Tullamore (Old) distillery

A new Tullamore DEW distillery was founded and commenced production in 2014. This article is about the historic Tullamore DEW distillery distillery which is now a Whisky heritage centre.

The Tullamore DEW Heritage Center is located on the site of the former Tullamore DEW distillery itself a former customs warehouse built around 1897 in Tullamore in County Offaly in Ireland. It acts as an information centrre about the production process of whiskey. This site was where Tullamore DEW whiskey and Irish Mist liqueur were originally made and bottled. The Heritage Center is located directly on the Grand Canal, the waterway that made it possible to transport products from Tullamore, such as peat, grain, the coveted limestone and whiskey, faster, easier and cheaper.

Tullamore DEW Whisky

Tullamore DEW is an Irish whiskey first distilled in the small Irish town of Tullamore, County Offaly in 1829, later distilled in Midleton by Irish Distillers. The brand which won the International Spirits Challenge Trophy in 2005 has belonged to the Scottish distillery group William Grant & Sons, the owners of Glenfiddich, since 2010. Since 2014 the production takes place in a distillery between the townlands Ballard and Clonminch near Tullamore.

History

The Grand Canal was built together with the Royal Canal to the north as a transport route in an oval around Dublin at the end of the 18th century. This stretched west to the villages of Kilbeggan and Tullamore in County Offaly, a grain growing region. This water transport artery likely have played a decisive role in Michael Molloy’s choice of the location of the Tullamore distillery in 1829.

After Molloy’s death in 1857, the distillery was owned by his nephew Bernard Daly. This gave it a new name with B. Daly Distillery. The father appointed his son, Captain Bernard Daly, to head the distillery, but he had little idea and stayed more with his passion as the head of a horse racing stable. Daniel Edmond Williams, who later became General Manager, began his training as a whiskey master distiller at the B. Daly Distillery in 1862 at the age of 14 and created the distillery’s trademark in 1887 by adding his initials DEW to the name of the brand. The first advertising slogan was “Give every man his DEW”. After the Second World War, Desmond Williams, a grandson of Daniel E. Williams, managed to re-establish Irish whiskey on the world market through targeted marketing measures. With the introduction of the Irish Mist brand, an Irish whiskey liqueur, the Irish managed to create a significant upward trend in sales.

In 1954, the Tullamore DEW Distillery in County Offaly closed and it seemed forever. Prohibition in the USA, overly high taxes and bad planning ultimately brought about the end Tullamore. The Tullamore brand was sold to John Power & Son from Dublin and remained purely a whiskey brand. The company lived off the stocks in the warehouses and served their whiskey liqueur brand Irish Mist, until these were also used up in the mid-1960s.

John Power & Son became part of the Irish Distillers group of companies in 1966. The group concentrated all of its production in the 1970s in Midleton, County Cork. In 1994 the Tullamore DEW brand was sold to the C&C Group (Cantrell & Cochrane Limited). Since 2010 Tullamore DEW has been part of William Grant & Sons Irish Brands Ltd. The inauguration of the new production facility near Tullamore, which cost 35 million euros to build, took place in September 2014 by the Irish Minister of Agriculture, Simon Coveney. Tullamore DEW is the second largest Irish whiskey brand after Jameson.

Tullamore (Old) factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Tullamore (Old) Tullamore Dew Ireland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Closed 1829 - 1954 Malt Tullamore (Old) Tour Link
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Brian Kinsman William Grant & Sons

Tullamore (Old) Timeline:

1829: Michael Molloy founds the Tullamore Distillery in the town of the same name in Tullamore in County Offaly

1857: Michael Molloy dies and the property passes to his nephew Bernard Daly, who renames Tullamore B. Daly Distillery.

1862: A certain Daniel Edmond Williams joined the company at the tender age of 14 as a trainee and subsequently became master distiller

1887: Williams expands the brand name by adding his own initials DEW to the name of the Tullamore brand

1959: The Tullamore distillery is closed and the brand was sold to the Dublin company John Power & Son.

2010: The independent spirits multi-brand William Grant & Sons, buys the brand from C&C Group Plc for £ 300 million

2014: The new Tullamore DEW distillery is established

Can I tour Tullamore (Old)?

Yes Tullamore (Old) distillery is tourable. On Trip Advisor the distillery has been rated as excellent by 375 of 605 tours to date. This gives Tullamore (Old) an overall rating of 4.5

Latest reviews

Picturesque by Eamonn Hourigan - ChaperoneVIP

We visited the Kilbeggan whiskey distillery on a nice sunny day and it was only a one hour drive from Dublin down to the picturesque little rural village. Having arrived 15 minutes before our tour was due to commence, we had time to have a look around the outside of the whitewashesd and quaint old distillery which had an absolutely beautiful working water wheel powered by the local river.We had prebooked our tickets for a midday tour which included a whiskey tasting also.The tour was excellent. Very interesting and it gave us a good broad understanding of whiskey distillation as well as the particulars of Kilbeggan whiskey. The old distillery is quite extensive and there are lots of old antiques relating to life back as far as 1757!! When it came to the tasting, our guide Tara was a natural. She was able to explain the difference between the range of whiskeys and it was quite a fun experience too and we got to keep our sample glasses which was lovely.I'm also remember that the staff were all local people and very genuine and proud of Kilbeggan which made for a nice experience.Highly recommended.

Good Exhibition With Capable Guide by Marcus H

Just happen to see sign off the motorway and what a pleasant surprise - a lovely old distillery which is in really good shape in terms of exhibition space. The tour guide was very knowledgable. Of course the tasting is always a bit of a highlight, let's hope that the multinational promoters retain this little gem, and the lovely brand of whiskey.

Best Distillery Tour Out of Four Tours by Mgaynor2020

This was out last distillery tour on our Ireland trip. My wife was getting a bit tired of the tours. The other three were very similar. This one started the same as the others but then we went to the actual vats where you could go up and see as well as smell the batch in its three phases of distillation. My wife was starting to get into it at this point. Later we met the master distiller. We were able to ask him anything but he would not give away any secrets. In addition, you can bottle your own whiskey using a valinch (large pipette or drop that you insert into the cask and cover the top then pull out and remove your finger from the top to let the whiskey pour into a cup until you have enough to bottle). My wife took my picture of me as I did it. If you only plan on doing one distillery tour, do this one!

Rating Reviews
Excellent 375
Very good 179
Average 32
Poor 12
Terrible 7