The Wild Atlantic Way tour will take you along Ireland’s west coast from West Cork in the South to Donegal in the North. The Wild Atlantic Way Tour is a soft adventure tour which will take you on walking trails to some of the country’s most spectacular vistas and dramatic coastlines. Not only this but you will also have the opportunity to experience some of the best outdoor adventure pursuits such as ‘SUP’ which means Stand Up Paddling; surfing; kayaking and much more, including the Dingle Whiskey Distillery which is famed for its hospitality they pride themselves on an excellent tour that brings you into the heart of the distillery.
Right in the heart of this quaint little town lays the distillery. The Dingle peninsula was once cited as the most beautiful place on earth by the National Geographic Society and voted among the top 100 destinations in the world by Trip Advisor. No better place to be shown the secrets of whiskey making and have the chance to sample a few tipples looking out upon the delightful dingle coast. The small town can be described as a cute, colourful cosmopolitan village that have some of the friendliest people in Kerry. You’ll be in good hands!
The Dingle Whiskey Distillery was crafted and conceived by three independent spirits: Oliver Hughes; Liam LaHart and Peter Mosley. They started out with simple craft beers but wanted to find something more. As they got more experienced to the taste of Earth’s natural ingredients, the attention turned to whiskey and away from craft beer. The Dingle Whiskey Distillery came into being in the winter of 2012. They have always had quality over quantity at the forefront of our thought; they aren’t passionate about bland spirit. They are definitely hugely passionate about flavoursome, well-crafted spirit.
So how is Whiskey Made? First of all the barley must undergo germination and this first part of the process is called malting, the barley needs to have a good percentage of sugar to work properly. After germination it has to be halted quickly and the barely is heated and smoked usually with peat, the amount of smoke used and where it comes from depends on what type of whiskey is being produced. It is ground and then the mashing process begins, this is when the mashed barley is mixed with warm water to extract its sugars. The water used in this process is important to the nature of the whiskey due to the minerals in certain waters. Water can be filtered through granite, marble, peat or other rocks and this determines the type of whiskey. This now malted barley is called ‘wort’
The cooled ‘wort’ is then transported into large tanks for the fermentation process to start; yeast is added in this stage. The yeast turns the sugars that are present into alcohol. As with the barley and water, the distiller will carefully select the strain of yeast that they use and it can also have a small effect on the final flavour of the spirit. The fermentation normally takes around 48 hours to run its natural course. Next they distil the liquid; usually Irish whiskey is distilled 3 times. The liquid is put into copper stills. The liquid is heated and then it evaporates and rises up the still until it reaches the neck, where it condenses. This liquid is called ‘low wines’. The low wines are passed to the second smaller still, called the spirit still. In the spirit still, the alcohol produced is split into three. The middle liquid called ‘the heart’ is the one that is kept and bottled for the maturing process. This ‘heart’ has an alcoholic strength of 65-70% ABV.
The spirit is put into oak casks and stored for at least 3 years to become ‘whiskey’. This process is done because the whiskey needs to develop its unique flavour over time in the oak that surrounds it. These casks are porous and so the environment in which they are stored is also helpful to the flavours. So if the whiskey is stored beside the sea, in the highlands or in places of heat/cold these environments give the whiskey its unique characteristics. The type of whiskey depends on the flavours and depth it develops in the maturing process. Dingle Whiskey has a most unique flavour. Their very special stills are a key part of the Dingle Story. They take the best Irish malted barley and make pure pot still malt whiskey. Then they put it in casks and let the mild, moist, unique Dingle air do the rest. No whiskey in Scotland or Ireland experiences a maturation process like that.
The distillery will also give you some background on a fresh Irish Dingle gin and luxurious Dingle vodka! The gin has won many awards and is one of the most delicious Irish gins on the market! They use botanicals like: rowan berry from the mountain ash trees, fuchsia, bog myrtle, hawthorn and heather for a taste of the Kerry landscape. Perfect with a refreshing tonic, ice cubes, aromatic juniper berries and a squeeze of zesty orange. Their vodka is distilled 5 times to really create the finest, purest, grain alcohol with a touch of sweetness and a creamy texture. So good it can be drunk neat!
This is an experience you won’t forget in the perfect setting of the seaside town of Dingle. Learn about the deep history (and flavours) of Irish whiskey as you get a guided tour around the interactive distillery. Whiskey tasting is definitely recommended. What better way to experience the essence of Ireland then to experience Irish whiskey itself! Join us on the Wild Atlantic Way 12 day tour to get your fully guided tour of this incredible distillery.