The Old Bushmills Distillery is a distillery in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. As of December 2014, it is in the process of transitioning from ownership by Diageo plc to Casa Cuervo. According to the company, a distillery by this name was first recorded in 1743, although at the time it was “in the hands of smugglers” (in a quote attributed to Victorian whiskey journalist Alfred Barnard). The Bushmills Distillery claims to be—and is almost unanimously considered to be—the oldest licensed distillery in the world.
All of the whiskey bottled under the Bushmills whiskey brand is produced at the Bushmills Distillery. A licence to distill in the area was granted to Sir Thomas Phillipps in 1608 by King James I, and the 1608 date is printed on the labels of the Bushmills brand whiskey. It uses water drawn from Saint Columb’s Rill which is a tributary of the River Bush.