Royal Oak Distillery, Carlow

#1 of 24 in Things to do in Carlow
Must see · Distillery Tour · Hidden Gem · Food & Drink
The Royal Oak Distillery is a world class distillery producing hand crafted Irish whiskey, proudly located on an 18th century estate in Ireland's Ancient East region. Visitors can experience a revival of historic tradition as well as forging ahead with innovation in a fully guided, multi-sensory tour of one of Ireland's largest operational whiskey distilleries: see first-hand how all three styles of Irish whiskey - pot still, malt and grain - are created! The Royal Oak Distillery is unique in being the first to distill all 3 types of whiskey under one roof.

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!
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195 reviews
  • An interesting , informative and very enjoyable tour. Fionn was an excellent and knowledgeable guide. Would highly recommend a visit to Royal Oak.  more »
  • We arrived to the distillery at 1:30 for a 2:00 tour on Sunday (times vary during the weekdays). We walked around the manor house while we waited. The tour was very fun. Paddy was a great and...  more »
  • Tour of the distillery was very informative, with guided tasting afterwards. Very much recommend a visit, it was wort it. Paddy was our guide who kept us entertained the whole trip
  • Paddy was professional, funny and kind. We can't wait to go back with friends. Thank you.

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