Jameson Irish Whiskey

Jameson Irish Whiskey

Type Irish Whiskey
Manufacturer Irish Distillers (Pernod Ricard)
Country of origin Cork (originally Dublin), Ireland
Introduced 1780
Proof 80
Variants Crested Ten, 12 Year Old, 18 Year Old, Gold
Related products Paddy, Powers, Tullamore Dew

Jameson is a blended Irish whiskey produced by the Irish Distillers subsidiary of Pernod Ricard.

The company was established in 1780 when John Jameson established the Bow Street Distillery in Dublin. Jameson was Scottish, a lawyer from Alloa who had married Margaret Haig, a sister of the brothers who founded the main Haig firms, and related to the Steins, a Scottish distilling family with interests in Dublin. Portraits of John and Margaret Jameson by Sir Henry Raeburn are in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland.

Originally one of the six main Dublin Whiskeys, Jameson is now distilled in Cork. In 2013, annual sales topped 4.7 million cases (56.4 million bottles). Jameson is by far the best selling Irish whiskey in the world, as it has been sold internationally since the early 19th century. The United States is the largest market for Jameson Whiskey, with consumption during 2013 up by 12%.[1]

Company history

Historical pot still at the Jameson distillery in Cork

When John Jameson, a Scottish businessman,[2] acquired the Bow Street Distillery in 1780, it was producing about 30,000 gallons annually. By the turn of the 19th century, it was the second largest producer in Ireland and one of the largest in the world, producing 1,000,000 gallons annually. Dublin at the time was the centre of world whiskey production. It was the second most popular spirit in the world after rum and internationally Jameson had by 1805 become the world's number one whiskey. Today, Jameson is the world's third largest single-distillery whiskey.

Historical events, for a time, set the company back. The temperance movement in Ireland had an enormous impact domestically but the two key events that affected Jameson were the Irish War of Independence and subsequent trade war with the British which denied Jameson the export markets of the Commonwealth, and shortly thereafter, the introduction of prohibition in the United States. While Scottish brands could easily slip across the Canadian border, Jameson was excluded from its biggest market for many years.[3]

The introduction of column stills by the Scottish blenders in the mid-19th-century enabled increased production that the Irish, still making single pot still whiskey, could not compete with. There was a legal enquiry somewhere in 1908 to deal with the trade definition of whiskey. The Scottish producers won within some jurisdictions, and blends became recognised in the law of that jurisdiction as whiskey. The Irish in general, and Jameson in particular, continued with the traditional pot still production process for many years.

In 1966 John Jameson merged with Cork Distillers and John Powers to form the Irish Distillers Group. The New Midleton Distillery built by Irish Distillers produces most of the Irish whiskey sold in Ireland. The new facility adjoins the old one, which is now a tourist attraction. The Jameson brand was then acquired by the French drinks conglomerate Pernod Ricard in 1988, when it bought Irish Distillers. The old Jameson Distillery now serves as a museum which offers a tour.[4]

In 2008, The Local, an Irish pub in Minneapolis, sold 671 cases of Jameson (22 bottles a day).[5] making it the largest server of Jameson's in the world – a title it maintained for four consecutive years.[6]


Jameson Special Reserve, Gold Reserve, Limited Reserve, & Rarest Vintage Reserve
Jameson Signature Reserve & Jameson Black Barrel Select Reserve

As well as Jameson Original, the Jameson Reserves include:

  • Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve (Formerly known as Jameson 1780)
  • Jameson 12 Year Old Distillery Reserve is available at their two visitor centres in Ireland and also available from their online shop.[7]
  • Jameson Gold Reserve (the only expression of Jameson that uses virgin American oak).
  • Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve
  • Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve (Jameson's oldest and rarest whiskey components).
  • Jameson Signature Reserve (exclusive to Travel Retail & Duty Free outlets around the world).
  • Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel (available in limited quantities in the US; known as "Small Batch" outside the US).

