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To unlock the secrets of Ireland’s smallest distillery, you’re going to need a key. That key is dinnseanchas. (‘din-shana-cus’). It’s an Irish word for the poetic tradition that expresses and celebrates the lore of a place: its songs, its stories, its legends, its name.
The dinnseanchas of Killowen is a rich and inspiring one. Join us for a tour of our little distillery and we’ll make it come alive for you. Why, even the path you take to get here has its own lore. It formed part of the route taken by brandy smugglers during the Napoleonic wars. And that mountain in front of you? It’s called Knock Shee - Irish for the Fairy Mountain.
Once you’re inside our traditional small batch distillery, we’ll explain how we make our pot still Irish whiskey and gin. You’ll find out what a pot still is, too. In fact we’ll introduce you to both of ours: Christoir (1000 litres) and Broc (800 litres). Discover how their design and the special processes we use (flame heat and worm tub condensation, for instance) contribute to the character of our spirits.
Which, naturally, we’ll be inviting you to taste - in an appropriately comfortable setting. Sample our Killowen Gin. We make it using seasonal botanicals, many of them handpicked from the immediate locality. And try our Killowen Pot Still Irish Whiskey. You’ll soon see why ‘Malt’, the authoritative whiskey website, has recently given it a rave review.
Fancy some poitín? You’ll be sampling that too. Poitín - say ‘potcheen’ but don’t pronounce the ‘t’ - was once an illegal and unregulated moonshine. It gets its name from the fact that it was always made in a pot still - just as ours is today. Killowen Poitín uses a recipe from a local Mourne family that has been handed down from generation to generation.
On your tour we’ll also be sharing some Irish distillation truths with you. These are the insights we’ve gathered over the years into the true culture and heritage of distillation in Ireland. Learn too about the ingredients that go into the making of an Irish whiskey that is true to tradition: oats, wheat, unmalted & malted rye and green malt.
Also true to tradition is the live music you’ll enjoy at the end of your tour. It’s music from around here, of course. That’s the way we like to do things in Killowen. We think you’ll like it that way too.