Our History

IRELAND’S OLDEST LICENSED DISTILLERY, SINCE 1608

Granted a license to distill in 1608, Bushmills is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world. Along the north coast of Ireland, where arctic storms rage against the jagged cliffs and where the crisp waters of the River Bush cut through volcanic rock, generations have passed down an ancient distilling tradition.

Situated on the rugged and beautiful north coast of Ireland in the village of Bushmills.

In a place where the name of the town and the name of the whiskey are a testament to the very land and the very people that protect this tradition.

Named for the mills that made the barley and the River Bush, which remains the water source to cut our whiskey to proof today, Bushmills is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in Ireland, and the world.

In the 1850s, when Bushmills was still “young,” the Crown imposed a tax on those distilling in Ireland through a tax on barley. Even then, malted barley was known to make the finest whiskey, known as “pure malt” whiskey.

That tax forever changed Irish whiskey, as distilleries began trading out barley for corn or other grains. Irish blended whiskey was born, and Irish single malt fell out of favor – except at Bushmills.

A Bit About The Process

Crafted as we always have, we continue to triple distill 100% malted barley in copper pot stills to make our pure malt whiskey. We then mature the whiskey, as is, to create Ireland’s finest single malts, or blend it with a lighter grain whiskey to make Bushmills Original, BLACK BUSH, and RED BUSH. Few Irish distilleries to this day will use any malt in their blended whiskeys, making Bushmills blended whiskeys unique.

Our master distiller and president of the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA), Colum Egan, would say that “we are not the best because we’re the oldest, but rather, we’re the oldest because we are the best.”

To discover how we craft Bushmills Irish Whiskey, come visit us for a distillery tour. We also offer private tours and tasting experiences. Check out our Distillery Tours page for more info.

We've been at it since 1608.

Crafted as we always have, we continue to triple distill 100% malted barley in copper pot stills to make our pure malt whiskey. Enjoy a dram neat, or in your favorite cocktail.

we've been at it since 1608

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