Friday, August 23, 2013

Day 103 - The Jameson Distillery

I have never been to the Jameson Distillery. While I am not a Whiskey man, I figured making a stop by the Jameson Distillery was a great way to spend an afternoon while I spent a few days in Cork on my trip through Ireland. After all, I have always found Jameson to be the better of all evils in regard to Whiskey, and I wasn’t about to miss the chance to experience the source of one of Ireland’s most well-known exports. As a result, Patrick and I made the trip to the Jameson Distillery this afternoon after arriving in Blarney for a two-day stay. The experience provided a unique look at a product that has deep roots in Ireland and provided ample opportunity to sample the output from distillery’s labored efforts.

The distillery entrance

I’ll start by saying this blog entry won’t be long. The Jameson Distillery Tour is one of those things you need to experience to fully grasp the history and feelings that accompany it. Walking the grounds of a distillery that has been in operation longer than the United States has been a country creates an amazing impact on anyone in attendance. The entire place is steeped in history, and although our tour guide did an amazing job discussing the history of the establishment, the weathered gray buildings occupying the property do more than enough to tell Jameson’s story without a single word. While I realize the modern distillation process occurs at the nearby modern plant, the fact that every bottle of Jameson in the world still comes from the same piece of property as the first bottle ever distilled in amazing to me. Like many experiences we have had in Ireland thus far, I could feel the history of this place, and that left me in a state of awe for the length of the tour.

The distillery lobby

The first drinks

Just another day on the job... At a 300 year old distillery


The grain building

Old meets new... These buildings have produced
every bottle of Jameson ever filled.

The master distiller's house

An example of the aging process... and the angel's share

Once the tour was complete, Patrick was lucky enough to be selected for a whiskey taste test occurring minutes after our tour wrapped up. Although we used our free drink ticket before the tour began, Patrick received a shot of Scotch, Bourbon, and Jameson during his taste test, which was followed by another free cocktail courtesy of the distillery. Considering our tickets cost about $16.00 each and a drink cost about $7.50 at the bar, this basically means the distillery paid Patrick to take the tour… in Whiskey, of course. 

The tasting...

Owning it.

The taste test was an amazing way to wrap up an engaging tour and another afternoon in Ireland. After hitting a few pubs in downtown Cork in the evening, Patrick and I cabbed our way back to the hotel and capped off amazing day in our trip. There have been plenty of new experiences in our time here, but half way through the trip I can honestly say I can’t wait to see what this country still has in store. Here’s to new experiences!

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