When it comes to Irish Whiskey, Jameson is by far the biggest brand. It’s a beloved brand that’s been growing like crazy over the past decade, backed up by a clever ad campaign. Those ads — purposefully at times — stretch the truth, turning myths into facts. Whatever you may have heard, here are nine things you probably didn’t know about Jameson.
Jameson Is The World’s #1 Irish Whiskey
Jameson is the best selling Irish Whiskey in the world, ranking 41st among all liquors in 2014. In fact, it’s the only Irish Whiskey in the top 100.
John Jameson Was Scottish
John Jameson, the distillery’s namesake, was actually a Scottish lawyer. He was born in Alloa in 1740. His wife, Margaret Haig (whose brothers were in the Scottish Whiskey business), had family — the Steins — who owned the Bow Street Distillery in Dublin.
The Family Motto, “Sine Metu” Means Without Fear
The Jameson family coat of arms, seen on the brand’s labels, included the motto “Sine Metu,” which means “without fear.” The family was granted the coat of arms in honor of their pursuit of pirates along the Scottish coast in the seventeen century.
John Jameson’s In-Laws’ Family Founded “His” Distillery
The 1780 seen on Jameson bottles refers to the year the Bow Street Distillery was originally founded, by John Stein. John Jameson was brought on as the General Manger of the distillery, though he didn’t actually take full ownership until 1805.
In The 1970s One Company Produced All The Whiskey In Ireland
Irish Distillers, formed by a merger of John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son and the Cork Distillery Company in 1966 — and later Bushmills — was for over a decade the sole producer of whiskey in all of Ireland.
John Jameson & Son Didn’t Sell Whiskey By The Bottle Until 1968
The distillery did not sell Jameson in bottles until 1968. For nearly two centuries the whiskey had been sold exclusively by the cask to bonders.
Jameson Hasn’t Been Distilled In Dublin Since The 1970s
Since the the 1970s, Jameson has been distilled in Cork, at a distillery built by Irish Distillers for all of their brands.
Jameson Is Owned By A French Liquor Company
Pernod Ricard, one of the largest liquor companies in the world, and based in France, acquired the Jameson brand when it purchased Irish Distillers in 1988.
90% Of Jameson’s Production Is Exported
When Pernod Ricard purchased Jameson, only half of its whiskey left the country, and about half a million cases were produced annually. Today 90% of the 4.7 million cases of Jameson produced are exported around the world.