Cork could be considered the Mecca of whiskey production.
The birthplace of some of the world’s most influential Irish whiskies, we’re spoilt rotten with active distilleries dotted around the county.
Still, most of us have never ventured behind their hallowed gates, which is a shame because they really do have all manner of fun times in store for fans willing to make the trip to see where their favourite tipple is produced.
Why leave all the fun to the tourists?
Now is the time for some New Year’s resolutions; here are four Cork whiskey distilleries to visit in 2022:
1. Midleton Distillery
Home of Irish Distillers, Midleton is arguably the most famous distillery in Ireland. There’s a whole world behind its gates.
In fact, you will find three distilleries inside; the Old Midleton Distillery, which now operates as the Jameson Experience, a dedicated visitors centre, the Method and Madness micro-distillery, dedicated to innovation and experimentation and the contemporary Midleton Complex, a massive fibre-optic operation.
A heavenly day trip for a fan, you will find a whole range of experiences available on-site, from tours and tastings to overnight affairs.
It’s probably the only place in the world where you can feast your eyes on a complete Midleton Very Rare collection.
Find out more here.
2. Blacks of Kinsale
Founded in 2013 by husband and wife duo Sam and Maudeline Black, Blacks Brewery and Distillery in Kinsale is Ireland’s first co-located brewery & distillery.
Kinsale itself has a long and storied legacy going back hundreds of years for both brewing and distilling, something this enterprising pair aim to continue.
Right now you can join the Blacks Pieces of Eight Cask Club and invest in a 1/8th share of a whiskey cask. When your cask is matured you can sell, gift, or sip and enjoy your 40-50 bottles of eight-year-old Irish Whiskey.
Keep an eye on their website for upcoming tours.
3. Clonakilty Distillery
The Clonakilty Distillery is located smack bang in central Clonakilty, a town most famous for its eponymous black pudding. The Scully family, who have farmed Cork’s coastal land for nine generations, founded the distillery in 2016.
Head Distiller, Paul Corbett, joined Clonakilty after two years at Teeling Distillery and is a legacy distiller, his grandfather having worked for West Cork Distillers too.
They offer in-depth distillery tours and a gin-making school on-site with a lovely adjacent restaurant. Be sure to book ahead, this place can fill up fast at the weekends.
Check out the next available tours here.
4. West Cork Distillers
West Cork Distillers was founded by lifelong friends Denis McCarthy, Ger McCarthy and John O’Connell in beautiful Union Hall.
The distillery has become a huge employer in the town of Skibbereen with barely a family in town not knowing someone working there. Only Irish grains are used by West Cork Distillers in their spirit production and they malt some of their barley onsite.
This is one without a dedicated visitors centre but they are all kinds of accommodating and will look after ya if you shoot them an email ahead of time.
You can find out more here.