On March 5th, the historic Jameson Distillery in Dublin was re-opened by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe. The building has undergone a huge €11m investment as a part of local plans to attract more than 1.9 million whiskey-loving tourists to Ireland by the year 2025.
The Bow Street distillery has opened with a brand-new look and more opportunities for tourists to discover how Jameson whiskey is made, and Jameson owners Irish Distillers has said they expect to triple the current number of whiskey tourists visiting Ireland.
Renovation and construction of the historic property began in September 2016, and the new additions to the building were designed by TOTP – a Dublin-based architect firm that has worked under instruction of local government and Irish Distillers.
Speaking about the official opening on March 6th, Ray Dempsey, the general manager at the distillery since 1997, commented:
“We have had the privilege of calling Bow Street home since 1780 and we’re delighted with our makeover…Visitors can look forward to immersive storytelling where they will be invited to touch, smell and most importantly, taste Jameson.”
Minister Paschal Donohue also said, “Each year, over 600,000 tourists pass through Irish whiskey visitor centers to experience first-hand the heritage behind this time-honored spirit and hear the stories of established and emerging distilleries.”
Reinvigorating the Tourism Industry
Donohue went into further detail about the plans to boost the whiskey tourism industry in Ireland, explaining:
“The Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy aims to treble this figure to 1.9 million visitors by 2025 and Jameson Distillery Bow St. will undoubtedly play a central role in delivering on this vision. Smithfield and its wider Dublin environs have a rich history and vibrant cultural scene which will also continue to attract and enthrall visitors from near and far.”
As well as showing visitors the vast history of Jameson whiskey, and the traditional methods of creating the beverage, the new property will use innovative technology in its tours. There will be three fully-guided tours available, including ‘The Whiskey Shakers’, ‘The Whiskey Makers’, and ‘The Bow St. Experience’. Guests will be handed a Glencairn glass and given the opportunity to taste classic Jameson whiskey, and learn more about the history of the beverage.
There will even be whiskey and cocktail masterclasses, and the chance to sample whiskey right from the cask. It is hoped that these new tours will bring people from all over the world to enjoy the 230 years of history in Bow Street.
The Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers, Jean-Christophe Coutures, also added: “With this latest investment, we place storytelling at the core of the visitor experience, drawing on state of the art technology to bring the 230-year history of Bow Street to life, with a variety of tour options to cater for everyone – from those who may be discovering Jameson Irish whiskey for the very first time, to long-standing Jameson enthusiasts who are seeking to further their understanding of this much-loved spirit.”
This is great news for the Irish people, tourists, and all of us around the world who love whiskey. Time to get out the Glencairn glass and cigar rest and celebrate!