I visited two whiskey distilleries – the one in Bushmills and the other in Tullamore – and there’s one I definitely liked a lot more. Find out which one and why underneath the cut!
Bushmills is in Northern Ireland, and it’s a small town. It’s rather cozy, with some shops and restaurants. It’s clean and although it’s small, it looks well.
Tullamore is in the Republic of Ireland and is bigger than Bushmills, but the town itself seemed almost sad, lots of empty spots and houses that definitely need a lot of work.
The distillery in Bushmills offers a big parking spot, a shop with goods and a small area with snacks and drinks. You can buy whiskey there you can buy nowhere else and the area is clean and definitely accustomed to tourists. The shop has a small separate area where you can buy the whiskey, the rest is for merchandise.
Tullamore also offers a big parking spot behind the building. The area is smaller, everything seemed more cozy. There’s also a shop in front and in the back a spot to sit and have a snack or a drink.
Both offer tours, both have a shop and an area for food.
I personally preferred Tullamore, though. Bushmills seemed to be accustomed to big tourist groups and we also saw three buses bringing visitors while we were there. It appeared that their focus was on the tours mostly, and the shop didn’t have anything I’d really like to buy, apart from a small glass. Tullamore had more decoration and appeared smaller, but more private and friendly at the same time. The shop was also cooler, offering more diverse products; and finally the staff there was a lot friendlier.
I don’t know which whiskey is better, as I am not a whiskey-drinker, but when it comes to decoration, friendly staff, food variety and interesting merchandise, for me Tullamore definitely wins!