There are few words in the English language that marry as perfectly as ‘Irish’ and ‘Whiskey’ – the Irish just ‘get it’ and there are few better examples of this than Jameson Irish Whiskey.
The road to becoming one of the most enjoyed and celebrated whiskey’s in the world has been a long and eventful one for Jameson – one that dates back to 1780.
Many an Irishman will try to deny it, but the man that set the wheels in motion was from neighbouring Scotland; lawyer, businessman and whiskey connoisseur, John Jameson, founded the Bow Street Distillery in Dublin and by the early 1800s, Jameson was producing 1 million gallons of whiskey per year to become one of the biggest names in the game worldwide.
But what makes Irish whiskey different?
Well it’s much simpler than you’d think. Irish whiskey tends to be distilled three times. Compare this to a scotch whisky, for example, which is distilled twice, while peat is rarely, if ever, used in the malting process.
What this translates to is a noticeably smoother finish. Irish whiskey also has to be aged for at least three years, but a looser definition than other types of whiskey means that, over the years, there’s been a huge diversity across the Irish whiskey landscape, the most popular of which continues to be Jameson.
But Jameson is even unique within the Irish whiskey industry; as a single pot still whiskey, it uses both malted and non-malted barley giving it that distinctive Jameson flavor.
But why is Jameson so popular?
A question for the ages, maybe, but again, it’s all rather simple. As one of the oldest names in whiskey, Jameson has also garnered a reputation for being the modern spirit for the modern man – and it’s the fastest growing spirits brand of its kind in Egypt, where – despite the state of the economy – there’s a growing movement that seeks the finer things in life.
If you still have doubts as to the enduring legacy of Jameson, then keep in mind that, unlike most of its competitors at the time, Jameson survived through trade restrictions during the Irish War of Independence and the prohibition era in the US, as well as two ownership changes in 1966 and 1988.
For most, these things would signal a change or drop in quality – but that hasn’t been the case for Jameson and the trophy cabinet at Jameson HQ is proof of exactly that. Over the years, Jameson has picked up awards at some of the world’s biggest spirit competitions.
It’s likely that John Jameson never imagined that his simple labour of love would become what it is today, but in 2016, it is by far the best-selling whiskey globally (a testament to being available internationally for two centuries), Mr Jameson surely never dreamed that his whiskey would ever reach the shores of Egypt, either. But whether at high-end restaurants like Pier 88, or the more intimate pub settings of a place like Cheers, there’s a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey waiting around every corner of Cairo, none more so than in the next few months, when Jameson hits the road for some special events across the city’s best and most popular bars – whiskey fans of Egypt, stay tuned!
By Kalam El Qahaira