Jameson Distillery Bow St: It’s History, The Tours + Handy Info

Jameson Dublin
Photos in the Public Domain

The Jameson ‌Distillery‌ on Bow St. is the most popular of the many whiskey distilleries in Dublin.

In fact, aside from the Old Bushmills Distillery, the Jameson Distillery in Dublin is the most historic of the many whiskey distilleries in Ireland.

Though it no longer produces whiskey (that’s reserved for the Midleton Distillery in Cork), the Bow St distillery is now a popular visitors centre with loads to discover and enjoy.

Below, you’ll find info on the different  Jameson Distillery tour options along with the history of the area. Dive on in! 

Some quick need-to-knows before visiting the Jameson Distillery

Although booking onto the Jameson Distillery tour is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

Find Jameson’s whiskey distillery in the same place it’s been for the last 240 years, on Bow Street in Smithfield. While walkable from central Dublin, you can also jump off at the Smithfield stop of the Luas Red Line (it’s a 2-minute walk then).

2. Opening hours

The opening hours for the Jameson Distillery on Bow St. are; Sunday to Thursday: 11:00 – 5:30pm. Friday to Saturday: 11:00 – 6.30pm

3. Admission

The standard Jameson Distillery tour costs €25 for adults and €19 for students and anyone who’s 65+. This includes the 40-minute guided tour and whiskey tasting. There are other, more niche tours you can take (info below). 

4. Several different tours

There are several different Jameson Distillery tours on offer, from the standard Bow St Experience to a Whiskey Cocktail making class. More info below.

The history of the Jameson Distillery in Dublin

jameson distillery dublin
Photo in the Public Domain

As we mentioned earlier, this is a place with a fair bit of history! Though it no longer produces whiskey for Jameson (that’s reserved for the New Midleton Distillery in County Cork), the Bow St distillery is now a historic visitors centre with loads to discover and enjoy. 

But how did it all start?

John Jameson himself was originally a lawyer from Alloa in Scotland before he founded his distillery on Bow St in 1780. The distillery was expanded in 1805 when his son, John Jameson II, joined him and the business was renamed John Jameson & Son’s Bow Street Distillery.

Jameson’s son (and then grandson) did a fine job of expanding the business and by 1866 the site had grown to upwards of five acres in size. Described by many as a ‘city within a city’, the distillery also housed saw mills, engineers, carpenters, painters and coppersmiths’ shops. 

The inevitable fall

Following this growth, however, came the inevitable fall. American Prohibition, Ireland’s trade war with Great Britain and the introduction of Scotch blended whiskey all contributed to Bow St’s struggles.

By the mid-1960s Jameson felt they had no choice but to merge with previous rivals to create the Irish Distillers Group. Bow St finally closed in 1971 and operations were moved to the modern facility at New Midleton in Cork.

The different Jameson Distillery tours

jameson distillery dublin
Old Jameson Distillery by Nialljpmurphy is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you’re looking to take the Jameson Distillery tour, you’ve several options to choose from, each of which varies in price and overall experience.

Note: if you book a tour via one of the links below we may make a tiny commission that helps us keep this site going. You won’t pay extra, but we really do appreciate it.

1. The Bow St. Experience (€25 p/p)

It’s probably best to kick off with the Bow St. Experience and truly get to know this famous old whiskey. You’ll get a guided tour of the distillery by an ambassador who’ll impart all of the building’s long history and heritage, through the good times and the bad!

You’ll even be able to enjoy a drink at the exact spot where it all began. The tour lasts 40-minutes in total and includes a comparative whiskey tasting session. If you’re planning on visiting the Guinness Storehouse, too, this combo tour has excellent reviews.

2. The Black Barrel Blending Class (€60 p/p)

Want to see how whiskey is made first-hand and then try making it yourself? That’s what the Black Barrel Blending Class is all about and you’ll end up creating a one-of-a-kind blend of your own!

