After contradictions of whether to tour the Guinness or Jameson distillery, the path we took led us to Jameson. If you have a student ID, you can get a tour for a reduced price!
Sold all over the world, it’s roots are in this small distillery founded in 1780 by John Jameson. His motto was “Sine Metu” meaning ‘Without Fear’. From the beginning, John Jameson concentrated on the quality of his whiskey.
The tour consists of a guided walking tour through the distillery, learning about each step of the process of how Jameson is made, a whiskey taste testing, and ending with a choice of drink of a Jameson Ginger or shot of Jameson to end your stay. I would also recommend to buy your tickets in advanced, or plan to buy them early for a set time, go off and do something else and then come back for the time of your tour so you don’t have to sit around waiting. If you don’t mind waiting, enjoy a drink from the bar or hop on upstairs and grab a bite to eat at the restaurant. The place in general has a cool vibe and feel, making it comfortable to sit and wait for your tour time.
The tour starts with an introductory video. From there a tour guide takes you through the distillery.
There is a seven step process on the stages of Irish whiskey making.
Stage One – Grainstore: Although Jameson takes years to mature, there are only three main ingredients: pure Irish water, malted barley, and unsalted barley.
Stage Two – Malting: The malted barley used is dried in closed kilns to ensure an unsmoked smooth taste.
Stage Three – Milling: The barley and unsalted barley is then milled into a coarse flour called grist. The water wheel was the main power source.
Stage Four – Mashing: The grist is then mixed with hot water at a temperature of 63 degrees celsius, in an enormous vessel called the ‘Mash Tun’. The mixture is stirred by large rakes and the starches from the grains are converted into farmable sugars.
Stage Five – Fermentation: The ‘wort’ is then pumped to the ‘wash back’ a liquid yeast was added and fermentation begins.
Stage Six – Distillation: Distilling is the art of separating alcohol from water. Jameson is only obtained only after three separate distillations. Each stage results in a smoother quality – the key to Jameson’s smoothness.
Stage Seven – Maturation: Next, the spirit is filled into oak casks and stored in dark, aromatic warehouses to mature.
Today, even though the distillery in Dublin has been shut down and moved to Cork, Jameson continues to be made according to the same high standards of its founder John Jameson.
The tour ended with a whiskey taste testing session. We were given a shot of Jameson, a Scottish whiskey, followe
by an American whiskey – Jack Daniels. Of course out of there three, Jameson by far was the best and smoothest.