Dublin prides herself for her truly unique bourgeois: I struggle to think of any other place in the world who are as encapsulated with takeaway food, big hair, boy’s called Anto, and dodgy tan lines as we are; we truly are a different breed. I had never met someone who was able to fully capture the true spirit of Dublin’s… Read more →
Irish people are craftspeople: it’s in our blood and bones to create distinct and timeless pieces of incredible art. And while we may rely on technology for many things today, there are some things that will never replace the skill of an Irish man or woman.
In a collaborative celebration, Jameson Whiskey hosted a once-off event to demonstrate the importance that the past, present and future have a craft that has withstood the test of time.
John Jameson brought his elixir to life in 1780, and the traditions behind each crafted bottle have remained practically the same ever since.
The theme of the day was time, and we began in the AM on a cold Spring morning at Henrietta House; better known as The Irish Writers Museum. However, prior to becoming a museum, this was the home to John Jameson’s great-grandson George Jameson; who was head of the Bow St distillery for 23 years. George came form an era that would see some of the greatest literary geniuses of all time – including James Joyce (who’s favourite drink was rumoured to be Jameson with ginger and lime), Oscar Wilde, Brendan Behan, Bram Stoker, and Jonathan Swift. The events in Dublin in that era are what Inspired the formulation of the legendary brew.
Kildare Street is predominantly known for housing our Irish Parliament, but just a stone’s throw away from the Dáil lies Fitzwilliam underground cellars where Jameson barrels were once handmade, but now return here to be mended. Ger Buckley is a Master Cooper (a Cooper is the name given to the crafts-person who makes barrels) and is a third-generation barrel maker for the Jameson Distillery. Hand-crafted from only one piece of oak, a Cooper must only rely on his hands, eyes and three tools to complete this fundamental task, as it is this barrel made from rich Irish oak that gives Jameson Whiskey it’s distinctive appearance, smell and taste. Ger demonstrated the difficulty and precision needed in building these large barrels from scratch. Each section of wood has a different diameter than the last, making the process tenacious. Why not make each section equal? This would only be applicable If Irish oak was more widely available in large quantities and was cheaper, so the Cooper must skilfully make each piece fit together to securely seal the whiskey inside. Time truly stood still for me here.
In keeping with time, Jameson masterfully embraced the past and future with their latest collaboration. James Earely – designer and influential graff artist from Dublin – was commissioned to create this year’s limited edition bottle. James is perhaps best known for his stained-glass recreations of animals, which are normally magnificent in scale and capture exuberant amounts of colour and imagination. Taking inspiration from his family – who are stained-glass makers – and his love of Dublin, the design explored the technical elements of connectivity within Dublin city; marrying the old Jameson bottle with a new, fresh, and modern lease of life.
Earley got a nice surprise too when he found out that United States President Barack Obama had been gifted his limited addition bottle just in time for St. Patricks Day.
Continuing with the present, the tour concluded in a spectacular secret bar on a popular city centre street. “The Butcher Bar”, located on Georges St, looks every part a butchers until you are guided through a false facade, through a fake freezer and down an old and winding wooden staircase to reveal the beautifully restored secret Jameson bar below. Only used to train Jameson bar staff, the bar will keep with tradition and remain closed to the public. But I can confirm that that this is a place that the Jameson did, in fact, taste better down there.
How have Jameson carried brewing in an age or rapid change? According to an archivist for Irish distilleries , every drop of Jameson that was ever created was recorded, because the Jameson family were committed to innovation:
“One of the things that gives modern Jameson it’s confidence is that we have a strong history of distilling here in Ireland and we’ve learned from it. Every distiller at Jameson has passed on his knowledge to the distiller who succeeded him”.
Instagramers Dublin and Huawei Snapys invite you to an intimate exhibition showcasing the best of Dublin photography. The ‘Streets of Dublin’ exhibit will take place tomorrow, March 3rd, at 18 Eustace Street at 6pm, and entry is free. The exhibition came about as a result of an Instagram ‘Streets of Dublin’ competition hosted by IGERS Dublin and Huawei Snapys; who wanted… Read more →
Thursday night seen the successful debut of the European tour of Brooklyn exhibit BOUNDLESS; a sublime mixture of Dublin’s edgy street-art culture and New York’s raw and urban beauty. Boundless brings together thirty artists – fifteen of our own home-grown, and fifteen transatlantic – for a collaboration of unique cultures. Each of the artists were presented with a New-York style… Read more →
To me, Dublin looks like a giant collective of great artists, musicians, and creative minds who all have something new and innovative to offer. Even if you’re not an artsy person, it’s hard to ignore the growing trend and good vibes around the city.
Recently I caught up with local film and director extraordinaire JONATHAN LAMBERT and his latest project, BOSS LEVEL 1, where he coordinated with the biggest names in rap that Dublin has to offer.
We met in the cool surroundings of The Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield (Until now I have been a Lighthouse cinema virgin! For anyone who hasn’t been, it’s worth a trip). Jonathan has previously work with rap artists like Redzer, Lethal Dialect and Lieko to name a few. His repertoire would suggest a tough-guy front; but never judge a book by its cover. A very down-to-earth and cool guy, he takes his work seriously (but not too seriously. He enjoys an odd pint, or so) and likes to perfect his work.
He admits that making BOSS LEVEL part 1 was a big risk but he’s happy with the out-come so far. He worked closely to Alan Newman on the project who produced the video. He said the most important thing about the project was not to make it like a cliché rap video, like the ones we are all far-too familiar with. The finished project is well-composed, clean and has new edgy beats to it. Anyone who likes their rap and hip hop are sure to be big fans. Why Irish hip hop? Jonathan says that it was actually Irish hip hop that got him into ‘mainstream’ hip hop. He had been surrounded by people associated with it from early on and took the natural progression into the scene. Irish hip hop has been revolutionized in recent years with artists such as Funzo, Lethal Dialect and Leiko, but there is huge space to develop Irish hip hop talent further.
Art is such a huge part of any culture and the purest form of expression and emotion. Every year our dirty aul town becomes home to fantastic works of art that brighten up the dull days. Solus is one artists who is responsible for much of the diverse art around our streets. Everyone has bad days, that’s just life. But it’s those… Read more →
Dublin city is evolving herself quite well with all the wonderful people around lately. Our small dot on the map is fast becoming a hot-spot for art; especially graffiti. Dublin is becoming an urban jungle, and I like it. Jess Tobin is a super talented young lady who represents herself well on the Dublin street-art scene. A bit of a newbie to… Read more →
To me, creativity and love are the key components to the wheel that keeps Dublin turning. To love what you do and turn it into something creative is even more special. You may recognise this guy for his savvy street-style or boisterous hair-and-beard combo. This weekend, hair-dresser Aaron Kiely will debut his first pop-up creative in the Bernard Shaw. ‘Out… Read more →
Why is it that in 2014 we are still judged on appearance? Since when is it scientifically proven that if your appearance doesn’t fit into the rest of society you’re deemed as inadequate, dumb-minded, not capable of fulfilling a job, or living a happy and normal life? Recently British trainee teacher Charlotte Tumilty made headlines when she was sent home… Read more →