When it comes to Irish whiskey, especially popular Irish whiskey, there are a couple of names you need to know. Tullamore DEW and Jameson are two of them. These two blended Irish whiskeys are number one and two in annual sales, with Jameson leading the way. That’s precisely why Tullamore DEW vs Jameson make for such an interesting comparison. In this guide, we’re going to answer some basic questions about these two whiskeys. Is one better than the other? What are the differences in their history, price, taste, and more?
If you’re interested in learning about Bushmills, the 3rd most popular Irish whiskey, check out our Bushmills vs Jameson Guide.
Tullamore DEW History
In 1829, Michael Malloy opened up a distillery in the town of Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland. Over the years, the distillery was passed down and, eventually, a man by the name of Daniel E. Williams took over as general manager and later, owner. It was under Williams that the distillery began to take off. They expanded and eventually launched the brand of Tullamore D.E.W.. The brand recognizes both the city of Tullamore and Daniel himself, as the D.E.W. are his initials.
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Tullamore DEW, though. In the 1900’s, Irish whiskey as a whole took some major hits. With Irish Independence came trade blockades and isolation. On top of that, America was going through a period of prohibition which ceased any shipments going west. So, in 1954 the distillery halted production, and sold to John Powers & Sons in the 60’s.
After a couple of mergers and other business deals, Tullamore DEW found itself being purchased by William Grant & Sons in 2010. A new distillery was built, and production was moved back to Tullamore after a 60 year hiatus.
John Jameson took over as the general manager of The Stein’s Family Bow Street Distillery in 1786, just 6 years after the distillery was opened. In 1805, he purchased the distillery and rebranded it to The John Jameson and Sons Irish Whiskey Company in 1810. Over the next century, Jameson became one of the largest distilleries in the world in terms of production.
Much like Tullamore DEW, Jameson fell on to hard times with prohibition and Irish freedom. In 1966, Jameson even merged with John Powers and Sons, the owners of Tullamore DEW, and Cork Distillers to form the Irish Distillers Group. In 1988, Pernod Ricard had taken over Jameson and brought it back to it’s previous place at the top. Jameson is now the largest distiller of Irish Whiskey and 3rd largest in the world.
Tullamore DEW vs Jameson Distillation and Mash
As we mentioned, both Tullamore DEW and Jameson are blended Irish whiskeys meaning they are made from a combination of different whiskeys.
Tullamore DEW Distillation & Mash
Tullamore DEW is triple blended from malt whiskey, grain whiskey, and pot still whiskey. Let me explain more in depth.
Malt whiskey is made from 100% malted barley. Grain Whiskey uses no more than 30% malted barley. Pot Still whiskey is made from at least 30% malted and unmalted barley and produced in a copper pot still. Once they have all three of these whiskeys triple distilled, they are mixed together and aged for at least 3 years. After that, it is bottled at 80 proof or 40% ABV.
Jameson Distillation and Mash
Whereas Tullamore DEW is a triple blend, Jameson is blended from two types of Irish whiskey – pot still and grain whiskey. The pot still whiskey is mostly made from malted and unmalted barley. However, the grain whiskey used in Jameson is roughly 95% corn and 5% malted barley. These two whiskeys are triple distilled before being blended and aged at least 4 years and then bottled at 80 proof.
Tullamore DEW vs Jameson Taste
Now that we’ve covered the history and basic production methods, lets dive into some of the more pertinent information. Which whiskey tastes better, Tullamore DEW or Jameson? We’ll cover the aroma, taste, and finish of each Irish whiskey before we decide which is better.
Tullamore DEW Tasting Notes
Aroma: Citrus and caramel with light notes of wood.
Palate: Medium body, caramel and honey. Slightly sweet with some citrus flavors
Finish: Medium length with honey and toffee.
Jameson Tasting Notes
Aroma: Pepper and oak with light floral notes.
Palate: Nutty vanilla flavors and spice.
Finish: A spicy oak finish mellowed by honey and vanilla.
Tullamore DEW vs Jameson Taste Summary
So, which is the better tasting whiskey? Well, that really comes down to personal preference. Tullamore DEW is a bit sweeter. The toffee and caramel notes are more prominent, along with some light citrus flavors. Jameson, on the other hand, is defined more by it’s nuttiness and spice. Even though these flavors are light, they are still quite prominent.
