Jameson Distillery on Tour signals effort to recapture North American market for Irish whiskey.
Irish whiskey brand Jameson is replicating its very first Bow Street Dublin distillery for discerning New Yorkers with the Jameson Distillery Tour opening in Hudson Yards this week.
Jameson Distillery on Tour has been named World’s leading Distillery Tour three times.
“As two cities known for marching to the beat of their own drum, it feels full circle to welcome the Jameson Distillery on Tour to New York City and be a part of an initiative that enables fellow buskers to bring their music to the streets”
Replicating the very place Jameson was first distilled in 1780, the three-part interactive experience will take visitors on an unforgettable journey that explores the Irish whiskey’s legendary story, triple-distillation process and signature smooth taste.
The launch coincides with a renewed spirit by Irish whiskey makers to recapture the market for Irish whiskey which sadly declined during the 20th century.
But this is changing. Irish whiskey is becoming an increasingly significant player in the higher-end whiskey market, with increased supply of super-premium and exclusive Irish whiskeys coming on-stream.
The Irish Whiskey Association has acknowledged figures from its partners in the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) which reports that: “The Irish whiskey category has benefited from drinkers’ desire to ‘trade up’ from premium to high-end and super-premium products.”
Figures from the DISCUS show that 851,000 cases – or 10m bottles – of super-premium-priced Irish whiskey were sold in the United States in 2021.
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Taking centre stage to celebrate the opening of Jameson Distillery on Tour in NYC’s Hudson Yards was global music sensation Dermot Kennedy, who returned to his busking roots by singing his breakthrough hits as well as songs from his upcoming second album Sonder out November 4 on Island Records/Interscope.
He was inspired to join in the celebration alongside Jameson, which is putting its support behind the local busking community by covering the cost of up to 1,000 permits for New York City entertainers through its “Busk on Us” program. Local buskers can apply for a free permit by visiting www.jamesonwhiskey.com/en-us/BuskonUs.
Dermot’s performance at Jameson Distillery on Tour was a nod to Dublin and New York’s shared tradition of busking, where the street becomes the stage and strangers connect over their love of music.
“The first stage I ever played was on a street corner in Dublin,” said Dermot Kennedy. “As two cities known for marching to the beat of their own drum, it feels full circle to welcome the Jameson Distillery on Tour to New York City and be a part of an initiative that enables fellow buskers to bring their music to the streets.
“Sharing a piece of where I come from with the city I now call home is something I will never forget. Together, we’re celebrating the power of connection, whether with a fellow audience member or over a shared drink with friends.”
The performance paid tribute to those committed to their craft — much like the legendary Irish whiskey-maker — surprising onlookers at the start of a two-week lineup featuring some of New York’s very own talented buskers, including world-renowned bucket drummer, Jared “Choclatt” Crawford; the eclectic powerhouse with her violin, Joya Bravo; and the composer and songwriter, Justin Sutherland.
This immersive experience is designed to widen both palates and social circles, providing a dedicated space for friends and new faces to come together through a shared exploration of Jameson’s heritage and history.
“This is the first time we are bringing Jameson’s Distillery on Tour to the US, and we couldn’t think of a better spot to host this one-of-a-kind experience than Hudson Yards in New York City, a popular destination that attracts visitors from around the globe,” said Kelly Suhr, senior brand director, Jameson Irish Whiskey.
“We’re opening up the world of Irish whiskey, connecting with new kindred spirits, showcasing our storied process and, of course, enjoying our world-class portfolio.”
Those curious to learn even more about Irish whiskey can participate in an educational immersion dedicated to the brand’s celebrated Jameson Black Barrel expression. Housed within a larger-than-life barrel that allows guests to feel the heat of the char, smell its vanilla notes and, ultimately, taste its complexity, this special activation will include tales from those who help craft it, including Ger Buckley — an Irishman with a rich legacy as a fifth generation Midleton Cooper, an individual specially trained in barrel building.
Within the distillery experience, guests can also interact with branded activities, including shopping Jameson merchandise and snapping pictures with friends at the custom LED photo moment.
Visitors can also share a toast and learn whiskey tasting tips and more brand lore from Jameson’s AI Brand Ambassador, Molly: a fully interactive avatar that leverages cutting-edge conversational AI technology from ICONIQ AI. While on-site, people can hold real, meaningful conversations via a continuous YouTube livestream through September 7 – the first AI livestream by a major brand. Those unable to visit in-person can also book exclusive virtual Bow St. experiences online.
Visitors will also have the chance to taste the newest addition to the beloved Irish whiskey portfolio at the Jameson Orange Truck. Featuring a limited-edition Jameson Orange-flavored sorbet created in partnership with popular adults-only New York City ice cream shop, Tipsy Scoop, the Jameson Orange Truck will give a new meaning to the smooth taste of their triple-distilled whiskey balanced with notes of zesty orange flavor. The Jameson Orange-infused sorbet will be available alongside Jameson Distillery on Tour at the Public Square & Gardens at Hudson Yards through September 7.
With limited availability, fans can take advantage of the complimentary Jameson Distillery on Tour through September 7, open daily at the Public Square & Gardens at Hudson Yards. To learn more about the one-of-a-kind experience straight from Dublin’s Bow St. and reserve their spot, fans can visit jamesonwhiskey.com/distillery-on-tour-nyc.
Main image: Dermot Kennedy on stage at the Jameson event in New York