I didn't know this about Jameson...

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I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby varizoltan » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:52 pm

Kennetpans Distillery and Trust

Kennetpans Distillery has a deep history within the whisky industry of both Scotland and Ireland, and still has connections even though the distillery closed around 200 years ago. Some famous whisky names still have their roots at Kennetpans including Cameronbridge, Jameson and Haig whisky brands. This keeps the Kennetpans legacy living on and in November 2011 the charity, Kennetpans Trust, was formed. The trust hope to bring the legacy back to the forefront of the whisky industry and let everyone know how important this distillery was and still is and how important the stabilising this historic site of Kennetpans is the whole of the whisky industry

A brief history of Kennetpans

Kennetpans was formally a salt panning community formed by the monks at Kennetpans Monastery, exact dates are not known but it is believed to have been closed down during the Reformation.

Kennetpans was the largest Scottish distillery in the 1730’s, but this is all that is known at this early stage of their whisky history and the exact date of whisky making at Kennetpans is not known. Then in the 1770’s the brother of the owner of Kennetpans, James Stein bought the distillery called Kilbagie. With the family now owning two distillery, the production levels of the whisky increased and Scotland had never seen this amount of production before. They produced so much whisky that their tax bill alone was greater than the rest of the land taxes put together annual in Scotland. With the success of these distilleries they connected both of them with a cannel and even built a railway (Scotland’s first) between the Kilbagie distillery and the harbour at Kennetpans. The way the Steins family work was very impression within the whisky industry and also to the greater good of the Scottish economy and they were the forefont of the Industrial Revolution in Scotland.

Jameson Irish Whisky Brand

Around 1780, John Stein of Kennetpans owned two of the largest distilleries in Dublin. What a lot of people don’t know is the Jameson Irish whisky brand was introduced by the Scot John Jameson of Alloa. He become linked to the Steins and Haigs through marriage and when he moved his family over to Ireland to become the general manager at Steins Dublin Bow Street Distillery. Over time he took full ownership of this distillery and renamed it to known as John Jameson and Son. His son years later took over the Marrowbone Lane distillery. The rest is history with the Jameson brand and is the leading Irish whiskey brand and is famous throughout the world.
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby Fionnán » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:42 pm

hey all, glad to see this coming up as the Haig/Stein dynasty and the birth of the commercial distillery has always bee a topic of particular interest to me. To understand a bit more of the background to this, you have to look at a guy named John Cockburn who revolutionized Scottish agriculture during the 1730s by bringing in new crops (leeks, for example) and farming methods from Holland and England. He came up with the scheme of the "Model village" utilizing the new methods and crops in a cohesive village unit and started pitching the idea to the lairds. Part of the "model village" scheme was the inclusion of both a brewery and a distillery to make logical use and profit from excess grains that would otherwise go bad (Cockburn's own model village "Milton" distillery was coincidentally the antecedent to Glenkinchie.) A prime example of a model village built on this plan is Bowmore over on Islay. However, most of the more expansive "commercial" projects taken on by the lairds clustered around the more fertile lowlands and central belt where cockburn's innovations really came to fruition and thus were born early 'comercial distilleries' like Cambusbarron, Dolls, and of course Kennetpans. As a result, (recorded) whisky production trippled in Scotland between 1735 and 1737. However, a bad harvest across Scotland during the 1750s led to a ban on comercial distilling from 1757 to 1760 to save grains and, by 1761, the (again, recorded) whisky production fell to 1/9th of what it had been in 1956 and almost all of these operations fell apart. The real legacy of the Kennetpans distillery, in my opinion, is in the family that sprung from it. Despite the collapse of the first flowering of commercial distilleryies, the model village scheme kept growing all through the 1700s and there was a second "comercial" boom in the 1770s. The Kennetpans distillery owner, John Stein, had three sons- John, James, and Andrew Stein, who all became distillers during this second and larger boom, while his daughter Margaret married her cousin John Haig and began the "second" of the great lowland whisky dynasties (but in reality, the steins and the haigs were clearly all related anyways.) Following John Haig's death, his five sons were all apprenticed to their distilling uncles John and James Stein and all five Haig brothers went on to either start or aquire commercial distilleries (4 in scotland and 1 (Dodderbank) in Ireland.) The eldest son James became the official political spokesman for the Commercial distillers and, to top it all off, their sister Isabella married John Jameson and we all know where that went.

