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The Ultimate Guide to Jameson Whiskey

Jameson is the world’s bestselling Irish whiskey brand, renowned for its triple-distilled smooth blend. The Jameson range includes the original blend, double-charred and beer-seasoned cask expressions, alongside flavored whiskies, and even canned cocktails. The brand’s popularity is evidenced by sales of 31 million bottles annually, earning Jameson the award of the World Whisky Brand Champion 2022.

Exploring the origins, production, and best serving suggestions – this ultimate guide provides everything you need to know about Jameson whiskey. 

What kind of whiskey is Jameson?

Jameson is a triple-distilled blended Irish whiskey, combining pot still and grain whiskies, made from malted and un-malted barley. The Jameson brand uses locally sourced barley from Southern Ireland, working with over 200 farmers with barley plots ranging from 15 to 700 acres, within 50 miles of the Midleton distillery. This barley is combined with water drawn from the Dungourney River, which flows through the grounds of the Midleton distillery.

The Jameson blend is distilled in copper pot stills three times to give the whiskey the brand’s signature smoothness. Each time the whiskey is distilled it becomes stronger in character, adding sweeter fruity, flavors and a smoother taste than other types of whiskey. Finally, Jameson original whiskey is aged in predominantly ex-bourbon oak casks for at least 4 years, although the ‘Black Barrel’ expression uses double-charred casks, while the Caskmates series uses craft beer-seasoned barrels for maturation.

Where is Jameson whiskey produced?

Midleton Distillery, Cork.

Jameson whiskey has been produced at the Midleton Distillery in County Cork, since July 1975. Originally, Jameson was produced at the Dublin-based, Bow Street distillery, founded in 1780. 

Under John Jameson’s management, the distillery prospered and expanded, becoming a ‘city within a city’ by 1870, when the Jamesons employed hundreds of workers in the surrounding Smithfield area, including coopers, carpenters, blacksmiths, painters, and stonemasons. By the 1880s, the Bow Street distillery site stretched across almost 6 acres of Dublin’s city center.

In 1966, Jamesons merged with John Power & Son and the Cork Distilleries Company to form the Irish Distillers Group, when the emergence and growth of Irish whiskey required a larger production capacity. On 5th June 1970, the last pot still whiskey was distilled at Jameson’s Bow Street site – although the distillery remained operational until 1975. 

From July 1975, production shifted to the Irish Distillers Group’s Midleton Distillery complex in County Cork, equipped with three 75,000 liter pot stills and three column stills, producing 64 million liters annually. 

The Midleton Distillery complex produces whiskey for brands including Jameson, Powers, Redbreast, Green Spot, and Midleton Very Rare. The New Midleton Distillery houses the brand’s visitors center, the Jameson Experience, while the Old Jameson Distillery at Bow Street reopened as a museum in 1997.

Who owns the Jameson brand?

Jameson has been owned by French beverage group, Pernod Ricard, since 1988. Originally founded by the Stein family as Dublin’s Bow Street distillery in 1780, the Steins employed their cousin Margaret Haig’s husband, John Jameson, as general manager, before he acquired ownership in 1805. In 1810, the distillery was officially renamed as ‘The John Jameson and Son Irish Whiskey Company’ – the brand was quickly nicknamed as Jameson whiskey.

After John Jameson passed away at the age of eighty-three, on the 3rd December 1823, ownership of the Bow Street distillery transferred to his son, John Jameson II. Seven generations of the family managed the distillery, until John Jameson’s descendant, Aleck Crichton, oversaw the merger between John Jameson & Son with John Power & Son and the Cork Distilleries Company to form the Irish Distillers Group in 1966. The brand was acquired by Pernod Ricard, following a takeover of the Irish Distillers Group, in 1988.  

How much is Jameson whiskey?

The average price for a 750ml bottle of Jameson is currently $33 on Wine-Searcher. If you’re based in California, the best place to find Jameson is Mission Wine & Spirits, Los Angeles for $18.95. While in Washington, the best place to purchase Jameson is Total Wine & More, Bellevue for $19.99.

Is Jameson whiskey good?

Jameson is the most consistently acclaimed blended Irish whiskey in the world. The approachable triple distilled blend, sold a record 9.6 million cases globally in 2021, leading Jameson to be named World Whisky Brand Champion 2022. 

Regarded as Ireland’s quintessential whiskey blend, Jameson was named as ‘Irish Blend of the Year’ in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible for both 2013 and 2014, scoring 95 points. The multi-award-winning Jameson’s accolades include five gold and silver medals from The Spirits Business, the magazine’s Irish Whisky Masters category, and a silver medal from the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

How is Jameson whiskey best enjoyed?

Enjoy Jameson with ginger ale and lime for a simple, yet refreshing cocktail.

Jameson is a versatile whiskey, with a distinctive smoothness and sweet, fruity flavor profile, making it ideal to be enjoyed neat, with a splash of water, over ice, with a mixer, or in a cocktail. The brand’s website states there is no wrong way to drink Jameson whiskey, and includes a guide to the best mixers, and a library of cocktail recipes that can be created with each whiskey expression. Jameson’s signature cocktail, mixes Jameson original whiskey with ginger ale and lime, creating a refreshing drink also known as an Irish mule.   

What pairs well with the whiskey?

If you’re exploring food pairings, the brand website suggests pairing Jameson original whiskey with a charcuterie board of cured meats, cherries, and cheeses. The whiskey’s smooth, spicy, nutty, and vanilla notes pair with the cured meats gamey flavors. Soft cheeses complement the brand’s smoothness, while the cherries enhance the whiskey’s fragrant hint of sherry. 

As an alternative to pairing neat whiskey and food, the accompanying cocktail suggestion, is the signature, Jameson, ginger ale, and lime.

Is Jameson whiskey gluten-free?

If you’re gluten-free then you will be happy to hear that the Jameson website confirms the whiskey is gluten-free. Although Jameson is made from cereal grains, any allergenic proteins, including gluten, are removed in the triple distillation process. If you have dietary restrictions, Jameson recommends consulting a doctor before consuming the product.  

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Mark Bostock

Since joining Mark Littler LTD as a freelance article contributor in 2019, Mark Bostock has become an integral part of our UK content writing team. His enthusiasm for whisky, particularly independent bottlings, drives him to deepen his knowledge through frequent attendance at tasting events and the thoughtful expansion of his own whisky collection. This dedication not only fuels his passion but also enriches his contributions to our platform, blending expertise with a genuine love for the subject.

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