Tullamore D.E.W., named for original distiller and later owner, Daniel E. Williams, has long been synonymous with Irish whiskey. Founded in 1829 in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, the distillery remained open until 1954, when it closed its doors. The brand was purchased by William Grant & Sons, the family-owned distillery behind Glenfiddich Scotch Whiskey and Hendricks Gin, in 2010.
In 2014, William Grant & Sons re-opened Tullamore D.E.W. with a new pot distillery, officially telling the world they were back. In 2017, they opened a brand spanking new grain distillery next door to the pot distillery, both located on the site of the original Tullamore distillery. For a company that had long blended sourced spirits for distilling, making the move to grain-to-glass was huge.
While many distilleries on the Emerald Isle closed due to high taxation, British trade blockades in opposition to Irish independence, and famine, Tullamore D.E.W. endured in a most unique way. To keep the doors open, Tullamore D.E.W. was distilled in the same building as most other Irish Whiskey, including Jameson and Sons.
“To survive, a lot of distilleries had to shut down in Ireland, ”said Donna Stewart, Tullamore D.E.W.’s Western United States Ambassador. ”Then a lot of the distillers got together, they called themselves ’Irish Distillers’ so Jameson, Tullamore and all the big players, they all got together and they made whiskey in one distillery. In many ways, the Irish Distillers saved Irish whiskey.”
These days Tullamore D.E.W. is made up of all three types of Irish whiskey: grain, malt, and pot distilled, and uses Irish wheat and not important corn. They join other grain distilleries in Ireland such as Cooley, Middleton, and Great Northern Distillery.
Stewart advised that neat, on the rocks, or in a classic Irish Coffee are great ways to enjoy this triple distilled spirit, but added that ‘D.E.W. and a Brew’ is another way to enjoy Tullamore. “It’s one of the ways we recommend to enjoy Tullamore D.E.W., is with a beer.” said Stewart. “A beer of your choice with a Tully of your choice. This works well since beer and whiskey are cousins in malt whose similarities play off each other.”
A new grain distillery isn’t the only thing up Tullamore’s sleeve since their return in 2014. Tully, as it’s affectionately known, has introduced several cask variations of their original Tullamore D.E.W. Variations include a Cider Cask version which finishes with notes apple and malt, the XO Rum Cask which provides sweet molasses finish, as well as 14 and 18-year single malt expressions that are finished in four different casks. “We have a lot of fun stuff being made right now,” said Stewart.
Daniel E. Williams would certainly be proud of what his distillery has become.
2 part of Tullamore D.E.W. Original
Top with Freshly Brewed Hot Coffee
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
Heavy Cream, Slightly Whipped
Method: Preheat a clear-stemmed glass with very hot water. Add the sugar and brewed coffee and stir well. Once sugar has melted, stir in in the whisky. Gently whip the heavy cream by shaking it in a protein shaker with a blender ball – you want a still somewhat loose, not stiff consistency. Pour the cream over the back of a hot teaspoon to top the drink (and prevent cream from penetrating the top of the drink). Finally, garnish with grated nutmeg or cinnamon for spicy finish.