Jameson Distillery Bow Street
As part of our St Patrick’s Day 2017 celebrations with Jameson Irish Whiskey we were given the chance to visit the newly renovated Jameson Distillery Bow Street in the heart of Dublin.
As soon as you enter this impressive visitor centre and ex-distillery you appreciate the size and scale of the renovations, with glass floor panels revealing original distillery foundations and giant girder roof beams cut to accommodate glass-balustrade lined Mezzanine levels. The whole place is light and airy despite being full of iron, bricks and mortar from the original distillery.
The real investment (~ €11 million) however is truly revealed if you take part in the tour. With interactive video table displays accompanied by historical objects from the original distillery. Once the story of Jameson’s distillery in Dublin is conveyed to you through these objects we then moved on to the whisky making display.
In this room a whole wall is animated and helps describe the making of Jameson’s from grain to glass.
During this display an interactive setup allows you to feel the barley grains, smell the pot still and grain whiskey spirit characters, observe the colour changes during maturation in different types of wood and again smell the end result of bourbon or sherry maturation.
Following this we were treated to a very special tasting. Accompanied and tutored by Jameson’s Master Distiller Brian Nation, we sampled Jameson’s Irish Whisky, Johnnie Walker Black Label blended scotch whisky and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey to compare and contrast.
A brief trip through the Visitor Centre Shop (as all tours are directed this way) our guide explained that previously they stocked practically any item they could stamp or print the Jameson name and logo on, whereas now the range had been carefully selected to represent traditional and hand-crafted items that they were proud to bear the Jameson name. I stopped briefly to investigate the Bottle Your Own station which was setup to deliver Cask Strength Jameson Black Barrel for £100 a bottle – sadly I didn’t have time to fill my own so I return visit is necessary.
We quickly traded our tour ticket tokens in at the bar for either a glass of neat Jameson’s or Whisky Sour and headed over to watch the special Cooperage display by Jameson’s Master Cooper Ger Buckley. Laid on as part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, Ger gave a run through of each of the Cooper’s traditional tools and their origins before rapidly dismantling a fresh Bourbon barrel, all performed very carefully – as this was likely the only Cooperage display organised to occur over glass floor panels!
Sadly at this point my 3 days in Dublin were approaching an end and I was whisked to the airport as the Parade’s dominated Dublin city centre. Even a seasoned Whisky fan like myself learnt a lot during these 3 days and I would definitely recommend anyone visiting Dublin make time to visit Jameson Distillery Bow Street for an unforgettable, entertaining and educational tour!