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Jameson Irish Whiskey: A Midlife Crisis Story

A bottle of Jamesons being poured into a whiskey glass with spash

Jameson Irish Whiskey is one of, if not the, most popular Irish whiskey in the world and we are pretty sure you could say ‘Jameson’ anywhere and they will know what to get you. That being said, many may not know where the brand came from or the story behind the brand we love so much today.

As it is coming up to St Patrick’s Day, we thought it was only right we pay homage to the Jameson brand and share with you the story of Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Ironically, the story starts in Scotland. Well before he became the John Jameson of whiskey fame, Jameson was in Scotland working a sturdy 9-5 job and earning a good amount of money. Historians and whiskey lovers put Jameson’s arrival in Ireland down to a midlife crisis as he moved to new pastures to venture into some he had never done before.

In 1780, Jameson took over his wife’s family’s Bow Street Distillery and joined the Silicon Valley of whiskey in Dublin producing Irish Whiskey for mass consumption. 25 years after taking on the Bow Street Distillery, Jameson was producing a million gallons of whiskey every year and the distillery itself covered over 5 acres and was dubbed ‘a city within a city’ due to its vastness.

Just like with any other export from Ireland, Jameson took a really big hit during the Irish War of Independence and the Prohibition-era that followed in the US meaning that bootlegging was the only way Irish Whiskey being drunk. In this day and age, this would have been enough to kill a brand off completely, but demand was still pretty high in Ireland itself and so the brand was able to come out the other side healthier than most.

Since then, Jameson entered a few new markets and started to push the quality and reputation of Irish Whiskey far and wide. This became a much easier thing to do with Jameson merged with other Dublin distillers in the 1960s to form the Irish Distillers Group and move their production from Dublin to Cork where land was cheaper. When the brand moved, they refurbished their Dublin ‘city within a city’ and turned it into the Jameson Whiskey experience that we know and love today. This attraction brings in hundreds of thousands of people each year, all looking to learn more about the history of Jameson and the contribution it gave to Ireland’s economic efforts.

In 1988, Pernod Ricard bought the IDG group and has since owned and run the brand superbly, from taking it into new markets to bringing life to the brand, Pernod Ricard has a fair amount of recognition to its name for the continued development of Jameson’s brand, culminating in them selling over 8 million cases of the famed Irish export in 2019 alone!

The brand has never rested on its laurels and continues to innovate and bring new products to the market such as the Jameson Cold Brew and the new limited edition designed bottle for St Patrick’s Day 2020.

Get your hands on our Jameson range here and celebrate St Patrick’s Day home John Jameson would have prefered!

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