VF, 1/35 (be sure to click through and hit View All Sizes; it’s interesting what you’ll see on the ad):
Now, this is fun. The Jameson you can buy today is John Jameson–the brand from last week’s ad. This is William Jameson, and if you click through, you’ll see William in italics throughout the ad, and you’ll see it in red type on the label.
Sad story here: by the time this ad ran, the William Jameson distillery was closed, its stocks were being sold off, and its physical plant was being demolished to make way for housing. The site for the Irish Whiskey Trail has the full story. But I learned something about Irish whiskey when I was studying for BarSmarts, and now’s a good time to pass it on.
Irish whiskey was once the dominant whiskey in most parts of the world, much the way Scotch whisky is today (everywhere except the U.S., of course). What happened to change this?
First, it was the Irish war for independence that began in 1912. You see, one reason Irish whiskey was so dominant was that Londoners loved it. And when they colonized the rest of the world, they took it along with them. But when these upstarts in Eire got their knickers in a twist and kicked the English (mostly) out, London balked at Irish whiskey. Sales plummeted. At any other time, the Irish might have turned their eyes toward the American market. After all, think of how many Irish emigrated west in the 19th century. But, ouch. In 1919, Prohibition dropped itself onto America and suddenly the market for Irish whiskey nearly dried up entirely.
Hundreds of distilleries across Ireland closed down during these years, and Irish whiskey as a product category very nearly completely disappeared. Of the distilleries open in 1912, only three survived to today. A few new companies have taken up the craft since 1990, but the Irish whiskey business is barely a shadow of what it was at its peak.
The other thing of note about this ad is the text and the way this Irish is being marketed. I’ll reproduce here the part I’m interested in:
Ireland’s Oldest Whiskey comes to America just in time to “fill the gap” in the rapidly dwindling stocks of fully aged American whiskies. Every drop of this choice Irish Whiskey is a FULL 10 YEARS OLD.
Think about when this ad ran. 1935. Just two years after the ignoble experiment, Prohibition, ended in the United States. The ad’s correct; there would have been very little aged American whiskey in the U.S. Thanks to Prohibition, every distillery was shut down and every bottle (supposedly) destroyed. When production ramped back up with repeal, of course whiskey makers resumed distilling, but they would have had nothing ready for sale by 1935. It appears that the William Jameson company took advantage of this to try to unload its own remaining stocks into the U.S. market.
According to the Irish Whiskey Trail site I linked out to above, the Wm. Jameson people even went so far as to blend their whiskey with young American whiskey in the 1930s, as a way to extend the life of its remaining stocks.