Monday, December 9, 2013

Old Bushmills Distillery

After a restful night's sleep in Portrush, we continued our Antrim Coast sightseeing with a day out along the coast.  First stop was the small coastal town of Bushmills, world famous for its special brand of Irish whiskey.  The distillery is one of the oldest continually-operated whiskey facilities in the world, and lucky us, offers tours to thirsty visitors.

Bushmills' Distillery buildings, Bushmills, Northern Ireland, UK
The famous image from the bottle art
Unlike the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, this tour includes the actual workings of the plant.  We did visit on a Saturday, so the production line wasn't actually in operation, but our tour guide was knowledgeable and entertaining.  We were able to see the grain crushers, fermenters, stills, barrel-storage warehouse, and bottling line of this modern production facility.  My favorite sight was, of course, a look into the fermenter to see, hear, and smell the fermenting mash bubbling and foaming.

Barrels of Bushmills' Whiskey aging in Bushmills, Northern Ireland, UK
All this whiskey talk gives the visitor a strong hankerin' for a taste.  With a knowledgeable tour guide describing all the different kinds of flavor notes in all the different kinds of whiskey products, it is impossible not to want a taste.  After the tour, we were all rewarded.  We tried a 10-year old single malt and a sweeter whiskey/honey blend.  Did I mention this was our first stop in the morning?  It was going to be a great day.  It's always 11 a.m. somewhere, right!?

A 10 year and honey whiskey sample at Bushmills' Distillery in Bushmills, Northern Ireland, UK
10-Year and Honey Whiskey

Edit:  Thanks for the retweet Discover Northern Ireland!

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