Production process

Jameson Irish whiskey is produced from a mixture of malted and unmalted or "green" Irish barley, all sourced from within a fifty mile radius around the distillery in Cork. The barley is dried in a closed kiln fired by natural gas (formerly anthracite coal). This is in contrast to the traditional method used in Scotch whisky production, which fires the kiln with peat, adding a distinctive peat flavour.

By the early 19th century, the distillery was producing one million gallons (3,785,112 litres) of whiskey per year and had grown to be the largest in the world. The production has now moved to the Midleton distillery and the Bow Street site is currently a museum and visitors centre.


Jameson products – in particular its 18-Year and its Rarest Reserve – have rated very highly at international spirit ratings competitions. The 18-Year received a series of gold and double gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition between 2005 and 2010.[8] The Rarest Reserve has won gold and double gold medals there as well. Rarest Reserve is rated as one of the Top 20 whiskies in the world by Proof66.[9]

Jameson First Shot

Jameson First Shot [10] is a short film making contest which is run in partnership with Trigger Street production company.[11]

Jameson has been involved with the film industry since 1998, when the Jameson Short Film Award was created and presented at film festivals around the world. Jameson is currently involved in many film events happening all over the world. Some sponsorships include the Jameson Cult Film Club,[12] Done in 60 Seconds [13] and the Jameson Empire Awards,[14] and the Manhattan Short Film Festival India [15] among others.

Concept The aim of the short film contest is to seek out talented film craftsmen. These three writer/directors are offered the opportunity to have their short film produced by the award-winning Trigger Street Productions whilst directing an A-list actor in the lead role. The competition is open to residents of South Africa, Russia or the US who are at least 25 years-old. They must write a script of no more than seven pages based on one of the theme: ‘Legendary’, ‘Humorous’, and ‘Very Tall Tale’. Judges include actor and Trigger Street founder Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti who will judge the scripts and the finalist’s shortlisted scenes. From the scripts sent in by the closing date, a shortlist of candidates from each country – South Africa, Russia and the US are chosen. Each shortlisted candidate is required to further showcase their talent and film making ability. One winner from each country will have their script made into a short film by Trigger Street Productions, starring a major motion picture actor.

Previous Winners 2013 (starring Willem Defoe) Russia - Anton Lanshakov – The Smile Man [16] South Africa- Hanneke Schutte – Saving Norman [17] USA – Shirlyn Wong – Love’s Routine [18] 2012 (starring Kevin Spacey) Russia – Aleksey Nuzhny – Envelope [19] South Africa - Alan Shelley – Spirit of a Denture [20] USA – Benjamin Leavitt – The Ventriloquist [21]

See also


  1. ^ "Jameson Experience, Midleton". Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Dias Blue, Anthony (2010). The Complete Book of Spirits: A Guide to Their History, Production, and Enjoyment. HarperCollins. p. 165.  
  4. ^ "WELCOME TO THE HOME OF JAMESON WHISKEY". Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  5. ^ Kimball, Joe. Minneapolis bar wins Irish whiskey sales award", Mar 9 2009""". Minnpost.com. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  6. ^ Leon, Michelle (2010-05-14). Jameson at the Local: Drink of the week," May 14, 2010""". Blogs.citypages.com. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  7. ^ "jameson visitor center". Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Summary Page for Jameson 18-Year". Proof66.com. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  9. ^ "Top 20 Whiskies at". Proof66.com. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  10. ^ "Jameson First Shot". JamesonWhiskey.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  11. ^ "Trigger Street Productions". TriggerStreet.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  12. ^ "Jameson Cult Film Club". jamesoncultfilmclub.ie. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  13. ^ "Done in 60 Seconds". empirediss.com/. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  14. ^ "Jameson Empire Awards". empireonline.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  15. ^ http://www.manhattanshortindia.com
  16. ^ "The Smile Man". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  17. ^ "Saving Norman". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  18. ^ "Love's Routine". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  19. ^ "Envelope". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  20. ^ "Spirit of a Denture". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  21. ^ "The Ventriloquist". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 

External links

  • Official website