27 March 2009

A whiskey history lesson

Jeffrey Morgenthaler, a Bartender and a Scholar, reports on "Protestant vs. Catholic Whiskey."
The truth of the matter is, the age-old faux-pas of ordering Bushmills for fear of supporting English aggression and offending the Republic of Ireland is about as Irish as corned beef - which is to say, not very Irish at all but rather Irish-American (Sorry, kids, corned beef is a Jewish invention).

Jameson was pretty much founded in 1780 when John Jameson - a Scottish guy - purchased the Bow Street Distillery, which at the time was one of the biggest distilleries in Ireland. Now, it’s important to note that the Scottish Reformation occurred in 1560, so odds are in favor of the founder of the Jameson distillery, being Scottish, was a damn Protestant.

Bushmills, on the other hand, was officially licensed in 1608 by King James I (of Bible fame) and despite of its location deep in the heart of Protestant country (and this next bit is straight from my local Bushmills rep, so take it or leave it) has a Catholic as a master distiller.

[...] But none of it means much, anyway: both distilleries are owned by huge international entities: Jameson by French liquor conglomerate Pernod-Ricard, and Bushmills by the English firm Diageo.
Score one for the Scots!

Bonus Whisk(e)y Link: Bloomberg on Japanese whiskey production, via Jacob Grier.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. The biggest seller of Jameson here in the states happens to be a really popular bar in Minneapolis, called The Local. It's supposed to be an Irish pub. Maybe I should inform them of the historical inaccuracy?