Source Information

Ancestry.com. Ireland, Jameson Bottling Agreements with Publicans, 1909–1965 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2023.
Original data: Jameson Bottling Agreements. Midleton, County Cork, Ireland: Jameson Distillery, Bow St. Dublin: Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard Archive.

About Ireland, Jameson Bottling Agreements with Publicans, 1909–1965

General collection information

This collection contains records of bottling agreements from the firm John Jameson & Son between 1909 and 1965. Until 1963, most Jameson whiskey wasn't directly bottled at the Bow Street distillery, but was sold directly to retailers by the cask. Retailers, mainly publicans, would sign agreements with the Distillery to ensure the whiskey was sold without adulteration by the bottler.

Using this collection

Records in the collection may contain the following:

  • Name of bottler
  • Place of distribution
  • Amount sold
  • Region of production
  • Date of production
  • Date of transaction
  • Distribution agreements
  • Bills of sale
  • Records in this collection can tell you much about the distilling and bottling industry. Even if your family member wasn't a direct employee of Jameson, the industry often shaped the economic and agricultural landscape of their community. Interestingly, the ingredients used are all local to within 100 miles of the distillery; the water used comes from the Dungourney River, which flows through the distillery.

    The records in this collection were created to serve as a legal contract between the Jameson Distillery and the bottler, who may have been the pub owner or an additional third party. These agreements stated that the bottler would not tamper with or dilute the whiskey. These contracts were renewed every year and would hold the bottler accountable for the whiskey that was sold by them.

    Collection in context

    The original Jameson Distillery was founded on Bow Street in Dublin, Ireland in 1780. Shortly thereafter, the Malt Tax of 1785 resulted in Jameson experimenting with malted and unmalted barley mash. Consumers enjoyed the flavor and the Jameson Distillery thrived. By 1870, the Jameson Distillery employed hundreds.

    Until 1963, Jameson didn't bottle their own whiskey. Exceptions were made for whiskey meant to be sold internationally, which was bottled in London. Most Irish whiskey was sold by the cask directly to retailers (usually grocers or pub owners), known as "bonders." Bonders bought whiskey directly from the manufacturer and would often age or blend the whiskey themselves before bottling it and selling it to their customers. However, bonders were sometimes problematic as they may have been dishonest about the provenance or watered down the whiskey to increase profit. In 1964, Jameson launched "Crested Ten," a variety of whiskey bottled on site.

    In 1975, the main distillery moved from Dublin to Midleton, County Cork, Ireland.

    Bibliography

    Irish Spirit. "The (Nearly) Lost Art of Irish Whiskey Bonding." Last Modified 28 February, 2018. https://irishspirit.com/nearly-lost-art-irish-whiskey-bonding/.

    Jameson Whiskey. "The Jameson Irish Whiskey History." Last Modified 14 March, 2021. https://www.jamesonwhiskey.com/en-us/our-story/our-history/.

    Law Insider. "Bottling Agreements." Last Modified 16 June, 2018. https://www.lawinsider.com/dictionary/bottling-agreements.