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They are on sale in every bar and restaurant in the area and much further afield.

Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan Dingle Distillery feels as if it has been here forever.

The building in which it sits looks out over Dingle Bay, making the view from the distillery floor possibly one of the most dramatic in modern industrial life. It is Ireland’s first purpose-built distillery in 200 years, and stands alone as the only Irish-owned whiskey distillery in production in the country.

A distinguishing feature of Irish whiskey is that it is often triple-distilled, and watching over everything are three glorious copper stills.

Hand-built and hand-beaten in Scotland and shaped to a unique design, they take the essence that comes from mashed barley and each in turn distills it into a spirit which is casked and – through the process of ageing – becomes malt whiskey.

It’s as hands-on an experience as you can imagine and as the hours and days pass you begin to understand whiskey, letting learning grow into knowledge.

The real engine of this business is the people who work here: from the young men who have returned from abroad - and closer to home - to be trained in an industry with a bright future, to the distillers Peter Mosley and Brian Taft, the owners, including the man behind the Porterhouse chain Oliver Hughes, and manager Mary Ferriter.Distilling greatness: Mary Ferriter, general manager of Dingle Whiskey Distillery at the refurbished Saw Mills at Milltown, Dingle, Co Kerry.From left, Brian Taft, distiller, Oliver Hughes, owner, Peter Mosley, co-owner/distiller, Sean Burke, distiller, Michael Walsh, operator, Ryan Begley, operator.As we wait for it to appear John Mc Dougall is excited.He’s seen this happen thousands of times before but as the first drops of spirit pour from the still, the years suddenly fall away and he’s like a boy again, grinning with pride.It’s a wonderful thing to see and he says he can’t explain it except that he loves what he does and feels incredibly lucky to be still doing it.