The Jameson Experience - Midleton
The Jameson Experience is located in Midleton, Co. Cork in the old Cork Distilleries Company distillery. This distillery operated for 150 years, from 1825 until 1975, when the workers clocked off on a Friday in July, to start work in the new Midleton Distillery the following Monday. Thankfully, the old distillery was kept intact - and beautifully preserved - it is now one of the most striking and interesting tourist attractions in Ireland.
A tour of the Jameson Experience is a journey through the story and making of Irish whiskey. Guided tours are available throughout the year and all tours commence with an audio-visual presentation, retracing the history of whiskey in Ireland. Guests are then guided through the old distillery, where they can admire the old kilns, mills, maltings, water wheel, still house,distiller’s cottage, cooperage and warehouses.
The sense of heritage is everywhere at the Jameson Experience. Some of the original buildings date back to 1795, built as a mill before being converted for use as a distillery. The water wheel, which once operated all the machinery at the distillery, still turns and operates the cogs and wheels in the Mill Building, where visitors can also admire one of the original steam engines installed in the later half of the 19th century. The Still House is always a tour highlight, the three original pot stills still gleaming like burnished gold. One of these pot stills, installed in 1949, can hold 31,000 gallons (141,000 litres), making it the largest pot still in the world. Visitors are then taken to the cooperage, where coopers used to make and fix casks and are shown a recreated warehouse, where guides explain the principles and importance of maturation.
Tours end with a complimentary glass of Jameson, or for a lucky selected few from each tour, a comparative whiskey tasting, which compares and explains the differences between Irish, Scotch and Bourbon whiskies. Whiskey Tasters are rewarded with their own Whiskey Tasting Certificate.
There is a well stocked shop selling whiskey and lots of Jameson merchandise and also the Malt House Restaurant, with an excellent menu available throughout the day. The Malt House is also a good place to enjoy an Irish Coffee, this obviously being one of the best places in Ireland to enjoy this famous drink.
For very large groups, the Jameson Experience can also offer a Jameson “Shindig” Irish evening, with banquet, musicians and dancers. The Master Distiller’s Cottage has been converted to an exclusive boardroom which is available for private hire.
At the Jameson Experience you can also buy a bottle of Jameson Distillery Reserve, a 12 year old whiskey exclusively for sale at Midleton and the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin. Each bottle can be personalised with a person’s name, making it an ideal gift or personal memento of this distillery visit.
For the whiskey enthusiast, the Jameson Experience in Midleton offers a choice of tutored tastings on request (a supplement applies for these tastings). If you would like to book a Tasting please do so at reception upon arrival (or by email beforehand for groups). Please refer to the Jameson website below for opening times and tour prices. Many of the guides at the Jameson Experience in Midleton are multi-lingual, therefore please contact the distillery directly if you require a group tour in a language other than English.
To celebrate The Gathering in Ireland in 2013, the Jameson Experience (and the old Jameson Distillery in Dublin) are offering free admission to anyone with the name Jameson, as well as free Jameson Gathering T Shirts and a bottle of Distillery Reserve whiskey to any family Clan booking a tour, tasting and lunch. More info here.