First granted a permit in 1608, Old Bushmills Distillery, in Bushmills, Ireland, is the oldest licensed distillery operating in the world. Some accounts, however, claim that the distillery has been making whiskey since the late 1200's, when one of its earliest landlords used to give his troops "a mighty drop of aqua vitae."
Regardless, Bushmills has had more than enough time to perfect the art of booze making -- a fact borne out by even their cheapest blend, Bushmills Original. Aged in bourbon and sherry casks, it has a sweet flavor, rich with caramel and vanilla. For timid drinkers, it makes a nice intro into the whiskey world.
Trivia: For Irish whiskey fans, Bushmills is right on the money -- literally. In 2008, the Bank of Ireland put the Old Bushmills Distillery on the back of its £5, £10 and £20 banknotes.
Photo: PhotomagBen, Flickr.com