Old Jameson Distillery

The spirited culture of whiskey-making is evident at the birthplace of a world-renowned Irish brand.

Even if you don’t drink whiskey you will recognize the Irish-green bottle of Jameson whiskey with the words “Sine Metu” on its classic label. It means “Without Fear” and was the Latin motto of the Jameson family. Head to the Old Jameson Distillery to hear the story of their legacy and see how Ireland’s most famous whiskey is made.

John Jameson may have invented Ireland’s most exported whiskey, but he was actually Scottish. A simple explanation for his whiskey’s superior quality is this: American whisky is distilled once, Scotch twice and Jameson’s three times. It is aged in oak barrels until it delivers distinct notes of vanilla. John Jameson Sr. established the distillery in 1780 and his son took over. Jameson whiskey is now distilled in Cork but still vatted in Dublin.

The museum sits on the site of the Old Jameson Distillery. You can join a tour every 25 minutes. It begins with the brief audio-visual presentation about the distillery’s history. Afterwards you enter the recreated old distillery. Oak barrels line the walls and dissections of the colossal heating equipment show you the signature triple distillation process. Watch how the liquid transforms from a simple mixture of water, barley and yeast to a light golden whiskey. 

After the tour, visitors are treated to a complimentary glass and mixer in the Jameson Discovery Bar. Put your hand up when volunteers are needed to test and compare three whiskies: Extra free drinks for you! The second round is a competition to compare Jameson with the Jack Daniels and Johnny Walker brands. Just make sure you are sober enough not to get tricked...

Old Jameson Distillery is open daily. Take the bus to Arran Quay or the Luas Tram to the Smithfield stop; it is a short walk from there. Dublin’s hop-on, hop-off bus tour comes here too. There is a gift shop and a restaurant for treats. From April to October book in for one of the Irish Shindig Nights, with entertainment, food and whiskey.

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