Along the banks of the Grand Canal, Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre—in a 19th century bonded warehouse—trades heavily on its historic Irish identity. The center underwent a major redevelopment in 2012, adding new whiskey tours and tasting sessions. In 2014, a €35-million distillery opened at Clonminch on the outskirts of town, bringing whiskey production back to the area after a gap of 60 years. The company has also embarked on a €10-million global marketing campaign, and today it's the world's second-largest and fastest-growing Irish whiskey brand. It's all a far cry from humble beginnings in 1829 when Tullamore Distillery was founded. It was greatly expanded under the aegis of Daniel E. Williams, whose family became joint shareholders, and his own initials, D-E-W, were added to the whiskey's name, inspiring the slogan "Give every man his Dew." (which appeared on the bottles for many years). Triple-distilled, and made from a unique blend of single malt, pot still, and grain whiskey,
it is regarded by connoisseurs as exceptionally smooth. Different aspects of the production processes are reflected in five short film presentations. Guided tours include the Original Classic or the Special Reserve tour. For an extra special tipple ask for a bottle of the limited edition Old Bonded Warehouse whiskey, sold exclusively on-site; in the unique lingua franca of aficionados, it's said to have "zesty lemon notes . . . mellow complexity . . . a smooth vanilla oakiness . . . and lingering finish of honey, toffee and wood." At €53 a bottle, this may be one to treasure for a few years before opening. Check the website for tour and tasting schedules. The center also includes a tourist information point.