A Leitrim distillery tour – taking in a dash of history with lunch after – is perfect day trip and a way to celebrate the spirit
At the one-of-a-kind Shed Distillery in Co Leitrim you are taken on a fascinating journey, part experience, part exhibition, conceived by modern day inventor PJ Rigney, creator of Gunpowder Gin and Sausage Tree Vodka.The newly-built distillery on the site of the old Lairds jam factory (we all remember Bo Peep jam) in the village of Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim, is now home to one of the most interesting and creative distillery experiences in Ireland. The location was chosen for its proximity to the former Arigna Mines, where Rigney’s parents met back in the 1950s (his mother Mary was the bookkeeper at the mine while his Dad, Seamus, was the auditor).
A visit to the visitor centre combines two distinct experiences in one tour – a Curious Journey into the Inner Sanctum of the first whiskey distillery in Connacht in 101 years, and a voyage to the Far East to discover gunpowder tea, the inspiration behind Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, The Shed’s flagship brand. You will be granted entry to PJ’s curious world, home to odd and interesting artefacts discovered in far-off lands, all curated with extraordinary imagination by creative director Ros Walshe.
You can witness how every precious drop of Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is slow-distilled by hand and enjoy an expert tasting in the maturation hall. Take in the shiny copper distillation equipment and enjoy a curious botanical trail from Ancient China back to Drumshanbo, discovering Kaffir limes, oriental grapefruits and many other interesting botanicals along the way. Post-tour, soak up the atmosphere with a refreshing Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin & Tonic at the Honey Badger bar and pop in to the Jackalope Café, which serves deliciously fresh lunches, salads, snacks and speciality teas and coffee.
The Shed Distillery is very much a family business. The Shed Distillery is a part of the community social enterprise Food Hub, founded by local Drumshanbo Community Council to create jobs. PJ Rigney and his wife Denise had an aim for the old jam factory – to provide a place to distil their gin and craft their own whiskey. With co-founder and Director of the Distillery Denise instrumental in managing every stage of the project, it has expanded to become so much more.
Visit The Shed Distillery, Carrick-on-Shannon Road, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim, Ireland. To book a tour, please visit www.thesheddistillery.com/visit-us/
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