling whiskey and Irish whiskey is now the fastest growing spirit in the world. On the other hand, gin is now the fastest growing spirit among Irish consumers. Many distilleries decided to start making gin while waiting for their whiskey to mature and so the popularity of the spirit has soared. The Boyne Valley is the perfect destination to explore all this history with not 1 but 3 distilleries in our region. Read on to discover the distilleries of the Boyne Valley.
From the goddess of the River Boyne, they take their name, from the goodness of the Boyne Valley they take their ingredients. The first spirit produced in the Boann Distillery was laid down in cask on Saturday 21 December 2019. This marked the return to distilling in Drogheda in over 160 years on the winter solstice. In March 2021, the family received the award for “Worlds best new make” in the world whiskey awards. This, along with several other accolades makes this distillery a very exciting prospect for the Boyne Valley.
Boann has also recently launched its Silks Irish Gin. Distilled by hand in small batches, their signature botanicals are hand foraged from the family apple orchards, apple blossom from the trees, honey from their bees and elderflower and hawthorn blossom from the hedgerows.
Keep an eye out for their new visitor experience coming soon.
One of Irelands most sought-after visitor experiences and the first Gin School to be set up in Ireland. Listoke Distillery and Gin School is based in Monasterboice, County Louth. They offer a guided tour where guests are led through the distilling process. You will also learn about the history of distilling in the area. A gin and tonic greets you at the end of the tour.
The gin school experience, while also taking in the tour of the distillery, allows you to go that little bit further and make your very own gin! You can choose the ingredients to add, enjoy a few G&T’s while your gin is distilling and even get treated to local Boyne Valley cheeses and meats. The perfect drink enthusiast day out! Bookings can be made direct on their website.
Slane Castle brought music to the masses with their first concert 40 years ago. Today, on the same estate, they are bringing a beautiful Irish whiskey experience to the Boyne Valley. The new distillery was completed at Slane Castle on 2017 by US Distillers Brown Forman, the company behind Jack Daniel’s and is in the old stable yards. The distillery prides itself on its crafting process from grain to glass. Their immersive tour allows you to watch as the distillers make the famous whiskey using water from the nearby River Boyne and barley that's grown on the estate.
The distillery offers tours, tastings, an impressive gift shop, Irish coffee classes, a Slane rocks VIP tour from Alex Conyngham and a Stall it to Slane food experience in the Stalls Bar. The Stalls bar is now open for cocktails and drinks for you to enjoy in their stunning courtyard.
All tours can be booked directly on their website.
Not technically a distillery, but this craft cider is worth a mention for drink enthusiasts. Dan Kelly’s Cider is a new Irish cider made from handpicked apples from their very own family orchard in Stameen in Drogheda. They are one of only a few cider producers in Ireland to grow their own fruit. The apples are blended to ensure the full fruit flavour comes through in their craft cider.
Their award-winning cider includes the original cider, their whiskey cask cider, their single variety cider no 1 and Colls Craft. Every year, the team at Dan Kelly Cider holds an apple blossom walk in aid of charity. While the last two years have been virtual, look out for the event in 2022.
You don’t have to be a drink enthusiast to enjoy a visit or even a taste of any of the drinks produced in the Boyne Valley. As well as being home to some of Irelands most mythical landscapes, we are lucky to also have some of Irelands best producers. This can also be experienced in our restaurants, bars and cafes. Start planning your Autumn staycation today and discover Boyne Valleys distilleries.
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