Which distilleries in Northern Ireland offer tours in Gaelic?

11 June 2024

You've probably heard about the famed distilleries in Northern Ireland. These whiskey havens are renowned for their rich history, traditional brewing techniques, and exquisite spirits. But have you ever wondered which of these distilleries offer the unique experience of a tour in Gaelic? In this article, we'll explore these distilleries and the unique tours they offer.

Discover the Heart of Belfast's Distilleries

Belfast, the vibrant capital of Northern Ireland, hides a rich history of whiskey production within its bustling cityscape.

The city's industrial heritage, which includes a thriving distillation industry, is a testament to Belfast's resilience and innovation. Today, you will find a handful of distilleries that not only hold onto the city's past but also embody its dynamic present and future.

Among these distilleries, the one that stands out for a Gaelic tour experience is Belfast Distillery. Situated inside the historical Crumlin Road Gaol, this distillery offers a unique tour that blends the harsh history of Belfast's penal system with the smooth and refined production of Irish whiskey. The Gaelic tour, led by experienced guides, adds an extra layer of authenticity to the experience. The guides' captivating storytelling in Gaelic will transport you back in time, immersing you in the traditions of Irish whiskey production.

Experience a Day Tour at Bushmills

Bushmills, the oldest licensed distillery in the world, is nestled in County Antrim, a stunning area known for its rugged coastline and the Giant's Causeway.

A visit to Bushmills is about more than just whiskey; it's an experience steeped in history, folklore, and the craft of distilling. Indulge in a Gaelic tour where guides narrate the 400-year-old history of Bushmills in the poetic cadence of Irish. The tour will walk you through the distillation process, starting from the fresh water from Saint Columb's Rill to the triple-distilled whiskey. You will also get the chance to taste various whiskey expressions, ensuring that all your senses get a taste of Bushmills' legacy.

Spirits of Dublin: Gin and Whiskey

While whiskey may be the most famous Irish spirit, gin has also been making a name for itself in the Irish spirits scene. In the heart of Dublin, you'll find several distilleries that not only produce excellent whiskey but also high-quality, innovative gins.

Teeling Distillery, the first new distillery in Dublin in over a century, offers a unique Gaelic tour experience. The tour takes you through the process of whiskey and gin production, from grain to glass. You will have the chance to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a fully operational distillery, all while listening to the melodious Irish language.

Tullamore D.E.W: A Whiskey Experience in County Offaly

Deep in the heart of Ireland, in County Offaly, stands the renowned Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery. Tullamore D.E.W is an icon of Irish whiskey, known worldwide for its smooth and complex character.

This distillery offers a remarkable Gaelic tour that will guide you through the history of Tullamore D.E.W, the meticulous process of whiskey making, and the story behind the unique triple blend. The guides, proficient in Gaelic, lend an extra layer of Irish authenticity to the tour, making the experience truly memorable.

Northern Ireland Distilleries for Irish Spirits Aficionados

Northern Ireland is not limited to whiskey alone; it has a rich repertoire of spirits that cater to various palates. Be it gin, vodka, or rum, there is a distillery dedicated to each of these spirits.

The Rademon Estate Distillery in County Down stands out in this regard. Known for producing Shortcross Gin, Northern Ireland's first premium craft gin, this distillery offers unique Gaelic tours. The tours, led by the distillers themselves, will walk you through the process of gin making, and the story behind their unique botanical selection, all narrated in the beautiful Irish language.

A Driver Guided Distillery Tour in County Antrim: The Hinch Distillery

As we continue to explore the whiskey trail in Northern Ireland, we cannot overlook Hinch Distillery located in County Antrim. The distillery is named after the nearby town of Ballynahinch, and it’s a relatively new addition to the distilleries in Northern Ireland.

Hinch Distillery offers a unique driver guided tour in Gaelic, which is a must for lovers of fine spirits. The distillery is surrounded by breathtaking beauty, located between the Mourne Mountains and the cityscape of Belfast. This setting provides the perfect backdrop for an immersive experience of Ireland’s rich spirits tradition.

The tour takes you through the distillery's award-winning process of creating whiskey. It starts with the malting of the barley, then moves to the mashing, fermentation, distillation, and finally, the careful selection of casks for aging. The guides explain each step in Gaelic, helping you to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into every bottle.

Hinch Distillery also prides itself on its selection of small batch craft gins. During the tour, you get to learn about the gin distillation process and the unique mixture of botanicals that give their gin its distinctive character. The tour concludes with a tasting session, where you can savor the depth and complexity of their whiskey and gin.

The Wild Atlantic Whiskey Trail

The Wild Atlantic Whiskey Trail offers a truly immersive Irish whiskey experience, blending the stunning landscapes of the Wild Atlantic Way with the rich heritage of Irish whiskey production.

One of the distilleries you'll encounter on this trail is Ballycroy Distillery in County Mayo. This distillery is known for its bespoke Gaelic tours, which are led by local guides who are fluent in the language. Their vibrant storytelling brings to life the history of the distillery, its connection to the local community, and the intricate process of whiskey making.

The tour takes you through each step of the process, starting from the mashing of locally grown barley, the fermentation in wooden washbacks, to the distillation in traditional pot stills. The guide also explains the importance of aging and how the coastal environment influences the flavor of the whiskey.

The Wild Atlantic Whiskey Trail also features other distilleries, such as the Dingle Distillery in County Kerry and the Connemara Distillery in County Galway, all offering Gaelic tours that promise rich insights and unforgettable experiences.


Northern Ireland is steeped in a rich distilling heritage, and it continues to be a leading region for spirits production. The distilleries across the region offer tours in Gaelic, adding an extra layer of authenticity and depth to the experience. Whether you are a whiskey aficionado, a gin lover, or simply someone interested in the art of distilling, Northern Ireland is a destination you cannot miss.

The Gaelic tours offer an enchanting experience, immersing you in the poetic rhythm of the Irish language while guiding you through the meticulous process of spirits creation. Through these tours, you don’t just learn about the art of making spirits; you learn about the people, the culture, and the history that shaped these distilleries.

From Belfast to Bushmills, from Dublin to County Offaly, each distillery tells a unique story. So, why not book a Gaelic distillery tour in Northern Ireland and experience it for yourself? Whether you choose to embark on the Wild Atlantic Whiskey Trail, explore the spirits trail in the heart of Dublin, or take a driver-guided tour at Hinch Distillery, you're guaranteed an unforgettable experience. These tours are a testament to Northern Ireland’s vibrant distilling heritage and a tribute to the Irish language that continues to shape its identity.

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