Whiskey Island

Mon, 16 Apr 2018
Whiskey Island Tours, Irish tours, tours in Ireland, I Love Cooking, Tourism Ireland, Failte Ireland

Whiskey Island – Premium Tours & Tastings

Written by Melanie May

The Irish have a long-standing love affair with Whiskey. Irish whiskey was one of the earliest distilled drinks in Europe. The first record of Irish whiskey dates back to 1405. Now it seems, the rest of the world is catching on and our copper-coloured spirit is undergoing a renaissance.

Irish whiskey is currently the leading premium spirit brand worldwide. Sales of premium Irish whiskey grew by a massive 135% in the last five years.

The boom has also seen a growth in the number of distilleries operating in Ireland. A few years ago, there were just four and now there are 18 with 16 more distilleries in the planning or construction stage. So, this trend doesn’t look like it is going to slow down any time soon.

This means now is the perfect time for you to discover this spirit and its long history. And, John P. and John F. Callely are the perfect pair to guide you along.

The father and son duo set up Whiskey Island which helps people to explore the Irish whiskey scene through intimate whiskey tours and tastings.

john and john at barJohn P. and John F. Callely

Both Johns have a wealth of experience and knowledge working in the Irish tourism sector and Irish whiskey industry and are instrumental in developing whiskey tourism on the island of Ireland.

“Based on our experience in Irish tourism, and in particular in the whiskey tourism domain, we started Whiskey Island as a premium tour company which would take visitors to Ireland along some of these new emerging whiskey trails. The tours are fully escorted, so we drive you to the doors of these distilleries, many of which are tucked away in the Irish countryside.

It’s not your typical classic tour of Ireland with Cliffs of Moher and Trinity College etc. Our guests can expect an off-the-beaten-tourist-track Irish experience. While we do visit the homes of the world famous Irish brands like Tullamore D.E.W, Bushmills and Jameson, we also visit many smaller micro-distilleries. It’s here that you’re meeting local people who were once accountants and teachers but threw in the towel on old careers and pursued a life in the whiskey business. It’s organic, homegrown and hidden Ireland at its best.

Irish whiskey is booming worldwide, it’s the fastest growing drink in the premium spirits category right now. Why is it so popular? It’s the smoothness of Irish whiskey that sets us apart – and first time drinkers of Irish whiskey are always delighted at our private whiskey tastings as to how smooth our whiskey actually is.” – John F. Callely

The whiskey tours have the whole island covered with whiskey trails through Dublin city centre, around Ireland’s Ancient East, up into Northern Ireland and along the Wild Atlantic Way. There’s even a tour that includes teeing off at some of Ireland’s most famous golf courses.

You can enjoy a half day tour, two-day excursions or an eight-day epic whiskey holiday. Tours are intimate affairs with a maximum of 15 people, however, you can also arrange private tours too.

Whiskey Island is unique in that John and John have built up great relationships with the 22 distilleries on the tours. They work closely with them so that each distillery tour is tailored for the group. This helps avoid repetition, for example, there’s no need to go through the process of how to make whiskey at each distillery and there is no long queuing.

The other great thing about Whiskey Island’s tours is that you don’t have to worry about finding your way to the more remote and off-the-beaten-track distilleries. You are driven to each distillery on a luxury coach by professional drivers as the whiskey expert enthrals you with tales of the region’s history and whiskey heritage.

There’s a mix of well-known distilleries on the tour, like the Jameson Distillery in Dublin, and craft distilleries like the Ballykeefe Distillery, an artisan Irish family farm distillery in Kilkenny. You’ll also get to wet your whistle with local gin, vodka and poitin and you can stock up on bottles of your favourite tipple at each stop or in the specialist Celtic Whiskey Shop.

If you are looking for the ultimate Irish whiskey experience that blends teachings, tastings and travel, then Whiskey Island has got you covered. Book your tour on the Whiskey Island website here.

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