The Very Specific Water Source Used To Make Jameson Irish Whiskey

For Irish whiskey fans, Jameson is the cream of the crop. Having been around since 1780, according to Jameson Whiskey, this smooth alcohol has won the hearts of whiskey advocates all over the world. Jameson's home is — you guessed it — Ireland. John Jameson, the fella we can thank for this tasty concoction, raised the curtains in Dublin on the legendary Bow Street after relocating from Scotland. There was no shortage of distilleries at the time, so Jameson really had to stand out in order to make a mark on Irish drinkers and he didn't fall short.

Considering Jameson's complex flavor, it's hard to believe it all starts with only three ingredients: water, barley, and yeast. That formula is the one thing that hasn't differed throughout the centuries this beverage has been enjoyed. Jameson can't be made just anywhere, because at the core of the Irish whiskey is the Dungourney River, says The Coolist. The river doesn't only provide the fresh Irish water that helps form Jameson, it nurtures the barley crops as well.

What makes Jameson so special?

Ever since 1975, Jameson has been made at the Midleton Distillery, which is just under three hours from the original Jameson distillery in Dublin (via Whisky). The Midleton Distillery is a staple in Dublin and surrounding areas in Cork County. Over 100 local farmers deliver barley to the distillery each day where it is then boiled in a sugar solution to create wort, The Coolist explains. The Dungourney River has been the distillery's water source since day one and even used to provide power to the distillery and the farms surrounding it by way of a watermill. When admiring the old Midleton Distillery, a water wheel can still be spotted today.

The rich history of Jameson's distilling process is part of what makes the whiskey so special and helps continue to rank Jameson as one of the most popular Irish whiskeys on the shelf. As Man of Many writes, just "try to find a bar on the planet that doesn't keep scores of Jameson on hand," and chances are, you won't. With the centuries of production, new distilleries, revamped distilleries, new leaders, and new staff, it's incredible the beverage has remained consistently delicious and the Dungourney River definitely has something to do with that.