I first went to Ireland about ten years ago and, while there, I had the chance to visit the working Jameson whiskey factory in Midleton down near Cork. Here's a pre-whereisdarrennow photo from that trip back in 2005:
Even though it was a while ago, I remember it being a fairly interesting and cool tour and, since running back and forth from Barcelona to Dublin, I've been waiting for a chance to visit the Dublin version. Well, the opportunity came up a few weeks ago so I headed over to Dublin's Smithfield neighborhood and the Jameson's visitor center, which is craftily hidden behind the arched entrance of this somewhat modern apartment building:
John Jameson first started making his whiskey in Dublin way back in 1780 but this location hasn't been a working factory since sometime in the 1960s.
The Dublin factory's pretty much just a museum, restaurant, and gift shop now. Not really what I was hoping for but knowing this in advance wouldn't have kept me from going over to check it out. Would you like to meet me for a drink here some time?
I enjoy whiskey quite a bit but I'm a much bigger fan of Paddy's, which is another Jameson whiskey brand also made down in the Cork factory. I first had it during that first visit and have been enjoying it ever since.
The Dublin tour takes about 45 minutes where they explain how whiskey used to be made. It might have been because it was the last tour of the day but my guide just didn't seem that into it. Regardless, it was an interesting visit.
One of the tour highlights is, maybe not surprisingly, the stuffed cat in the lower, left-hand side of the photo below. It was, we were told by the guide, a real cat that used catch mice in the grain house.
Oh, and they include a small Jameson sample at the end of the tour, which was nice. All in all, a nice way to spend 12 euros ($16 U.S.) and an hour before a dinner appointment.
So, how have I aged in the last ten years???