Anyway, i could go on for a while but, if you're interested, there's a lot written about them in Charles MacLean's "Scotch: A Liquid History" and its great to see some historical attention being given to the Kennetpans legacy as the overlap between the history of Irish and Scotch distilleries is so often overlooked...
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby DublinGus » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:12 am

I think its common knowledge that John Jameson was a Scotsman, former TD Ivan Yates is a direct descendant too!!! :D
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby Good Whiskey Hunting » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:20 pm

Here's another one for you..St.Patrick was Welch!
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby varizoltan » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:36 pm

well, i am not that bad at this...

i knew he was scotch, we all know, and they say this at the visitor center in the short film too

but to make the story finer, they are not saying he started to work at the existing distillery owned by relatives on bow street, and took the whole lot over bit by bit (this is the bit i did not know)

they say he came to Ireland seeking fame and fortune, and established a distillery on bow street...

i believe there is a bit of a difference there
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby Good Whiskey Hunting » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:43 pm

I can't speak for the Bow Street tour. I know they didn't mention it during the tour at Midleton distillery. I mentioned it to the guide and she wasn't aware about it either. I even remembering asking a rep why they don't mention it and he didn't even know that Jameson was a Scot let alone that the Distillery dated back further
than 1780. It's obviously something that they don't want to advertise or acknowledge.
I like to think that it's the grandsons that perfected the Whiskey and they were born here,I think? Well Andrew lived in and distilled in Wexford.
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby varizoltan » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:20 pm

Happiness is having a rare steak,a bottle of whiskey, and a dog to eat the rare steak!!!
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby IrishWhiskeyChaser » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:59 pm

good_whiskey_hunting wrote:... the Distillery dated back further than 1780.


This is quite normal for many Distilleries of this time ... owners came and went with the change of the seasons as it is was as risky business then as it is now. If you don't get your forecasts right you can easily get into serious financial trouble as most did. What makes it more noticeable here is that whiskey tends to go by the family name where as in Scotland they go by the Distillery name. If you research any current scotch distillery you'll find that it may have changed hands several times too. What makes the Jameson Distillery so interesting is that John Jameson put his establishment date on it basically drawing a line under the previous ownerships and declaring null and void the output of previous owner i.e. he did not what his whiskey mistaken for say Stein whiskey therefore starting afresh which I find honourable. However if you look at Bushmills and the 1608 rubbish to me that just cheapens their heritage. They always used to use the 1764 date before that. It is believed that Bushmills has had a distillery on the site a lot longer than 1764 but even the 1764 date is a tentative link to the current distillery.



good_whiskey_hunting wrote:I can't speak for the Bow Street tour. I know they didn't mention it during the tour at Midleton distillery. I mentioned it to the guide and she wasn't aware about it either. I even remembering asking a rep why they don't mention it and he didn't even know that Jameson was a Scot le.... It's obviously something that they don't want to advertise or acknowledge.


They acknowledge it freely and have done alot of research into it trying to trace the final resting place of John Jameson. Now my memory is quite hazy on this but I have a feeling that they are still trying to locate the Original John Jameson's grave which they believe maybe in Aloa in Scotland while they have tracked down John Jameson(The Son)to a grave yard in north Dublin City (I think). Or it could well be vise versa. But the point is they do know and recognise where the Jameson heritage has come from. But there are several reasons not to make a big deal out of this (warning warning this is just according to my estimation :mrgreen: ).

1. I would imagine it is not good business to proclaim that aloud as Scotch whiskey has enough trumpets blowing for it.

2. We really should not to get bogged down on semantics of where Jameson came from as at the time Ireland and Scotland were both part of the British Empire with Dublin being a major commercial hot spot and the No. 2 city of the Empire. So he was looking to cash in on that. Put it another way Chateau Lynch is considered by the French as a French wine house not an Irish one and their website does not make much of his Irish Heritage ;) :lol:

3. The important thing to remember is that when John Jameson created Whiskey he did so in the Irish Style as this was they style of choice for many and that was the foundation of the commercial success of the whiskey.

So yes they could make more of it but personally I think it is a mute point we could say the same about the Guinness family and the Porter/Stout recipe which originated in London if I'm not mistaken.

To me it is an Iconic Irish brand and John Jameson's Scottish roots will not detract from that fact.
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby Fionnán » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:44 pm

does this mean we can finally add Bladnoch to the list of Irish distilleries? In all seriousness, I agree with IWC and it should be remembered that Jameson was far from the only man in the whisky business to have crossed borders and the Haigs were far from the only whiskey company to have interests in both Ireland and Scotland. It's just like the 1608 crap-- the simplified narrative or the familiar bs might be easier to brand but the truth is far more interesting anyways.
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby Good Whiskey Hunting » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:27 pm

good_whiskey_hunting wrote: It's obviously something that they don't want to advertise or acknowledge.


