Tullamore

The Tullamore distillery was founded in the year 1829 in the eponymous city of the Offaly earldom in the ccenter of Ireland. The name of the Whiskey is a combination of the place and the initials of Daniel E. Williams, who was the distillery manager at the time. Over the years, the distillery was closed for 60 years. Until it was reopened in 2014, the Tullamore Whiskey was distilled in the Midleton distillery in the earldom of Cork.⁠

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Information about the Distillery
37 Bottles
Ireland
-7.500739 53.253225
Active
Wm. Grant & Sons
1829
Daniel E. Williams
http://www.tullamoredew.com/
Average tasting notes Tasting Notes
Calculated from 150 Tasting Notes
i
Nosing
Sweet:
Fruit:
Vanilla:
Apple:
Spices:
Oak:
Pear:
Tropical Fruit:
Green Apple:
Peat Smoke:
Alcohol:
Zitrus:
Sherry:
Lemon:
Malt:
Caramel:
Peach:
Honey:
Pineapple:
Dried Fruit:
Nuts:
Orange:
Raisin:
Barley:
Wheat:
Chili:
Red Currant:
Berries:
Grape:
Heather:
Grapefruit:
Cinnamon:
Kiwi:
Cake:
Herbs:
Lemon Peel:
Tasting
Sweet:
Fruit:
Vanilla:
Spices:
Oak:
Nuts:
Malt:
Herb:
Sherry:
Peat Smoke:
Oil:
Alcohol:
Apple:
Coffee:
Pepper:
Caramel:
Zitrus:
Pear:
Honey:
Chili:
Green Apple:
Tropical Fruit:
Dark Chocolate:
Peach:
Herbs:
Chocolate:
Heather:
Walnut:
Wheat:
Cinnamon:
Berries:
Lemon:
Grass:
Grape:
Plum:
Banana:
Floral:
Hazelnut:
Nutmeg:
Seaweed:
Almonds:
Kiwi:
Maritime Notes:
Lemon Peel:
Finish
Sweet:
Fruit:
Oak:
Vanilla:
Spices:
Herb:
Malt:
Coffee:
Dark Chocolate:
Honey:
Chocolate:
Chili:
Sherry:
Nuts:
Pepper:
Oil:
Pear:
Herbs:
Zitrus:
Apple:
Banana:
Heather:
Peach:
Tropical Fruit:
Peat Smoke:
Plum:
Green Apple:
Ginger:
Cinnamon:
Alcohol:
Mint:
Details about the Distillery

The Whiskey

In the production of Tullamore D.E.W., the number 3 is decisive: The Whiskey is made from three types of grain distillates, triple distilled and matured in three different types of casks.

In addition to the 'Original' with no age statement and fresh, fruity and sweet vanilla notes, there is also the 12-year-old 'Special Reserve' with spicier notes and dark chocolate, as well as a 15-year-old 'Trilogy' with nutty, spicy and creamy flavours. A 14-year-old and an 18-year-old Single Malt, matured in Bourbon casks, are also part of the distillery's repertoire. The 'Phoenix' is bottled at a higher strength of 55% and the 'Old Bonded Warehouse Release' with a high Pot Still content was released to mark the reopening of the visitor centre in 2012. In addition, Tullamore D.E.W. is also available with a 'Cider Cask Finish' and an 'XO Rum Cask Finish'.

The Production

Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey is triple distilled and blended from three types of Irish Whiskey - Grain, Malt and Pot Still Whiskey. The water for the Tullamore Blends and Single Malts is sourced from the Slieve Bloom Mountains.

The Single Grain is made from 95% wheat and 5% malted barley and most of its production takes place outside: both the large washbacks and the three tall column stills are outdoors. This is how the sweet and floral grain spirit is created. 

Grain Production
Grain Production

The Stills

Tullamore uses three different types of copper stills. The handmade stills are each differently shaped and modelled on the original stills used at the Tullamore distillery. The Lyne Arms of all the stills are slightly tilted downwards. Underneath, some are constricted, some have reflux bowls and some are more bellied than usual. This provides more copper contact and softens the spirit.

In total, there are six pot stills for Single Malt and Pot Still Whiskey production: three for the Malt and three for the Pot Still Whiskey. The wash still, in which the latter is distilled from malted and unmalted barley, does not have its neck attached right in the middle but offset, so that more reflux and thus a smoother spirit is produced. Two further distillation processes then take place in two spirit stills, each holding 12,000 litres. Both are equipped with reflux bowls – again for more copper contact and a lighter spirit. The Single Malt, which consists only of malted barley, is also triple distilled for more copper contact and a milder spirit.

