Old Midleton Distillery


Production stopped at Old Midleton distillery in Co Cork in 1975. The distillery was founded by the Murphy brothers James, Daniel and Jeremiah at an woolen mill in 1825. The Murphy family were originally tea traders and began distilling whiskey when the trade of Irish whiskey was liberalized by the Excise Act of 1823. They started business at large, the pot still which was installed had a capacity of 143.200 litres.

In 1867 four Cork City distilleries joined together to form the Cork Distillery Company Ltd.  The Cork distilleries North Mall Distillery (1779-1920), Green Distillery (1796-1870), Watercourse Distillery (1795-1975) and Daly‘s John Street Distillery (1807-1870) plus James Murphy & Co. formed the first amalgamation and merger of Irish distilleries to join resources and forces in the whiskey industry. In 1966 the Cork Distillers Company (CDC) again merged with the Dublin distilleries John Jameson and John Powers to form the United Distillers of Ireland (UDI) which was due to its political connotations shortly thereafter renamed Irish Distillers Group (IDG).

Over 150 years Old Midleton had been distilling whiskey until the new agglomorate of Irish Distillers Company Ltd.  set up a new complex of distillation on an adjacent site in 1975.

One of the famous Midleton brands was the reowned Paddy Whisky, spelled without the “e”. Originally it had been called the Cork Distilleries Company Old Irish Whiskey but as it was sold by the company representative P.J. O’Flaherty (nicknamed Paddy). In the 1920‘s the salesman was so successful that merchants when they placed their orders would simply ask for Paddy Flaherty’s Whisky. The Cork Distillers renamed the whisky as Paddy after their diligent representative which certainly was a unique move in the Irish whiskey business.

The whisky has now gained the - e - and is now called Paddy Old Irish Whiskey.

Today Old Midleton Distillery is a museum and functions as Jameson Experience. The visitor centre at is a wonderful tourist attraction.

There is also a restaurant which provides excellent food at reasonable prices. The chowder (traditional fish and potatoe soup) is more than recommendable. The restaurant is also visited by the locals. Tours are offered to the historic distillery only and not to the present-day Midleton production complex. The tours are very tight times scheduled. The whiskey enthusiast will need more time. Unfortunately the Museum Distillery cannot be visited individually. 108,298 visitors passed though the gates of the Jameson Experience in 2012.

IIrish Distillers Pernor Ricard report: „In 2012 108,298 visitors passed through the doors of the Jameson Experience in Cork, compared with 86,348 in 2011, an increase of 25%.“

General Manager: David Byrne (2012)

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