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The World’s Most Popular Irish Whiskey: Jameson! – Jupiter Liquor Store in Plano, TX

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re taking a deep dive into the most famous and best selling Irish whiskey on earth – Jameson Irish Whiskey! Which, funnily enough, was actually created by a Scotsman. How did that happen, you ask?


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From Small Beginnings to the #1 Irish Whiskey in the World


It all began when a lawyer from Alloa, Scotland by the name of John Jameson (1740-1823) moved to Dublin, Ireland with his family in the late 1770s. Wait, backtrack – it actually began about a decade before that in 1768, when Jameson married Margaret Haig, the eldest daughter of John Haig – as in, the founder of Haig, the historic Scotch whisky distiller and possibly the oldest brand of whisky in the world.


After marrying Margaret Haig, and undoubtedly influenced by his wife and father-in-law, John Jameson ventured into the distilling world himself. In 1780, Jameson founded his eponymous distillery at historic Bow Street – today known as Jameson Distillery Bow St., or simply, Jameson Distillery. This original distillery site ran largely uninterrupted – with the notable exception of a couple years during WWI – for nearly 200 years, until 1971.


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John Jameson (the first) was succeeded as the head of Bow Street by his son, John Jameson II, who was succeeded by his son, John Jameson III, who was succeeded by his son, John Jameson IV. Sensing a pattern? In 1871, the company was incorporated as John Jameson and Son, Ltd. The Jameson family motto is sine metu, meaning “without fear,” and the phrase as well as the family coat of arms can still be found on Jameson labels today. The many generations of Jamesons who ran

Bow Street certainly took their fearless attitude into business. With a combination of hard work, investing in and rewarding their employees handsomely, insistence on innovation, and an unwavering commitment to quality at every step, Jameson (and sons) turned what had started as a small distillery in 1780 into a global operation and one of the largest whiskey producers in the world in just a few decades.


By the 1870s, the original Bow Street Distillery was described as a “city within a city” employing hundreds of workers including trades and craftspeople who kept the mini-city plied and running with food, drink, wares, new construction, repairs and more. Bow Street saw many trials and tribulations during its long tenure, including an armed insurrection in 1916 (called The Easter Rising), and, in 1918: WWI, subsequent coal and corn shortages, and a deadly influenza outbreak. The distillery was forced to close from 1917 to 1918 for the first time in over 100 years. They reopened in 1919 after war restrictions were lifted, and though turbulent times still lay ahead (including American Prohibition and WWII), the distillery never had to cease production again.


In need of a larger home, Jameson moved its distillation operations to Midleton, County Cork in 1975, where every single drop of Jameson is still produced to this day. And, perhaps fitting for the famed Irish whiskey that was actually created by a Scotsman, in 1988 the French liquor company Pernod Ricard bought the Jameson brand. However Jameson is still made in Ireland, and to the same exacting standards and quality as ever. The original Bow Street distillery reopened as a visitor center and museum in 1997, and is the most visited distillery tour in the world. Today, Jameson is the fastest growing whiskey brand in the world, with 10.4 million cases sold in 2022, and a staggering 70% of all Irish whiskey sales in America being Jameson whiskey.


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A Matter of Taste & Quality


What exactly makes Jameson whiskey so special? Why has it stood the test of time at nearly 250 years old, and why is Jameson the best selling Irish whiskey in the world bar none? It all comes down to how it tastes and how it’s made.


Jameson is a top shelf whiskey yet it's rather moderately priced. Exceptionally smooth, Jameson tastes light and clean with notes of green apple, light citrus, warm honey, tobacco and vanilla. It’s a great sipping whiskey and can be enjoyed neat, or with a couple drops of water, or on the rocks. Jameson can also be enjoyed with mixers like ginger ale or ginger beer, or in a cocktail – and you can’t go wrong with a good Irish coffee!


Jameson has been made to exacting standards of quality for hundreds of years, starting with its grain. All of the grain used to make Jameson is locally grown and harvested within 50 miles of its Middleton production facility in Cork, Ireland. All of the water used is also local, brought in from the Dunguorney River which actually flows through the distillery itself! And from its inception, Jameson has always been triple distilled – something the original John Jameson insisted on to achieve the liquor’s smooth texture and clean, rich flavor. Jameson whiskey is also always aged in hand crafted oak casks for a minimum of 3 years, and the barrels must stay within the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland for the entirety of that time.


Jameson is one of our best selling bottles of whiskey here at Jupiter Liquor Store in Plano, TX – and it is by far the #1 most popular Irish whiskey worldwide. Whether you are just beginning your whiskey journey or a whiskey aficionado, Jameson Irish Whiskey is a good choice – and has been for nearly 250 years. Sláinte!


 

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