Pot Stills at Tullamore
Pot Stills at Tullamore

The Mashing

The grain is 'washed' with hot water in three mashing processes. The starch is released from the grain and converted into sugar by the enzyme diastase produced in the mashing process. This creates the sugary 'wort'. Since different sugars are dissolved from the grain at different temperatures, there are also different target temperatures during mashing, which are adjusted in the mash tun.

The mixture is then pumped into a lauter tun, where it is sprinkled twice more with water. This washes more sugars out of the grain.

Depending on which new make spirit is to be produced (Grain, Malt or Pot Still), different temperatures are required, so Tullamore has precise procedures for each type of spirit production.

Fermentation

The 'wort' then goes into the twelve washbacks, each with a capacity of 36,000 litres. By adding yeast, a beer with eight to ten percent alcohol content is produced within several hours. During the three-day fermentation, the degree of warmth is monitored so that the mash can already be poured in at an elevated temperature. The cooling jacket on the fermentation vats prevents the mixture from becoming too warm during fermentation. The process yields a fruity and grassy new make spirit at Tullamore.

The Warehouse

The nine spacious warehouses of the Tullamore distillery offer room for around 346,000 casks. Three different types of casks are filled with Tullamore Whiskey as standard: First Fill and Refill Bourbon as well as Sherry casks. The three new make spirits (Pot Still, Grain, Malt) mature in all three types of casks, with one exception: the Sherry would overpower the mild Grain, which is why the latter matures exclusively in the different Bourbon casks. The master blender can thus compose the Blend from eight cask-spirit-combinations. For individual bottlings, special finishes are also used, for example in Caribbean Rum or Apple Cider casks.

Tullamore is one of the few distilleries that still has a cooperage on site. The advantage: the team can buy as many casks as they like without having to worry about perfect quality, as they can also be refurbished on site.

Tullamore cooperage
Tullamore cooperage

History

The original distillery was opened in 1829 in the heart of the town of Tullamore. Local resident Michael Molloy took advantage of the favourable economic climate in Ireland at the time and built the distillery - on land previously occupied by a Whiskey distillery owned by Joseph Flanagan. Molloy's nephew Bernard Daly inherited the distillery in the 1840s and appointed Daniel E. Williams as manager around 1880. From the mid-19th century, the distillery buildings and equipment were extensively modernised. Daly and his family became part of the minor aristocracy in the Tullamore area and left the distillery to Williams around 1900. Williams had thus worked his way up from machine operator to Master Distiller, then manager and finally owner.

In time he opened more than 20 shops as well as a wholesale business for malt, Wine and Spirits. Some people, including envious Belfast blenders, rumoured that Williams’ Whiskey was transported to his shops in underground pipes beneath Patrick Street. Such pipes were never found, but the story became an urban legend surrounding the distillery. For example, it was said that outside the distillery headquarters on Patrick Street, someone was always standing and singing 'O Danny boy, the pipes are calling'. The song is also sung by a group of young men in Danny's bar in the commercial for the Blend in 2018.

Production ceased in 1954, but the brand remained, and Tullamore Blends continued to be sold. In the meantime, Tullamore was distilled at Midleton distillery, a two hours' drive south on the coast of Ireland. The brand continued to exist and in memory of Daniel E. Williams, his initials were added and the name was changed to 'Tullamore D.E.W.'. In 1965, the brand name was sold to Power's and shortly afterwards became part of the Irish Distillers Group. The brand was sold to the C&C Group in 1993 and to William Grant and Sons in 2010, in whose hands it remains today.

After 60 years of waiting, Tullamore D.E.W. resumed production in September 2014 at its headquarters in Tullamore, County Offaly. The new state-of-the-art distillery has been producing its own Malt and Pot Still Whiskey again since 2014. In 2017, the company's own Grain distillery was also built. Three years later (2020), the distillery was expanded to include its own cooperage so that casks could henceforth be repaired on site.

Tullamore Visitor Centre
Tullamore Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre

The Tullamore Distillery's extensive visitor centre opened at the end of 2012. In addition to a restaurant, a souvenir shop and tastings, Tullamore offers three different guided tours: During the 'Ultimate Distillery Experience', you are guided through the entire production process, during the 'Whiskey Wise Masterclass', six 'rarer' samples are tasted and 'The Curios Taster's Journey' is personally guided by a Whiskey expert. The tours can be booked on the Tullamore homepage.

Visitor information

Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre
Bury Quay
Tullamore
County Offaly

Chronological rating history

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