Tullamore DEW Distillery Guide

For decades, Ireland’s whiskey industry was almost a museum. Enthusiasts could visit a distillery – but you could not experience Whiskey being made. There were ghosts of former glories to be found everywhere – Tullamore sat idle for decades, its banks over-growing, its equipment degrading, and a once-proud tradition fading into history.

Yet, in the middle of the 19th century, it all looked very different. The Old Tullamore Distillery was founded at Tullamore – a rural gem west of Dublin – in 1829 by entrepreneur Michael Molloy. Irish Whiskey was one of the most well-known and respected spirits during this period, and sales quickly grew as the Whiskey found a willing audience both at home and abroad. After the death of Molloy, control of the business passed to his nephew, Bernard Daly, who appointed Daniel E. Williams as the distillery’s general manager, which proved to be the best decision that Daly had ever made. Shrewd, intelligent, ambitious but fair, Williams increased the distribution of Tullamore tenfold and introduced what has become one of Ireland’s most famous whiskey brands: Tullamore D.E.W., a simple reference to his initials. Sales of this new exciting brand rocketed, and it seemed that Tullamore would go on distilling for centuries.

Unfortunately, events of the 20th century caused the business numerous headaches. Before, during, and after the Second World War, sales dramatically fell, accentuated by the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S., the Anglo-Irish Trade War, oppressive taxation, and aggressive competition from Scotland, which was thriving. With great reluctance and sadness, the owners sold Tullamore to a Dublin distillery, John Powers & Sons.

Rather than invest in bringing the Old Tullamore Distillery back to life, John Powers & Sons merged with two other Irish companies to create the mighty firm Irish Distillers. Closing their existing distilleries and building a new, state-of-the-art operation in Midleton, County Cork, Irish Distillers realized that Tullamore D.E.W. was too valuable and popular a brand to delist. Production continued at their new plant at Midleton while Tullamore’s facilities were shut down.

However, in the 1990s, Irish Distillers sold the brand to the C&C group, who ‘sat’ on Tullamore D.E.W. for over two decades, neither helping the brand to prosper nor doing it any substantial harm. The Whiskey continued to be made at the Midleton plant and distilled under contract, although the Old Tullamore Distillery’s decay was a tragedy to any follower of Irish Whiskey.

But this isn’t the end of the story. In 2010, the C&C group decided to put Tullamore D.E.W. up for sale – it was purchased by the Scottish firm William Grant & Sons for €300 million. The owners had bold plans for Tullamore D.E.W. to restore its former great legacy, increase production, and introduce new brands. So, after more than 55 years of hiatus, Tullamore D.E.W. returned home. William Grant spent over €35 million building a new distillery at Tullamore, which now boasts a handsome visitor center, boutique, and restaurant. Production was moved from Midleton and will increase at the new plant as sales and distribution grow. The glory days, it seems, are back.

Indeed, any follower of Irish Whiskey visiting Tullamore today would be amazed at the optimism and energy that flows through these corridors. Decay and decline have been replaced with innovation and understandable pride. The entire range of whiskeys is to be recommended – the single malts and grain whiskeys are winning awards and reaching new fans. The Tullamore D.E.W. 15-year-old Trilogy is particularly outstanding. Elegant, rich, sweet, and complex, it proves, if you need it, that Irish Whiskey can hold its head high. There is a fascinating interplay between the sweet and savory flavors, with a core of earthy, smoky complexity that never seems to fade on the palate. There is also talk of William Grant releasing older versions and new blends. This is exciting, positive news and proof that Irish Whiskey is thriving. A golden era indeed – and with so many firms investing unprecedented amounts into Irish Whiskey, it can only get better.

Whiskeys produced

  • Tullamore D.E.W whiskies

  • Tullamore D.E.W Original

  • Tullamore D.E.W 12-year-old Special Reserve

  • Tullamore D.E.W 14-year-old Single Malt

  • Tullamore D.E.W 18-year-old Single Malt

  • Tullamore D.E.W Phoenix

  • Tullamore D.E.W 15-year-old Trilogy

  • Tullamore D.E.W Old Bonded Warehouse Release

  • Tullamore D.E.W Cider Cask Finish

  • Tullamore D.E.W XO Rum Cask Finish

Facts & Figures



Master Distiller

Brian Kinsman


William Grant


3.6 million litres per annum

Distillery Contact Details


William Grant & Sons Irish Manufacturing Ltd
Ballard & Clonminch, Co. Offaly
Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland

Tel +353 (0) 57 932 5015
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