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John Jameson & Son Bow Street Dublin 1780-1971 Distillery History
John Jameson's Dublin Distillery was founded in 1780. His family motto and guiding philosophy was "Sine Metu", meaning "Without Fear", which appears today on every bottle of Jameson.
The distillery was located just outside the original Dublin City gates next to the Smithfield market.
John Jameson was a stickler for detail, from the raw materials through production and final maturation
The waters for distillation was drawn from wells situated under the five-acre site, - where an ancient Celtic oak forest had stood there and was said to give the water special characteristics.
On discovering that certain strains of barley made a superior whiskey, he persuaded local farmers to grow them by providing seed grain every spring.
A firm believer in long maturation He insisted that only the finest casks available were used for maturation.
Large cellars were dug so that the casks could mature in a cool damp atmosphere. Later multi-storey warehousing, these were built with channelling that allowed trapped rainwater to be collected. This water perminated into the walls recreating the damp cool conditions of the cellars.
By 1820, John Jameson & Sons was the second largest distilling company in Ireland. News about the quality of the Jameson whiskeys travelled far and wide and demand was growing not just at home but abroad.
In 1858, a blight destroyed France's vineyards and consequently supplies of Brandy dried up. The traditional brandy drinkers switched to Irish whiskey and Jameson sales soared.
By 1890, Ireland had about 90% of the global whiskey/whisky export market and the Jameson distillery was making 10% of Ireland's annual whiskey output.
However, after more than 100 years of growth and success, Jameson was dealt two cruel blows in quick succession. In 1919, Jameson was a bestseller whiskey in the USA. With the introduction of Prohibition, the USA exports of Jameson vanished.
At the same time Jameson was the most popular whiskey in the British Empire. However after Irish Independence in 1922, the English introduced tariff barriers and priced Irish whiskey out of the market. Without overseas demand, all 400 Irish whiskey brands fell into decline.
By 1966, three distilling companies left in the Republic of Ireland. Cork Distillers Co Ltd, John Power & Son, and John Jameson & Sons. In a bold bid to keep the spirit of Irish whiskey alive, the three joined forces and formed Irish Distillers. The Northern Ireland distillery Bushmills joined the Irish Distillers Group in 1972.
Production at the Bow Street distillery stopped in 1971 and was transferred to John Power’s distillery at Johns Lane before moving to the New Midleton distillery in Co. Cork.
John Jameson & Son Midleton Distillery 1975-
In 1975, Irish Distillers opened a new state of the art distillery in Midleton Co. Cork and Jameson was distilled outside of Dublin for the first time in 200 years.
In 1988/9 Irish Distillers was the subject of a hard fought take-over battle between the British giant Grand Metropolitan and French rival Pernod Ricard, which the latter won.
Today, nearly 230 years after John Jameson opened his doors, John Jameson's passion lives on in the exceptionally smooth Irish whiskeys that still bear his name.
Jameson Standard Blended Irish Whiskey
Jameson 12 Year Old Blended Irish Whiskey Formally Jameson 1780 Blend
Jameson 18 Year Old Blended Irish Whiskey
Jameson Gold Blended Irish Whiskey (Duty Free Travel Shops Only)
Jameson Irish Whiskey 40%
Nose - To the nose, Jameson has a light floral fragrance, peppered with spicy wood and sweet notes.
Taste - Perfect balance of spicy, nutty and vanilla notes with hints of sweet sherry and exceptional smoothness.
Finish - Incredibly smooth and mellow finish.
The Old Jameson Distillery,
Tel: 00 353 1 8072355
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