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When a blight destroyed French vineyards in 1858, drinkers turned to whiskey and Jameson reaped the financial rewards. Towards the end of the 19th Century, the distillery was producing 10% of Ireland’s incredible 90% domination of the international whiskey market.
The onset of US Prohibition and Irish Independence, however, ended Jameson’s stronghold in the American and British Empire markets. In 1966 Ireland’s four remaining distilleries, including Jameson’s, united to form Irish Distillers (itself bought over by Pernod Ricard in 1988).
Less than a decade later, Jameson opened a modern distillery in Midleton, Co. Cork and retained Dublin’s site for vatting. Today Jameson remains a local legend and is the world’s bestselling Irish whiskey.
As with all Irish whiskeys, Jameson is triple distilled, giving it a distinctly smooth flavour. Blends of varying ages of maturation are produced by the company whose bottles bear the Jameson family motto “Sine Metu” or “Without Fear”.
At this atmosphere-steeped visitor centre, tour guides take small groups of visitors through the interactive whiskey-making process. Discover how the finely-honed skills of malting, fermenting, distilling and maturation transform water, barley and yeast into this famous drink - minus the Angel’s Share...
Enormous copper stills, original shoes worn by the distillers, and Smithy, the distillery’s famous mouse-munching cat, are all part of this eclectic tour experience. At the end, everyone receives a complimentary Jameson - straight or mixed to your preference - and volunteers get the chance to earn a coveted whiskey tasting certificate.
The Mezzanine level 3rd Still Restaurant - named after the whiskey’s famous triple maturation process - overlooks the bijou yet effortlessly glamorous entrance with its exposed brick, glistening chandelier and Jameson family portraits. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch, dessert or dinner- some brandishing that Jameson flavour - or try an authentic Irish coffee or sophisticated whiskey cocktail at JJ’s Bar.
And for a truly unique souvenir, treat yourself or a super special mate to a personalised bottle of Jameson Distillery Reserve (12 Year Old) which can only be bought at the exclusive Jameson gift shop. The distillery is right beside the Smithfield red Luas Line stop making it very easy to reach. Find out more at www.jamesonwhiskey.com.