Discover Irish Whiskey at Old Bushmills Distillery 

By Aashima

The name Old Bushmills Distillery carries the weight of being the oldest licensed distillery in the world. 

This remarkable distillery is near the Giant’s Causeway, only a short drive away.

The archaic brickwork and architectural design of the Bushmills Distillery tell us the historical tale of its significance.

The distillery amazes us with its remarkable tradition of producing world-famous whiskey. 

Bushmills Distillery History

Ever wondered how Bushmills Distillery got its name?

Well, let’s find out!

It derives its name “Bushmills” from the river Bush, a water source for the distillation and the mills that make the barley.

These two main ingredients are the sole reason behind the incredible smoothness of Irish whiskey.

Bushmills Distillery’s long-lasting journey started in 1608 when King James I signed the distillery’s registration and gave it to Irish explorer Sir Thomas Phillips.

This ultimately makes the Bushmills Distillery more than 400 years old.

The distillery company officially sprung to life in 1784 under Hugh Anderson.

Afterward, due to the fire, this impressive distillery building was built again in 1885.

The whisky-making process has been passed down through generations, giving Bushmills its unique and unparalleled flavor.

Until this day, that legacy continues to live up to its name.

Bushmills Distillery Location

Bushmills Distillery Location

The Old Bushmills Distillery is located in the small village of Bushmills in Co. Antrim, north of Ireland.

Going to Giant’s Causeway and taking the Bushmills Distillery tour is necessary because the car drive will take you quickly.

The distance between these two attractions is just 2.5 miles (4 km).

Also, a 2.8-mile drive from Dunluce Castle is worth it to experience the heritage of Bushmills Distillery.

If you want to know more about Dunluce Castle and plan your trip there, read our article covering all the details here.

Bushmills Distillery tour

The Bushmills Distillery tour booking is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the history and production of whiskey. Here’s what you can expect:

1. Rich Heritage: 

Discover the fascinating whiskey heritage that spans over 400 years. 

Hear stories from experienced individuals who have passed down their knowledge and traditions through generations.

2. Craftsmanship and Production: 

Learn about the intricate craftsmanship and production processes of making whiskey. 

Explore the ingredients, tools, and equipment to transform them into liquor.

3. Maturation and Packaging: 

Gain insights into the maturation process and the types of casks used at the Old Bushmills distillery. 

Get an overview of how whiskey is packaged and prepared for distribution.

4. Whiskey Tasting: 

Experience the ultimate whiskey-tasting adventure at the renowned 1608 Bar. 

Sample a wide range of beverages, including non-alcoholic options, cocktails, and hot toddies. 

5. Historic Distillery: 

Immerse yourself in the distillery’s rich history. Explore its glorious past and appreciate the significance of this iconic establishment.

Don’t miss out on the chance to explore the world of whiskey at the Bushmills distillery. 

It’s an experience that combines history, craftsmanship, and the joy of tasting fine beverages. 

The Bushmills Distillery entrance fee

For a more comprehensive experience, you can book premium tasting sessions and Bushmills Distillery tour price starting at €75.

There is also a tasting charge, which is included in the admission fee for the tours.

The Bushmills Distillery tours times are throughout the day.

However, it’s important to note that tour schedules may be subject to change.

Things to remember while planning your tour of Bushmills Distillery

  • The guided tour is not open to children under the age of eight.
  • Parents may not bring children under the age of 18 with them to the premium tasting.
  • Groups of 12 or more may reserve in advance, pending availability.
  • You must secure reservations with a deposit.

Bushmills Distillery Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday10 am to 4.45 pm
Sunday11.30 am to 4.45 pm

The Old Bushmills Distillery opens early in the summer, at 9.15 am, Monday through Saturday.

If you wish to buy a souvenir from this memorable tour, you can visit the Bushmills Distillery gift shop Monday through Saturday between 10 am and 4.45 pm.

You can visit the distillery any time before 4 pm and begin learning how to turn water into gold. 

With their expertise and vast experience, they will guide you through the entire process, ensuring you understand it before you leave the distillery.

How long does the Bushmills tour take?

The distillery tour is a fun way to learn about the process of making whisky.

The tour takes almost an hour and starts in a room where they mix water and barley.

Then, they move to a room where they add yeast to the mix, and it starts to turn into alcohol.

You can explore exotic locations like Bushmills Inn, Causeway Coastal Route attractions, and Portrush.

If you wish to tour the distillery with a group, you must have 12 or more people in your group and make reservations in advance.

Additional pointers for you, there will be no group reservations on Sundays.


Is Bushmills Distillery worth visiting?

Absolutely. Whether you are a whiskey lover or not, you can always explore the distillery’s unique historical aspects and learn the craft of whiskey making.

Is Bushmills the oldest distillery in the world?

Bushmills Distillery was established in 1784 but was granted a license in 1608, making Bushmills Distillery the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world.

What attractions are near Bushmills Distillery?

Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and the Causeway Coastal Route are just a short car drive away from Bushmills.

Are there any hotels near Bushmills Distillery? 

You can explore the town in several comfortable and affordable hotels.

The Bushmills Inn Hotel
Bayview Hotel
Causeway Hotel
Adelphi Portrush
Inn on the Coast

Stay close to Old Bushmills Distillery and explore the nearby locations conveniently.

Is Bushmills Distillery open for tours?

Yes, the Bushmills Distillery is open for tours.

It is a popular attraction in Northern Ireland, allowing visitors to explore the historic distillery and learn about whiskey-making.

During the tour, you can discover the rich heritage of Bushmills whiskey, visit the working distillery, and even sample some of their renowned products.

Is Bushmills better than Jameson?

Bushmills is produced in the Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland and is known for its smooth and slightly sweet flavor profile.

It is triple-distilled and often described as having a lighter, fruitier taste.

On the other hand, Jameson is produced in the Midleton Distillery in Cork, Ireland.

It is known for its smoothness, balanced flavor profile combining sweetness, spice, and a hint of fruitiness.

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Aashima (1)
About the author

Aashima is an avid traveler who seeks out thrills and lives a simple, peaceful life. Bright clear skies are her calling.