Costing €60 and lasting 90 minutes in total, the session is hosted by a Jameson Craft Ambassador who’ll guide you through the whole process with an expert touch. You’ll learn how to blend whiskey like a pro and also sample a few premium whiskeys along the way. 

These sessions are limited to six people and, due to alcohol consumption levels, you won’t be allowed to book the Bow St. Experience on the same day.

3. The Whiskey Cocktail Making Class (€50 p/p)

Anyone who’s enjoyed an Old Fashioned in the past will know that there’s much more to drinking whiskey neat or on the rocks! 

Jump onto Jameson’s Whiskey Cocktail Making Class and find out how to take your whiskey experience to a new level by crafting three cocktails of your own – a Jameson Whiskey Sour, Jameson Old Fashioned and Jameson Punch.

Taking place in their Shaker’s Bar, the session lasts for 60 minutes and costs €50. Hosted by an expert Jameson bartender, you’ll get to taste all of your own creations and hear a few stories along the way before finishing up at JJ’s Bar for a punch created by the Shaker’s team.

4. The Secret Whiskey Tasting (€30)

Ok, so there isn’t anything particularly secret about this one, but you do get to try four of Jameson’s finest whiskeys! Hosted by a Jameson Brand Ambassador, you’ll get to try Jameson Original, Jameson Crested, Jameson Distillery Edition and Jameson Black Barrel Cask Strength. And the cool thing is, is that two of them are only available at the distillery.

Costing €30 and lasting 40 minutes in total, this exclusive tour is ideal for shorter visits or if you’re trying to cram a bunch of activities into one day. Available 7 days a week, book on anytime and enjoy a sip!

Things to do near the Jameson Distillery in Dublin

Once you finish the Jameson Distillery tour, you’re a short walk from some of the most popular places to visit in Dublin.

Below, you’ll find everywhere from the oldest pub in Dublin and more whiskey tours to the Phoenix Park, which is perfect for a post tour ramble.

1. Phoenix Park (17-minute walk)

phoenix park walks
Photos via Shutterstock

If you want some fresh air after the tour or if your head needs a little clearing, there’s no better place to do that than the Phoenix Park. One of the largest city parks in Europe, it’s a pleasant 17-minute walk away and it’s also home to Dublin Zoo and Áras an Uachtaráin.

2. The Brazen Head (7-minute walk)

oldest dublin pub
Photos via the Brazen Head on Facebook

Compared to most other buildings in Dublin, the Bow St. distillery is pretty old but it definitely isn’t as old as the Brazen Head! Claiming to date back to the 12th-century, it’s a lively place with cracking outside space for a few pints. Head south and make the short 7-minute stroll across Father Matthew Bridge and find it on Lower Bridge Street. 

3. Guinness and whiskey tours (15 to 20-minute walk)

guinness storehouse dublin
Courtesy Diageo Ireland Brand Homes via Ireland’s Content Pool

If you want to discover more about Dublin’s whiskey distilling past and present then there are a few spots down on James Street to check out. Choose from either Roe & Co or the Pearse Lyons Distillery (both in very unique buildings) and you won’t be disappointed. You’ll also be just a stone’s throw from the famous Guinness Storehouse if you want to find out how the world’s most famous stout is made.

FAQs about visiting the Jameson Distillery in Dublin

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Where is the Jameson Whiskey factory?’ (Bow St.) to ‘Do you need to book Jameson Distillery?’ (it’s advised!).

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

Is the Jameson Distillery tour worth doing?

Yes. The Jameson Distillery tour (regardless of which you go for) have racked up rave reviews online over the years and they’re delivered by knowledgeable guides.

How long is the Jameson Distillery tour in Dublin?

The tour of the Jameson Distillery on Bow St. lasts for around 40 minutes in total (The Bow St. Experience). The Cocktail Class lasts 1-hour while the Blending Class is 1.5 hours.

How much does it cost to tour the Jameson Distillery on Bow St?

The standard Jameson Distillery tour costs €25 for adults and €19 for students and anyone who’s 65+. This includes the 40-minute guided tour and whiskey tasting.

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