The Jameson Distillery 

Robert Joyce

Whiskey is believed to have originated around the year 600 AD where Irish Monks brought the alembic and the secret of distillation to Ireland from the Middle East - Uisce Beatha – (phonetically ish-ke-ba’ha) - which was known as "the water of life". 

In the 1700's, Irish people took their whiskey distilling expertise wherever they could emigrate, principally the USA and Canada.

in 1780 John Jameson & Son’s Bow Street Distillery was founded in Dublin on the north side of the Liffey. The Jameson coat of arms with the motto, "Sine Metu" refers to John Jameson's ancestors who had been granted the coat of arms in recognition of their pursuit and capture of pirates off the Scottish coast in the 1600s.

The Old Jameson Distillery is closed until March 2017 for re-development and will return just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day ! However we managed to visit the sister Jameson Distrillery in Midleton, Co, Cork. Join Robert through the Distillery.

The tour around the interior and exterior of the distillery takes around 75 minutes with a guide. You will be placed in a theatre where you will be shown a 10 minute interview on the history of John Jameson. Prices range from €14.40 which includes a Film, Guided Distillery Tour, and Special Visits to the Micro Distillery, Cooperage and Distiller’s Cottage. Along the way, and a whiskey tasting tray. 

You Ticket into the history of John Jameson.

The Victorian, cast-iron waterwheel, installed in 1825 to power the mill machinery which still drives the cogs and wheels.

The Still Room with it three shiny copper pot stills, one of which is still the largest in the world, with a 31,000 gallons capacity.

Jameson throughout the aging process. The first barrel on the left is Jameson after 1 year, then 3 years (the required amount of time before it can be bottled and sold), 12 years and 18 years. The colour darkens due to the length of time spent in the oak barrels and the liquid level drops off due to evaporation. The portion of liquid lost is known as the “angel’s share.”

The tour finishes with a whiskey tasting tray, consisting of three distinct whiskeys including Jameson itself, a scotch whiskey and an american bourbon whiskey. Try yourself to spot the smoothness of the triple distilled Jameson compared to its counterpart whiskeys from around the world. 

a Fresh Jameson Graduate !

A refreshing alternative, Jameson Ginger Ale & Lime, the quintessential drink combination. 

The Midleton Distillery now produces much of the Irish whiskey sold in Ireland under the Jameson, Midleton, Powers, Redbreast, Spot and Paddy labels. seeing that Jameson is now the largest selling Irish whiskey in the world. Jameson is the world’s fastest growing spirit brand, selling 4 million cases worldwide. Jameson is also given the Hot Brand status by the US magazine Impact, a distinction held to date.

Feel Free to pick up some souvenirs on the way out. 

The Guinness Storehouse - Is it Worth the Visit ? 

Robert Joyce

Remaining Ireland's number one tourist attraction for years with over 1.2 million visitors annually. We wonder why the iconic brand has remained so popular with tourists since it's opening in 2000. Join Robert, an experienced tour guide through the storehouse to gain an insight into the famous brewery. 

The Journey begins via a cobblestoned walk up to the entrance laden with horses & carriages. Rides are available to the city & temple bar area with locals from €20.  

I managed to sneak a horse selfie on the way in... 

Prices vary depending on the time of the day, if you get in early on a weekday prices go as low as €14. Anytime after noon raises to €20 for adults, €18 for students & OAPs and children under 10 go free. 

Starting the tour you will get to see the first main ingredient of the black stuff, being malted barley. Sourced from Athy. Barley while being roasted is the main ingredient which gives the drink its dark Ruby Red colour. Get familiar with the grains pick some up into your hand. 

Locked away in a safe, Arthur himself savoured Guinness Yeast as 'sacred'.  A tiny micro-organism which breaks the sugars into alcohol. 

Hops being the next ingredient. The natural oils and fruity fragrances are highly notable in a pint of Guinness. It's high hop content allowing the beverage to be shipped all around the globe without losing its flavour.

The Water War : Arthur Guinness had a hard neck, particularly in defence of his rights. The brewery lease granted him free access to a water supply. In 1775 the Dublin Corporation tried to make him pay for this access by sending the sheriff to cut off his water source. Arthur responded vigorously by seizing a pick-axe from one of the men and declaring ‘with very much improper language that they should not proceed’. Arthur won and the brewery still holds access to free water sourced from the Poulaphouca reservoir in Co Wicklow.

On the next floor, pop into the gigantic wooden keg containing multiple screens showcasing Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. Being a high seller in Nigeria and greater Africa. 

If you make your way up to the next floor you will enter a nightclub like entrance to what is known as the tasting room. Here you will become familiar with the scents of Malted Barley, & Hops.

Get a whiff of those Hops!

Leading onto the official tasting room with your mini Guinness's. Listen to the beer specialist who will lead you through method of identifying the sweetness of the malts on the tip of your tongue & the bitterness of the hops at the back. 

Up another floor... you are now entering the wonderful world of Gilroy. An English artist, illustrator and the brainchild of the iconic Guinness posters and marketing campaigns.       "Guinness for strength ","Guinness is Good for You"."Good things come to those who wait" to name a few. Take some time to view the quirky illustrations before heading up to complete your final step of becoming a Guinness connoisseur.

My Goodness My Guinness!

With your included ticket you have the choice of pouring your own pint and gaining a certificate on the penultimate floor of the storehouse or simply having a pint poured for you in the Gravity Bar. I would recommend doing it yourself and seeing how your pint compares with your counterparts from around the world. Get a group photo for old time sake !

How to pour the perfect Pint. ( 6 Steps) 
  • A Clean Glass !
  • Hold the Glass at a 45 Degree angle under the tap
  • Aim the spout on the Harp.
  • Pull the tap towards you filling the glass up the bottom of the harp while slowly straightening the glass as it fills.  
  • Stop and wait 119.5 Seconds for the pint to 'Surge'. This is where the pint becomes alive. "Its alive inside" 
  • Finish the pint off pushing the tap away from you. 
Ideally your pint should finished with a dome. 

Watch Fergal Murray the Master Brewer in action here....

Carry your perfectly crafted pint and certificate up to the Gravity Bar, the highest bar in the Dublin. Soak in the best views of the city!

Don't Fall !

View on a sunny Day. 
View on a rainy day. 

Sunsets are also quite spectacular from the Gravity Bar. 

Overall the storehouse has something for everyone, drinkers and non-drinkers. The price of €20 including the price of admission was described as "overpriced" by various travel forums. We however think it's worth the visit. A great day out for all ages that can be followed by a visit to the neighbouring Jameson Distillery in Smithfield if you are feeling courageous !

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