OLD JAMESON DISTILLERY - DUBLIN
Touring Whiskey Making in Dublin
John Jameson began making whiskey in Dublin in 1780 after purchasing a distillery on Bow Street in west Dublin already in operation. Jameson was actually a Scotsman, but built the Irish Whiskey brand into the world’s number one whiskey by 1805. Jameson is not the oldest Irish Whiskey maker, that distinction belongs to Bushmills in the north of Ireland, but John Jameson and Sons is still the largest exporter of Irish Whiskey and the number three whiskey seller in the world. The Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin no longer actively makes the whiskey, the distilling operations have moved to Cork in the south, but the old buildings now house a tour, bar and restaurant entertainment center and museum.
Visitors to Dublin can take the Old Jameson Distillery tour, which provides a look into the history, processes and mystique of whiskey production. While not a ride, the Old Jameson Distillery Tour shares something in common with an amusement theme ride. After waiting in the restaurant and bar in the main hall, the tour is taken in a group, entering through a door on the appointed time to watch a film about the history of Jameson and whiskey process. Before the movie begins the guide will ask for volunteers. If you like tasting whiskey, volunteer, because this will play an important part at the end of the tour.
After the film, the tour leads through the stages of whiskey making the Jameson way, past stone grinding wheels, copper vats and cutaway barrels, learning how malted and unmalted barley is mixed, kiln dried, milled into grist, mixed with water in a mash and turned into a liquid called wort, added with yeast to ferment, then distilled to separate the alcohol from the water, matured, mixed and vatted. What you’ll mostly hear about on the Jameson tour is the difference between Irish Whiskey and other whiskeys like Scotch and American blends, bourbons and Jack Daniels sour mash. Irish Whiskey, especially Jameson prides itself on its smoothness, created by three distilling steps, compared to two distillations of Scotch whiskey and only one for American whiskeys. And where in Scotland Scotch peat smoke infuses the malt with the distinct flavors of Scotch, Jameson’s Irish whiskey uses the barrel fermentation to add flavor to the alcohol. This distinction will now play its part in the end of the tour, when tour guests get to enjoy a glass of Jameson’s with a mixer, and those volunteers join a panel of tasters to sample the different aforementioned varieties of whiskey while friends, family and other tour-goers get to watch their fellows get a bit sloshed. From a brand marketing point of view, it is hoped that the tasters will chose the smoothness of the Irish Whiskey over that peaty old Scotch and sour mash of an American bourbon, though the Irish doesn’t always win. After the tour, guests are invited to go shopping in the Jameson gift store with a full range of Jameson products for sale, or have a bite and a glass in the 3rd Still restaurant or JJ’s Bar.
While the tour is certainly a brand marketing tool, it is an entertaining and informative hour journey through the world of whiskey, with an opportunity to imbibe a bit in the dusky liquid of kings. The Old Jameson Distillery tour is open 7 days a week from 9am to 6pm with the last tour at 5:30. In the evenings, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from April to October, music and entertainment parties called “Shindigs” can be booked with advance reservation. A similar tour is also offered at the distillery in County Cork at the Jameson Experience. Bow Street is a little side street one block west of Church Street north of the river from Cornmarket. For city bus 90 from city center the stop is Aston Quay, or the Old Jameson Distillery is a stop on the Dublin On-Off Bus Tour route. By car, parking in the Smithfield Car Park on Queen Street, or side streets with 2 hours meter time. © Bargain Travel Europe
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Jameson & Sons Distillery
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