Nestled in the bustling Smithfield Market neighbourhood in Dublin 7, the Old Jameson Distillery stands as a testament to the rich history and tradition of Irish whiskey. This iconic attraction offers a unique experience, combining fascinating insights into the whiskey-making process with a glimpse into the history of one of the world’s most renowned distilleries. In this blog post, we’ll explore the Old Jameson Distillery, delving into its history, the experiences it offers, and why it’s an essential stop on your Dublin itinerary.

A Brief History of the Old Jameson Distillery

The Old Jameson Distillery’s story began in 1780 when John Jameson, a Scottish native, established his distillery on the banks of the River Liffey in Dublin. Over the years, Jameson’s dedication to quality and innovation allowed his whiskey to gain international recognition, leading to the expansion of the distillery throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Old Jameson Distillery played a significant role in the growth of the Irish whiskey industry, with its operations continuing on the Smithfield Market site until 1971. At that time, production was moved to a larger, more modern facility in Midleton, County Cork, to meet the increasing demand for Jameson whiskey. The original distillery was then redeveloped into a visitor centre, ensuring that the history and heritage of the brand would live on for future generations to enjoy.

The Old Jameson Distillery Tour Experience

Visiting the Old Jameson Distillery is not just a treat for whiskey enthusiasts but also for those with an interest in history and the craft of distilling. The distillery offers guided tours that take you on a journey through the whiskey-making process while providing engaging stories and anecdotes about the Jameson brand’s evolution. The tour is broken down into several parts, each highlighting a different aspect of the distillery and its history:

  1. The Story of John Jameson: The tour begins with an introduction to John Jameson, the man who started it all. Learn about his vision, dedication to quality, and the impact he had on the whiskey industry as a whole.
  2. The Distilling Process: Next, visitors are guided through the whiskey-making process, from the selection of the finest barley and grains to the mashing, fermentation, and distillation stages. The tour offers an up-close look at the old copper stills and other equipment used in the production of Jameson whiskey.
  3. The Maturation Process: The tour then delves into the art of maturation, exploring how the wooden casks used to store the whiskey plays a vital role in developing its unique flavours and characteristics. Visitors will also learn about the differences between American and European oak casks and how they contribute to the final product’s taste.
  4. The Tasting Experience: The highlight of the tour for many is the whiskey tasting. Guided by a knowledgeable whiskey ambassador, visitors have the opportunity to sample and compare Jameson whiskey with other leading whiskey varieties, such as Scotch and American bourbon. This interactive experience allows guests to appreciate the nuances and distinctions between these different types of whiskey.
  5. The Jameson Bar and Gift Shop: After the tasting, visitors can unwind in the Jameson Bar, where they can enjoy a signature Jameson cocktail or a glass of whiskey from an extensive range. The gift shop offers a selection of exclusive James on merchandise, as well as the opportunity to purchase a personalized bottle of Jameson whiskey as a memento of their visit.

Special Experiences at the Old Jameson Distillery

In addition to the standard tour, the Old Jameson Distillery offers a range of special experiences designed to cater to different interests and preferences:

  1. The Whiskey Blending Masterclass: This exclusive experience allows visitors to try their hand at blending their own whiskey. Under the guidance of an expert whiskey blender, participants will create their unique blend, which they can then bottle and take home as a special souvenir.
  2. The Whiskey Cocktail-Making Class: For those with a passion for mixology, the whiskey cocktail-making class is a must. Led by an experienced mixologist, guests will learn how to craft a range of delicious whiskey-based cocktails using Jameson and other premium ingredients.
  3. Premium Whiskey Tasting: For true whiskey connoisseurs, the premium tasting experience offers a guided exploration of some of the rare and exclusive whiskeys in the Jameson range. This intimate and informative session provides an in-depth look at the subtleties and complexities of these exceptional whiskeys.

Exploring the Smithfield Market Area

A visit to the Old Jameson Distillery is the perfect starting point for exploring the vibrant Smithfield Market neighbourhood. This lively area is steeped in history and offers a diverse range of attractions, from the Lighthouse Cinema and The Cobblestone pub to the bustling outdoor markets and the Chimney Viewing Tower. After your distillery tour, be sure to take some time to wander the streets of Smithfield Market and soak up the atmosphere of this unique Dublin locale.


The Old Jameson Distillery is an unmissable attraction for anyone visiting Dublin, whether you’re a whiskey aficionado or simply interested in learning about Ireland’s rich cultural heritage. With its fascinating history, immersive tours, and exclusive experiences, the distillery offers a memorable and educational glimpse into the world of Irish whiskey.

As part of the vibrant Smithfield Market neighbourhood, the Old Jameson Distillery serves as a gateway to exploring the area’s lively atmosphere, diverse attractions, and historic charm. Be sure to include the Old Jameson Distillery on your Dublin itinerary and experience a true taste of history in the heart of Smithfield Market.