There are of course many reasons to visit such a highly renowned tourist attraction that stands in the heart of Dublin City, such as ‘it’s the thing to do’ or ‘that person from work said we simply couldn’t miss it’ or even ‘my granny told me not to come back without a bottle of the good stuff. But I’ll give you three solid reasons to stop by the Jameson Distillery Bow St.:
This may seem a bit odd coming from a girl who can’t stomach the mere thought of a tequila on a night out but if there was any way to make me appreciate a good Irish Whiskey, the Bow St. Experience Tour was it.
As a relatively new Whiskey drinker there was one thing I knew for sure, I hated Jack Daniels. The mere smell of it, even when mixed with Coke, has me involuntarily wrinkling my nose up like a pug puppy. So for the past few years in my naivety I just thought this meant I hated all whiskeys. Turns out I was wrong.
It was a cold January night in Belfast and we were snuggled into a cosy little bar on the Dublin Road now named The Points. The live trad music was in full swing, the fire was blazing and so was the oul craic. My flat mate had gone to the bar to get us another round and on her return she slapped down two tumblers of golden liquid garnished with juicy lime wedges. Puzzled as to the whereabouts of my faithful white wine, I lifted the glass and sniffed gingerly.
“Is this.. whiskey?” I said as I slowly pushed it away.
“It’s not that American stuff now. It’s Jameson and Ginger. Go w’an,” she said eagerly in her accent that’s an interesting breed of Mayo, Manchester, and Derry.
I took a sip, and not to be dramatic but my life changed. Okay, not really, but my opinion on whiskey certainly has. The vanilla undertones and smoothness of Jameson combined with the fresh ginger and lime was a different drink altogether. One that I could totally get on board with.
When the opportunity arose to visit the Jameson Distillery during a quick trip to Dublin we jumped on it. Our tour guide Janice was an excellent host who despite I’m sure having given the same spiel a hundred times a day still seemed genuinely compelled by the story of John Jameson and how the famous brand came about. Truly it was an educational experience as we were taught through some fancy projections (oh hi there €11M investment) about the mad process that goes into making the beautiful thing that is Jameson Whiskey.
But back to the shots. As we started our taste test we had three shots of whiskey laid out for us, Scottish, Irish and American. Now this is the part of the tour that really clicked with me. It may be blatantly obvious to some, but as a fairly novice whiskey drinker I hadn’t realised the extent of the difference between these types of whiskeys. Which brings me back to when I hated (still do, sorry) a certain American brand. I’m told this vast difference is down to the fact that Irish whiskeys are typically triple-distilled compared to their American once-distilled counterparts.
Now, without tasting these three different types side by side it would be much harder to get a true idea of the difference. As I previously was convinced, they’re all whiskey what’s the big deal? I always had a niggling feeling that words such as smokey, smooth, and floral were just buzzwords that made someone sound like they knew what they were talking about but after this I can definitely see where they’re coming from.
So by the time we made it to the John Jameson bar inside the distillery I had a whole new found appreciation for Irish whiskey so I ordered it straight up neat. None of these ice cubes or ginger wedges for me, I’m a seasoned whiskey drinker now! Okay, no that was my friend not me, but I did really enjoy their signature Jameson, Ginger and Lime ‘cocktail’.
Thanks again to the wonderful Jameson Distillery Bow St. for having us and for changing this stubborn girl’s mind about whiskey.
You can prebook your tickets for both the Jameson Distillery Bow St. and Midleton by clicking here!