Yes, you’ve read that headline correctly: Irish American whiskey. What on earth?
You might recall my post from October in which I first showed you William Jameson’s whiskey. It sparked a bit of discussion about the connections between William and John Jameson, the Jameson brand we know today. As a commenter there pointed out, William was the son of John and started a distillery to compete with old dad. But as I recounted in October, the Irish uprising, followed quickly by Prohibition, resulted in the demise of many an Irish whiskey distillery, Wm Jameson included. (Ads are from various 1937/1938 issues of Life magazine.)
What remaining stocks William’s company had left were quickly bottled and shipped into the American market to fill the growing post-Repeal thirst for whiskey. As supplies dwindled, and as American distilleries ramped up production, the William Jameson company began blending its own whiskey with American product as a way to stretch its inventories–hence, Irish American whiskey.