Day Trips from Cork: The Jameson Experience
Cork itself is a beautiful city, but what mainly attracts tourist to the city is the abundance of awesome day trips.
The Jameson Experience is located just outside of Cork, in the town of Middleton. Jameson happens to be one of my favorite drinks at home, so I knew that we had to check it out. It didn’t take much to convince Kassie.
During peak season there are plenty of tours that will take you to and from the distillery. Companies like Paddywagon Tours offer packages that include transport to and from Middleton and the price of the distillery tour.
If you want to save a bit of money or if you go in the off-season like we did, the best way to get there is to take the train from Kent Station in Cork City to the Middleton stop and walk about 15 minutes to the distillery. We actually suggest this option because you aren’t on any time constraints and can wander around the Jameson Experience souvenir shop or explore a bit of Middleton.
Once you enter the gates of The Jameson Experience you are greeted by antique trucks carrying casks of Jameson and chandeliers made from empty Jameson bottles.
The standard tour runs every hour during the summer and every 2 hours during the off-season. The guided tour costs 15 Euro and includes a free Jameson cocktail at the end.
If you are a whiskey enthusiast, the Whiskey Academy is the perfect option for you! They give you a standard tour and and then bring you to the Jameson Cottage to give you a more detailed lesson and tasting. The Whiskey Academy tour costs 45 Euro and only runs a few times a day.
Our tour guide met us in the lobby and led us into a film room to watch a short film about the history of Jameson.
After that, the tour brings you through the old distillery and shows you each step in the whiskey making process. They show you how they select their barley and the mashing & fermentation process that the barley goes through to make whiskey.
It was incredible to see how many steps the whiskey goes through before it gets bottled.
The entire tour was very dark and felt damp, especially the storage area where they age thousands of casks to 12, 15 and 18 years. The older the whiskey, the stronger it is and the deeper the color.
Before the tour wraps up, the guide asks for Volunteers to sample a few different whiskeys. Both of our hands shot up and we were taken to a bar room inside and sampled Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker, and Orginal Jameson. Since we all told the guide Jameson was the best, they printed us certified whiskey taster certificates.
After the tour concluded, we were given our free drink vouchers and were treated to the best Jameson and Ginger we have ever had.
You are free to pay for more drinks if you wish, but it was 2PM and the tasting plus the free drink had us feeling good enough 😉
Before you leave make sure to check out the huge array of Jameson whiskeys and souvenirs in the gift shop. Unfortunately, we didn’t have room in our luggage for the €500 4 liter bottle that I wanted to bring home.
There is also a tour of the original Jameson Distillery in Dublin, and we definitely suggest checking out any of the distilleries in Ireland. It is a great way to learn about one of Ireland’s favorite spirits and spend a rainy day!