You might know about the history, the craftsmanship and the signature smoothness but we bet there are still some things you might not know about Jameson, the largest selling Irish whiskey in the world today,
1. Founder John Jameson was actually a Scotsman
Yep, just another tidbit to further muddle that eternal Irish Whiskey versus Scotch debate. A lawyer by trade, John Jameson was born in Alloa, Scotland in 1740. He went on to marry Margaret Haig, whose cousins established Dublin’s Bow Street Distillery in 1780—hence the use of that number on the brand’s label.
2. Believe it or not, Jameson wasn’t sold by the bottle till 1968
Before that date, you had to buy a whole damn cask. Casks are still available, although they are a little bulkier than the modern bottles. Pricing, quantity, and age may vary, but cask-owners typically keep their stock maintained by the pros in Cork. And they’ll even let you visit your barrel if you so desire.
3. All the barley used to make Jameson is locally-sourced
This most crucial component in great whiskey is all sourced within 50 miles or so of the Cork distillery. A starchy bi-product left over after the whiskey has been made is then re-purposed as feed for local cattle. It’s a completely sustainable and totally eco-friendly method that you can feel good about the next time you’re ordering a bunch of shots.
4. Despite its everyday whiskey reputation, Jameson has won a ton of awards
The brand’s impressive list of accolades is proof enough of that. Particularly lauded among golds and “double golds” awards is the Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve. Made of some of the oldest and rarest whiskey components in existence, this tasty as hell variety is considered to be among the finest Irish whiskeys you can hope to taste.
5. Triple-distilled whiskey is a Jameson signature
The phrase “Triple-Distilled” appearing prominently on any bottle of Jameson is significant. Compared to some of its typically twice-distilled cousins in Scotland and the U.S., Jameson’s mellow smoothness comes from using that extra still in the process, which removes even more impurities from the spirit.
6. In the 1970s, Jameson was Ireland’s only whiskey
After a century of hardship—including American prohibition and the Irish War of Independence—a merger between the four largest brands on the Emerald Isle took place. This left Jameson the only name in the game.
7. The motto on the brand’s coat-of-arms has a pretty badass meaning
If you squint you can see a banner below the Jameson label’s shield symbol that reads, “SINE METU.” It means “without fear.” The Jameson family was granted the motto for their bravery battling pirates in the 1500s.