Our distillery is located, unsurprisingly, in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland. We’ve been making whiskey here since 1975. The masters at our distillery are:
“I didn’t set out to work in a distillery – it was almost by accident – but probably the best accident that ever happened to me.”
A gregarious character at the heart of the Jameson Midleton Distillery, Brian Nation’s enthusiasm for his job comes from meeting like-minded individuals who share his passion for the craft and skill that goes into creating an iconic range of whiskeys. “I love travelling around the world to promote and educate people about Jameson. I love getting the opportunity to bring the Jameson message to the people”.
“We’re a serious whiskey but from a family atmosphere – whiskey is at the heart of that family.”
Master Blender Billy Leighton epitomises the spirit of a serious whiskey that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
With almost a decade of experience as Head Blender behind him, Billy’s precision can be traced back to his first role, as a trainee accountant at Irish Distillers’ Old Bushmill Distillery. When given the opportunity to move into production, Billy went from calculating VAT to the Vatting House, where he prepared the whiskey for bottling. As the years went by, his duties grew, eventually encompassing blending, warehousing, maturation and expanding further into distilling. Today his role sees him marrying together a range of notes, ages and grain types, creating a palette of tastes that combine to make up the entire Family of Jameson Whiskey.
“It may be an inanimate object, yet it has a personality – you feel a bond with it – it’s a living, breathing organism.”
So says our Head Cooper, Ger Buckley, a self-confessed tool obsessive, and a man whose knowledge of wood grows far beyond his professional life. A true craftsman in the purest form of the word, Ger is a fifth generation Midleton Cooper who uses the same methods and tools as his grandfather. His passion stems not only from his family’s lineage, but also from his fascination with the varied attributes his preferred source material allows.
“The production of Jameson is a complete team effort and could not be achieved without the input of the Family at Midleton.”
“The production of Jameson is a complete team effort and could not be achieved without the input of the Family at Midleton.” Aside from the sweet aroma of the Angels’ Share, there is something else in the air in the Jameson Midleton Distillery. Kevin O’Gorman’s words capture the unique spirit of teamwork that runs through Jameson from grain to glass.
“It’s the combination of the two – science and art – that brings together the mastery of the process with the mystery of its humble ingredients.”
If Jameson’s iconic taste and smoothness had a formula, the holder of it would be Head of Whiskey Science, David Quinn. A figure whose passion for Irish whiskey stems from his interest in the complexities of flavour and mood that make up the spirit, David joined the Midleton team over thirty years ago, and is now recognised as one of the most integral ingredients in the Distillery’s mix. Although based in science, David’s role also requires knowledge of the craft that goes into making Jameson. He analyses the very highest standards of pot still whiskey, while researching and developing the distillation process behind it.
The distillery is open to the public, and we highly recommend The Jameson Experience, which offers a variety of tours. We also have the acclaimed Irish Whiskey Academy on site, a state-of-the-art training facility offering a range of different courses, all of which include a visit tour of our distillery.
It’s been said that whiskey isn’t a drink, it’s a whole world. There is so much complexity and variety, so many subtle flavours and possibilities that you can spend a lifestime exploring it and never reach the end.
But, then again, it’s quite a journey.
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