Jameson Irish Whiskey
|Manufacturer||Irish Distillers (Pernod Ricard)|
|Country of origin||Cork (originally Dublin), Ireland|
|Variants||Crested Ten, 12 Year Old, 18 Year Old, Gold|
|Related products||Paddy, Powers, Tullamore Dew|
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 million cases (48 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 when both John Jameson and his son (also named John) were producing more than a million gallons annually.
When John Jameson, a Scottish businessman, 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.
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.
In 2008, The Local, an Irish pub in Minneapolis, sold 671 cases of Jameson (22 bottles a day). making it the largest server of Jameson's in the world – a title it maintained for four consecutive years.
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.
- 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).
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2010)|
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. 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.
- "Irish Distillers". Retrieved 13 February 2007.[dead link]
- [dead link]
- Dias Blue, Anthony (2010). The Complete Book of Spirits: A Guide to Their History, Production, and Enjoyment. HarperCollins. p. 165. ISBN 9780062012814.
- Kimball, Joe. ""Minneapolis bar wins Irish whiskey sales award", Mar 9 2009". Minnpost.com. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- Leon, Michelle (2010-05-14). ""Jameson at the Local: Drink of the week," May 14, 2010". Blogs.citypages.com. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- "jameson visitor center". Retrieved 6 June 2012.[dead link]
- "Summary Page for Jameson 18-Year". Proof66.com. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- "Top 20 Whiskies at". Proof66.com. Retrieved 2013-10-29.