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Coleraine distillery

Another silent and lost distillery in Country Derry, John Rennie coverted an old manorial mill near the River Bann into a distillery in 1820. When Alfred Barnard visited the distillery it was operated as a malt distillery. A Coffey still was installed in 1954. Production was reprioristed to grain during the 1960’s, though both were maintained. In 1972 Coleraine was acquired by Irish Distillers Ltd. Grain distillation was discontinued in 1975 after IDL opened the new Midleton distillery. The distillery closed its doors for the last time in 1978. Leaving only Bushmills and Midleton until production began at the new Cooley distillery in 1989. The principal buildings of the distillery were later demolished, though some of the ancillary structures survived and found new commercial uses.


  • In the 19th century it was famous for its reputed whiskey which was delivered to the London Parliament, to the House of Commons. Thereafter Coleraine distillery highlighted its labels with the two letters HC.
  • The distillery name was continued as a blended whiskey Coleraine available primarily in Northern Ireland / Ulster

Existing bottlings

Coleraine whiskey

The Coleraine Whiskey is a blend that is bottled with 40% ABV without age statement. Most of the whiskey matured in ex-bourbon barrels and a small part in ex-sherry barrels. It is made by Bushmills and is very popular in Northern Ireland. The aroma is determined by the grassy notes of the grain. Slightly sweet and fruity in taste with a clear wheat aroma.

Coleraine malt whiskey

A 34 year old Coleraine single malt, which was distilled in 1959 and bottled in cask strength at 57.1% vol. In 1993, was sold Christies in London for £682 in 1999. There were only 400 bottles of this whiskey.

Coleraine factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Coleraine Ireland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Closed 1820 - 1978 Malt, Grain Coleraine Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group

Coleraine Timeline:

1820: The mill in Newmarket Street Coleraine was converted into Coleraine distillery

1822: Production commenced

1838: Coleraine distillery was purchased by Michael Ferrar

1868: Coleraine distillery passed into the ownership of local businessman Robert Taylor

1935: Coleraine was acquired in by William Boyd whos fanukt iwbed Bushmills

1939: Production stopped during

1946: The Boyd’s sold Bushmills and Coleraine to Isaac Wolfson

1954: A Coffey still is installed at Coleraine

1964: Great Universal Stores sold its distilling interests to Charrington United Breweries

1972: Acquired by Irish Distillers

1975: Grain distillation ceased being superceded by new Midleton

1978: The distillery ceases production forever

1993: A short run of 400 bottles of distilled in 1959 were released by IDL