During my recent one day tour around Co Westmeath I managed to visit Kilbeggan Distillery. I’d previously visited the Jameson Distillery in Dublin and found it nice but not too exciting. I didn’t know what to expect this time but the weather wasn’t great and it was a bonus to do something inside. Also, Kilbeggan is the only whiskey that I like (or to be precise the only whiskey I can drink without having my mouth twisted out), so I thought I should go there.
The tour turned out to be much better than the one at the Jameson Distillery for two reasons. First, Kilbeggan is still a working distillery (although it distils whiskey for only a few months in every year), whereas the Jameson Distillery in Dublin ceased production many years ago and it’s purely a museum now. Secondly, Kilbeggan distillery is much smaller and therefore the tour was a much more interesting experience.
Interesting facts about Irish whiskey:
– Irish whiskey has to mature in wooden barrels that have been used before, they cannot be brand new barrels – this is done to give whiskey a proper flavour;
– it has to mature for at least 3 years and 1 day – yes, 1 day can be very important;
– it can be maximum 94.8% alcohol by volume – otherwise, it’s a spirit.