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The Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak in County Carlow is dedicated to the production of premium handcrafted Irish whiskeys. Located in Ireland’s Ancient East region, it is one of the largest independent whiskey distilleries in the country and the first to be developed in Carlow in over 200 years.
Opened in June 2016, the distillery is the key element in a €25 million investment which positions Walsh Whiskey Distillery as one of the leading craft Irish whiskey producers in this, Irish whiskey’s second golden age.
The company produces Walsh Whiskey’s critically acclaimed, award winning, super-premium Irish whiskey brands – The Irishman and Writers Tears. The distillery is very rare for being manually-controlled and producing all three styles of Irish whiskey in one still house, namely – pot still, malt and grain.
The still house has two production lines, using both pot stills and column stills, which give Walsh Whiskey Distillery the capacity to produce 650,000 cases (two and a half million litres of pure alcohol (LPA’s) or 8 million bottles) of whiskey annually.
The giant pot stills weigh between four and five tonnes each and scale up to 6.5 metres in height. The largest of the pot stills has a capacity of 15,000 litres. In all there is almost 30 tonnes of copper and steel whiskey distilling equipment installed at Royal Oak.
Both of whiskey’s main ingredients, water and barley, are in plentiful local supply from the surrounding barley-growing farms and the Barrow Valley Aquifer, a massive natural underground reservoir containing 200 million cubic metres of water located 70 metres directly below the distillery at Royal Oak.
Visitors to Royal Oak relax in a sylvan setting while learning about Irish whiskey distilling by interacting directly with our team of twelve local distillers. These craftsmen expertly distil each batch of new make spirit that will ultimately become one of our premium whiskeys – The Irishman or Writers Tears – for enjoyment in over 40 countries worldwide. Smelling and tasting whiskey at various stages of its development is part of what is an immersive experience that extends to the grounds of the Royal Oak estate.
Visitors to Royal Oak can also stroll around the grounds and take in our ongoing renovation of the estate’s original centrepiece, Holloden House. This stately home was built in circa 1755, some four years before the legendary Guinness brewery at Saint James’ Gate in Dublin. It also predates the French revolution, American independence, the births of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Jane Austen and the establishment of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Dating from this era of Emperors and Royalty goes someway to explaining why the renovation will ultimately cost a King’s ransom when completed several years from now!