You can use our description to decide which you like better or try them both and find out for yourself! Personally, I prefer Tullamore DEW to Jameson because I like the more prominent caramel flavors. However, not only does this come down to personal preference, it may also depend on how you drink your whiskey.
How Should I Drink Tullamore DEW and Jameson?
At the end of the day, you can drink Tullamore DEW and Jameson however you like. That’s not going to stop us from giving you a couple recommendations, though.
- On-the-rocks, neat, or with a splash of water – Both Tullamore DEW and Jameson are good enough to be drunken by themselves. However, a splash of water or a couple ice cubes can cool your drink, enhance the flavor, and dilute some of the alcohol. Whichever you prefer, there isn’t a wrong way to drink these prominent Irish whiskeys.
- Irish Car Bomb – This is one of the most popular ways to enjoy Jameson. Half a shot of Jameson and Bailey’s are mixed and dropped into a Guinness and chugged. Tasteful and fun, this is one of the best ways to get a party started, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. If you want to learn more about Irish beer, check out this guide on Guinness Draught vs Extra Stout.
- Tully & Tonic – Add some tonic and an orange wedge to Tullamore DEW to enjoy a refreshing Tully & Tonic.
- Irish Coffee – If you need an evening pick-me-up or hair of the dog, coffee and Irish whiskey is a match made in heaven. Use Jameson or Tullamore to put a little kick into that coffee.
Tullamore DEW vs Jameson Price
Taste isn’t the only thing to consider when we compare Tullamore DEW vs Jameson. Price is also something to consider every time you go to the liquor store. So, lets take a look to see how much a bottle of Jameson and Tullamore will run you. As a note, price can vary depending on location and individual stores.
- Tullamore DEW 750ml: $21-25
- Tullamore DEW 1.75L: $33-42
- Jameson 750ml: $20-25
- Jameson 1.75L: $35-48
The prices of full 1.75L handles can vary a lot since these whiskeys are primarily sold in their standard 750ml bottles. When it comes to buying a bottle of Jameson and Tullamore DEW, the prices are nearly identical with a slight edge going to Jameson. Typically, a bottle a Jameson can be found for a dollar or two less than Tullamore DEW, but this isn’t really enough a difference to have a huge impact on your wallet.
Tullamore DEW vs Jameson Value
In our value section, we compare price, taste, and utility to determine where the value lies in each whiskey. As we just determined, price really isn’t a huge factor here unless you are buying a full handle. A 750ml of Jameson is maybe a dollar or two cheaper than Tullamore DEW; however, I’ve had much more luck of finding a full handle of Tullamore DEW at a cheaper price than Jameson. At the end of the day, though, price isn’t playing a huge factor in the value.
When we talk about the utility of these whiskeys, we’re really talking about the ways in which they can be used or drunken. Similarly, the utility between these two whiskeys are similar. You can, for the most part, interchange these two whiskeys in a drink. They do have different flavor profiles, so they may pair better or worse with different mixers, but they each have a similar share of drinks in which they thrive.
Lastly, it comes down to taste. There’s a reason Tullamore DEW vs Jameson is a good comparison, and there’s a reason they are the number one and two best selling Irish whiskeys: they are good! They do have different tasting notes, so there’s a good chance you have a definitive favorite, but there’s only one way to really know. You have to try them both. I prefer Tullamore DEW, but Jameson certainly has a place in my liquor cabinet.
If you’ve enjoyed our Tullamore DEW vs Jameson guide, check out some of our whiskey reviews or other comparison guides HERE!
Tullamore DEW vs Jameson FAQ
Below are frequently asked questions about these two Irish whiskeys, many of which are covered in the article above.
Is Tullamore DEW Better than Jameson?
They are both considered to be high-quality Irish whiskeys, and they come in at a similar price point. Here at Barrel and Brew, we prefer Tullamore DEW but enjoy both.
What Is an Irish Car Bomb?
An Irish Car Bomb is a mixture of Jameson, Bailey’s, and Guinness. A mixed shot of Jameson and Bailey’s is dropped into a glass of Guinness and then chugged.
Is Irish Whiskey Triple Distilled?
There is no regulation that states how many times Irish whiskey must be distilled. However, triple distillation was a major point of Irish whiskey, even though the industry is moving away from it. Jameson and Tullamore DEW are triple distilled.