“To be or not to be, f****d up on whisky, that is the question.”
― Robert Black
For those who love their whisky, the answer is quite simple. Whisky is a way of life, and whisky will always be. Here’s a list of old distilleries across the world, for the connoisseur and the adventurer alike:
1. Old Bushmills Distillery, Ireland: Located in the petite village of Bushmills, it is the oldest working distillery in Ireland. With a liquor licence granted by King James I to Sir Thomas Philips, the distillery was officially registered by Hugh Anderson in 1784. In 1885, the distillery was burnt to ashes. But, it was rebuilt shortly. This distillery hosts music festivals and is quite popular among photographers and whisky enthusiasts worldwide.
2. Kilbeggan Distillery, Ireland: Producing whisky since 1757, this distillery has preserved its ancient tuns and fermenters. The age-old waterwheel once used to power the entire distillery stands still, soaked in the glory of the past. The distillery arranges public tours that will take you back in time, with its rich culture, and tradition for company.
3. Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort: Beginning its journey in 1773, it has remained one of the few distilleries that has operated without break since its inception. The distillery is historic because it was operational even during The Prohibition. In 2013, the distillery was declared a National Historic Landmark.
4. Glenturret Distillery, Scotland: Used by moonshiners in early 18th century, this distillery procured the licence to produce and market whisky in 1775. It is Scotland’s oldest distillery. It is open to visitors for tours and tastings. The Famous Grouse, the distillery’s own brew is one of the most popular blended whiskies in the UK.
5. Bowmore Distillery, Scotland: Established in 1779, it is Islay’s first distillery. No. 1 Vaults, a part of the distillery is rumoured to be Scotland’s oldest whisky maturation warehouse. The distillery produces around 2,000,000 litres of fine whisky. In the year 2007, it auctioned one of the oldest ever recorded whiskies from the 1800s.
6. Strathisla Distillery, Scotland: Originally established as the Milltown Distillery in 1786 and known so until 1870s, the distillery was acquired by the Chivas Brothers in 1950. The sprawling courtyard, and pagoda-like central structure makes this distillery a unique one in terms of architecture.
7. Oban Distillery, Scotland: Located in the Highlands on the western coast of Scotland, this distillery has been functional since 1794. Owned by Diageo, although quite small in size, it commands great respect among scotch drinkers. Diageo markets the whisky produced in this distillery as a “Special Releases” series.
8. Glen Garioch Distillery, Scotland: Although some sources claim that this distillery started producing whisky in 1785, the whisky bottles come with the year 1797 imprinted on them. It was shut down in 1968 but started operating again in 1970 when it was bought by Morrison Bowmore Distillers. It has produced a number of vintage smoked barley whiskies and has churned out a number of innovative projects in its 200 years of history.
9. Balblair distillery, Scotland: Founded in 1790, this distillery was later rebuilt and according to a ledger entry in their archive, it has been producing whisky since 1800s. It was shut down in 1932 and reopened in 1949.
10. Kasauli Brewery, India: Believed to be the oldest distillery in all of Asia, the Kasauli distillery was established in the late 1820s by Edward Abraham Dyer. He built this distillery in India to replicate the distilleries of England.