Ballykeefe is situated in the heartland of Ireland, adjacent to its medieval capital, Kilkenny city. It is steeped in a historic heritage and tradition, holding the unique distinction of being the birthplace of Irish Whiskey.It is from our area that the first written account of distilling in Ireland comes in 1324. It was written in the Red Book of Ossory. The word “whiskey” is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic phrase, uisce beatha, meaning “water of life”.At Ballykeefe we are now bringing a truly special “water of life” from centuries past to a new generation for their pleasure and good healthThis it is the only family farm whiskey distillery in the country .
Discover the origins of Irish Whiskey here at Ballykeefe Distillery. We aim to educate and entertain you as our expert tour guide takes you back through the ages of Irish whiskey to where it all began at its birthplace. The tour will be a journey through every part of the Ballykeefe operation, which has revived the lost traditions of a family farm distillery, with a unique commitment to environmental protection, carbon neutrality and sustainability. What to expectYou will visit each stage of the brewing and distilling process, from the mill house, to the brewhouse, to the breath taking copper pot stills to the warehouse and our on site bottling plant. You will see up close every step in the process and also enjoy and have explained the many different aromas and smells at each stage of the brewing and distilling process.Secrets of a Master DistillerMany secrets will be revealed in how our Master Distiller ensures only the best brew makes it through to the distillation. How he makes the “cut” of spirits that will go to the casks and what is discarded. How does he achieve the flavors and consistency and why are the barrels and climate so crucial at the final stages of the process.We will also explain the magical “Angels share” that Mother Nature takes from every barrel as it ages silently in our warehouse for years. You will also be told of our exceptional water source, from an aquifer 260ft beneath the surface of the rich Ballykeefe earth, right here on our farm. This crystal clear water picks up its unique flavour from the permeable rock of Ballykeefe limestone.Tasting our ProductsFinally, with your thirst for knowledge satisfied, there now comes the moment to quench another desire. For this, you will be taken to enjoy the wonderful ambience of our exquisite tasting room, transformed from the horses stable. There we will share samples of our fantastic products, which we are certain you will enjoy even more, knowing their history and the craftsmanship devoted to their making