Whisky Magazine Issue 52
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Tullamore Dew is reasserting its Irishness and it's paying dividends. Dominic Roskrow reports
The Irish have a canny knack of turning their history to their advantage. When Irish Distillers needed to expand and moved to a new purpose-built distillery in Cork the company didn't knock the old one down – it turned it in to one of the best visitor centres in the world.
And the business folk behind Tullamore Dew were similarly tourist-minded when they came to consider the future of bonded warehouses in Tullamore.
No whiskey is produced in the town any more, but the brand Tullamore Dew is still very much at the centre of its business` through the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre.
Tullamore lies in the Irish Midlands, a good hour's drive from Dublin in the county of Offaly. The heritage centre sits on the banks of a now quiet canal, a permanent reminder of how Tullamore was put on the industrial map more than 100 years ago.
In fact the whiskey itself has a history going back 175 years, but its growth was as a result of two key factors: the passion and commitment of distillery manager and eventual part-owner Daniel E Williams, and the construction of the canal, providing access to key cities and potential overseas markets.
Today that history is displayed impressively in one of Tullamore's former bonded warehouses. The well designed tour takes a logical and easy to follow stroll through the whiskey-making process and explains how the brand came to dominate the town.
Models recreate the exciseman's office and there are displays depicting the cooperage and the warehouses.