I'm only kidding about that by the way. A lot of the Jamesons went back and forth to Scotland for many generations. I'd mentioned Andrew down in Wexford.
He would have been third generation here but is buried in Scotland too to my knowledge.(Which has been questionable of late....too many private tastings)
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby IrishWhiskeyChaser » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:44 pm

good_whiskey_hunting wrote:...A lot of the Jamesons went back and forth to Scotland for many generations. I'd mentioned Andrew down in Wexford.
He would have been third generation here but is buried in Scotland too to my knowledge.(Which has been questionable of late....too many private tastings)


Speaking of which do you know much about that distillery ... Enniscorty was it?

Another interesting one for research me thinks ... don't even think it got on Brian Townsand's The Lost Distilleries of Ireland

Anyway the banter is half the fun of these discussions :thumbsup:
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby DavidH » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:05 pm

IrishWhiskeyChaser wrote:What makes the Jameson Distillery so interesting is that John Jameson put his establishment date on it

No account I've seen puts old man Jameson even setting foot in Dublin as early as 1780 and certainly not owning the Smithfield distillery outright for another couple of decades after that. The name "John Jameson & Son" appeared in 1810, according to McGuire. I don't think we have got to the bottom of the significance of the year 1780 yet.
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby TheWhiskeyBro » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:32 pm

I have an article from the early 1900s, and the two key dates quoted relate to a shareholding in 1800 and full ownership by 1810. I'll dig it out.
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby TheWhiskeyBro » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:59 pm

Quote from 'The Sketch' magazine Nov 12th 1902...

"So far back as the year 1780, this distillery was founded by three private gentlemen, the title deeds of the firm show that the ancestors of the present owners first became connected with it in 1805. It passed into the sole possession of Mr. John Jameson, grandfather of the present directors, in the year 1810....

In 1891 the firm was converted into a private Limited Company, and now, in order to meet family arrangements, it has been considered advisable to form a new Limited Company having debenture stock and ordinary shares. A portion of the debenture stock is to be offered to the public. This, of course, has necessitated the registration of Messrs. John Jameson and Son, Limited, as a public company, and about the 17th [17/11/1902]. the prospectus may be expected to appear."
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby IrishWhiskeyChaser » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:29 pm

DavidH wrote:No account I've seen puts old man Jameson even setting foot in Dublin as early as 1780 and certainly not owning the Smithfield distillery outright for another couple of decades after that. The name "John Jameson & Son" appeared in 1810, according to McGuire. I don't think we have got to the bottom of the significance of the year 1780 yet.


I didn't know this about Jameson... :mrgreen:

We seriously need to start getting this information together and documented. Loads of great information between alot of members and would be great to come up with definitive histories ... or as definitive as we possibly can get.
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby varizoltan » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:36 pm

:oops:

now i feel a bit bad for starting all this...

we all know IDL backdated Bushmills

but now we just shine the lights on Jameson :?: :roll:

say notin

i am going to bed...
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby IrishWhiskeyChaser » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:24 pm

varizoltan wrote::oops:

now i feel a bit bad for starting all this...

we all know IDL backdated Bushmills

but now we just shine the lights on Jameson :?: :roll:

say notin

i am going to bed...


It certainly is not a big deal ... we know the distillery was there in 1780 and every Distillery on the planet starts with the earliest they can find. So if indeed the distillery was there even before 1780 they have under played it. In all fairness what's 25 years in over 200 years of heritage ... 8-)
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby DavidH » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:42 am

IrishWhiskeyChaser wrote:We seriously need to start getting this information together and documented.

Perhaps IDL are piecing all of this together too. Apparently they spirited away all of Mitchell's records to analyse the history of Green Spot and you guys have helped them with other historical research. I hope they will surprise us with a definitive account some day.
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Re: I didn't know this about Jameson...

Postby Good Whiskey Hunting » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:42 pm

IrishWhiskeyChaser wrote:
Speaking of which do you know much about that distillery ... Enniscorty was it?

Another interesting one for research me thinks ... don't even think it got on Brian Townsand's The Lost Distilleries of Ireland

Anyway the banter is half the fun of these discussions :thumbsup:


I just got a copy of The lost distilleries of Ireland today strangely enough and it's not included. there is a record with the number of still licensed in Ireland in 1822 and at this time it is on the list. It was the only one licensed in Wexford. There is no sign in Wexford for it but i know where it was. If anyone knows of Monard Spa that is close to it. I think the house belonged to Andrew Jameson's daughter too.
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