Tour: Old Jameson Distillery reopens in Smithfield

Brendan O'Donohue

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Old Jameson Distillery, Bow St, Smithfield, Dublin. Photo Credit: Brendan O’Donohue

After extensive renovations, the Old Jameson Distillery recently reopened it doors to the public. The Circular took a tour around the newly designed €11 million visitor attraction.

Below is a clip from the Jameson Experience tour in Dublin:

The Old Distillery on Bow street, which ceased distilling whiskey from its original  home in 1997 when it moved all operation to Middleton in Cork, welcomes some 400,000 visitors to its original home every year. Sue Phillips, Sales and Reservations Assistant thinks those numbers will rise over the coming months and years: “We definitely expect to see more visitors through the doors.”

Jameson Bow St. Experience. Photo Credit: Brendan O’Donohue

The guided tour, which takes approximately 1 hour in total and is divided into three parts.

First, visitors learn about the history of the the distillery and about the founder himself: John Jameson. The installment of new technology in the form of interactive screens, panels and objects really make the experience a more immersive one for patrons.

Then comes the process of whisky making itself. This part of the tour encourages visitors to taste the barley and also learn about how the uisce beatha becomes the “water of life”.

Finally comes the important task of sampling the finishing product. The guide invites guest to sample a Scotch whisky (the Scots omit the “e”), a Bourbon and a  glass of Jameson to taste the differences between them. The contrast between these whiskeys are striking when tasted one after the other. Finishing each glass is optional…

Jameson bar, Bow St, Smithfield, Dublin. Photo Credit: Brendan O’Donohue

After the tour, patrons get their free measure of Jameson to enjoy in the new and larger bar at the entrance of the former distillery. The newly designed interior mixes the old with the new with many original features still present from the 200 year old site

A tour that appeals to history buffs and whiskey connoisseurs alike and is ideal for an afternoon outing.

Information on tours can be found at jamesonwhiskey.com

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Brendan O'Donohue