Irish Distillers was formed in 1966 following the merger of three of the great Irish Whiskey distillers, namely John Jameson & Sons, established in Dublin in 1780; Powers & Sons, who were founded in Dublin in 1791 and the Cork Distillery whose origins date back to 1825. Though steeped in history, around the time of the merger the future of the Irish Whiskey industry was under doubt. To survive and hopefully prosper, the newly formed company decided there was nothing for it but to close its existing distilleries in Cork and Dublin and consolidate production in a new, purpose-built facility located alongside the site of the old distillery in Midleton, Cork. The relocation eventually heralded in an era of success and growth that continues to this day. In time it also gave the original and historic Jameson and Midleton distilleries a new and exciting lease of life. All the craft of the centuries-old tradition of making Irish whiskey is used to produce Jameson. Each of the three-strong series has been put together by a member of Jameson’s production team, who have chosen a style of whisky they each feel complements their area of expertise. The blends were put together by master blender Billy Leighton to ensure that the flavour profile could be recreated from batch to batch on an ongoing basis. Each release carries the name and fingerprint of the creator, and are named after a tool that is vital to their job.
Head cooper Ger Buckley’s choice focuses on the effect of maturation. Aged in a combination of virgin-American-oak barrels, bourbon barrels and sherry butts, this has the distillery’s classic barley-sugar sweetness, with a whack of vanilla along with toffee and peaches from the bourbon casks, raisins from the sherry maturation and a toastiness given by the use of virgin oak.