Jameson take the Irish experience international with Jameson Distillery On Tour
Brought to you by Jameson
It is fascinating watching other nations react to something so profoundly Irish.
Under the shadow of a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge, with a version of the Christ The Redeemer statue lit up on the horizon, you'll find the Jameson Distillery Bow St Tour.
Because while this heady international mix feels like we've wandered into one of the cooler parts of Brooklyn, one of Ireland's most famous tourist attractions has actually set up shop in Lisbon for a few weeks, in a truly innovative way, by taking a cornerstone of Dublin history and making it international.
If you've ever done the original Bow Street Distillery tour, then you probably already know it is based in the iconic building in Smithfield, where visitors can enjoy a tour or tasting, learn how to blend their own whiskey, try their hand at cocktail making or draw whiskey straight from a Jameson cask.
The flagship Bow Street tour in Dublin has been split into three distinct rooms, with a knowledgeable tour guide with you every step of the way.
There's the history of John Jameson, his family and his brand, which is told with innovative, almost opening credits from Game Of Thrones-esque visuals; the "this is how we make it room", which allows you to get hands and nose-on with the ingredients; and finally, the tasting room, where you compare and contrast Jameson with a popular Scottish scotch and American whisky (with no e).
Distilling the most important elements of that down, it has been almost perfectly recreated in a series of Jameson-green containers in the middle of the LX Factory, one of the hippest boroughs of Lisbon, where the locals can pop by for the 30-minute tour, enjoy a cocktail or whiskey neat, or depending on the day, visit the attached barbers or tattoo parlour. A series of music events have also been scheduled during its month-long stay in the Portuguese capital.
One of the highlights of the tour is that it is being given by a team of local Lisbon bartenders, chosen by Jameson due to their passion for the whiskey, brought to Dublin to experience Jameson Distillery Bow St first hand, and then given the opportunity to put their own slight twist on it.
These changes are small but important, signifying that international difference, as is clear from the clientele of the visitors while JOE was there.
All perfect beards and impressive tattoos, Jameson is very much a part of the hipster culture in Lisbon, and speaking to John Carroll, the project manager for Jameson Distillery On Tour, it is obvious why it should remain so malleable. As we sit and talk, there are two best friends getting tattoos done in a container behind us. We later find out that they are lifelong friends now living on different continents, who decided to reunite in Lisbon, making up for lost time over a Jameson cocktail.
To pick up these containers and ship them New York, or Sydney, or Cape Town, or Nuuk (that is the capital of Greenland, fact fans!), some of the smaller details might change, but the most important aspects of Jameson - the whiskey itself, and the inherent Irishness - will always stay the same.
With well over 200 years of history, Jameson are still looking to create and innovate, much like they did with the Jameson Cult Film Club a few years back, by taking something well-known and giving it a cutting edge.
Carroll tells us that he loves the different reactions from people all around the world when they find out that he works for Jameson, especially in new and growth markets, like Nigeria and South America, where its popularity is spreading like wildfire.
It is obvious that these containers, shipping a very Irish experience, could be put anywhere in the world and enjoyed by the local lovers of the brand, but still in a profoundly Irish way.
Even in Lisbon, the 'cheers' for a glass of Jameson is delivered with a "Sláinte!"
Jameson Distillery On Tour runs until Saturday 28 September, before potentially moving on to a city near you!
Brought to you by Jameson