Oh, show me the way to the next whiskey bar. Oh don’t ask why. No don’t ask why.– Jim Morrison
Whiskey has been tied with the Irish culture for centuries, with the word “whiskey” having Gaelic roots. Some of the first recordings of Irish whiskey dates back to 1405 and it is one of Europe’s earliest distilled beverages. So visiting whiskey bars and distilleries while touring the Emerald Isle, should always be included. I have been to Ireland three times and have never left without a drink of uisce beatha – the water of life.
A terrific place to visit to learn about the Irish whiskey culture are the Jameson Distilleries. The Jameson Distillery Bow St is one of two in Ireland. The second one is in Midleton in Cork County, which I have visited as well. The difference is the Bow St location in Dublin, is the original site where Jameson Irish Whiskey was distilled from 1780 until 1971. The Midleton Jameson is a much larger location and where their whiskey is actually produced. My advice in visiting is to check out both!
On my most recent visit to Ireland, I had re-visited the Bow St location in Dublin. It was my second time to visit this distillery and they have changed their tour. So, if you have been on this distillery tour several years ago, it is a different experience now. The first time I did the Bow St tour was in 2011 and it was more of a walking tour with displays, as we were shown different rooms of the facility.
Jameson’s Distillery Bow St tour back in 2011
This time a round the tour had changed a lot. It was more visual through a projection movie and a mini lecture. It also had a sensory experience and was very well organized.
Also, back in 2011 they chose several lucky people from the group to try out three different whiskies and decide which they prefer. I was one of those lucky people who got that chance to try and I received a printed out Qualified Irish Whiskey Taster Certificate in a Jameson’s souvenir tube.
Now-a-days, everyone gets that chance to make their decision on which type of whiskey they prefer. I think the tasting is the best part of this tour. It is fun to try out and decide with your friends and other tourists from around the world. I felt it was a better experience for all, because in 2011 I felt everyone’s jealous eyes burning a hole into my soul.
On the most current visit, I was lucky enough to do this tour with a friend from back in the States. We happened to book flights into Dublin which arrived on the same day. The crazy part was that we had just arrived and were jetlagged. We met up at Jameson’s, did two tours back to back and had a lot of whiskey fun.
We had done the regular distillery tour plus the ‘Secret Tasting’ tour. The later tour was great and was worth the additional cost. We were brought into a secret room with a gorgeous bar and were given an additional whiskey tasting that included the Jameson Original, Jameson Crested, Jameson Distillery Edition and Jameson Black Barrel Cask Strength. Two of which were only available at the distillery.
The Jameson Distillery at both the Dublin and Midleton locations should not be missed. Although it is tourist attraction, it is very informative about commercial whiskey production in Ireland. Plus, if you book the ‘Secret Tasting’ you will enjoy a couple of tastes that are only available at the distillery- Cheers!
For more information and ticketing, please visit – Jameson Bow St
Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough…– Mark Twain
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