You know your trip to Dublin is complete when you visit the old Jameson Distillery on Bow Street. It’s a good ten minute walk from the center spire in the sleepy Smithfield Village area. You can also drive there and experience the cobblestone streets. There’s plenty of parking around and they do have a lot next door. And if you still need more options, there’s a DART stop nearby. Whichever you choose, you’ll have no problems getting there.
As you can imagine, when you enter the distillery, it’ll feel like you’ve entered a pub. You’re surrounded by two bars which will test your patience on getting a drink. But knowing that a tasting is included in the tour, you might as well wait and head straight back to order tickets.
This was my first visit so I went with the general tour which costs €20 EUR. The tour is broken out into three segments into three different rooms. The first is around the history of Jameson, followed by the making of Irish whiskey, and finally the tasting room.
Once you get your tickets you’ll be led upstairs where you can read about the history. However, the real lesson is in the room where the guide narrates the history along with some nifty visuals. It was projected onto the table. So if you’re not all like me, get a front row seat.
Afterwards, you will be brought into another room where you’ll be standing around a sampling table. Here’s where the guide goes over the process of making Irish whiskey. There’s also a wall that has the same visual effects as the previous room. This would be the most informative part of the tour as our guide pointed out the difference that sets them apart from other whiskies.
And lastly, there’s the tasting room. If you’re the first few entering the room, you’ll be seated at the center table. The rest will be seated on stools in the back. There are three whiskies lined up with a glass of water to clear your taste buds. You will be comparing a single distilled American whiskey (Jack Daniels), a double distilled Scotch (Johnny Walker Black Label), and the staple Jameson triple distilled whiskey. Of course, the flavor profiles were completely different to one another, but they made their point on the smoothness. Our American contender was the harshest of the three and made Jameson one smooth drink. Now, why this isn’t the case with the Jameson I have back home is a different story.
Overall, it’s a good place to spend time learning about the history and the appreciation of this Irish whiskey. The tour itself was pretty quick, about 5 to 10 minutes per room. I was there for about 45 minutes. That includes the tour, some shopping (got some personalized bottles), and of course another glass of Jameson at the bar. For you whiskey lovers out there, this is exactly what you’re looking for. That is, until you find out nothing is made here anymore. It’s strictly for tours.
Dublin 7, Ireland
+353 1 807 2355