Last Updated on October 15, 2022 by Lydia Martin
Irish whiskey had a lot of highs and lows in its history. But today, it plays a huge part in the whiskey industry. Of the big brands, Jameson vs Tullamore Dew is the two biggest names in the popular Irish whiskey category.
We’ll help you discover why these two Irish whiskeys make an intriguing comparison.
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Comparing Jameson & Tullamore Dew
Tullamore Dew and Jameson are blended Irish whiskeys that take the top leads in Irish whiskey worldwide. But there are main differences between Tullamore Dew vs Jameson.
Jameson took the number one position in the United States as the top-selling Irish whiskey and continued to soar high for years.
Meanwhile, Tullamore Dew follows behind Jameson as the top two best-selling Irish whiskey.
Jameson Irish whiskey offers rich texture and flavor, which is why the brand has remained in the lead all these years. But Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey is recognized as a traditional blended Irish whiskey and also remains one of the respected top-shelf selections.
In 1780, Jameson was discovered by John Jameson and began distillation at Bow Street. It was originally founded by Jameson’s father-in-law and took full ownership until 1805.
The Tullamore Dew history began in 1829 and was created by Daniel E. Williams. It’s produced by family-owned William Grant & Sons, a Scotland-based distilled spirits company.
His grandson, Desmond Williams, took over the business and continued the family’s legacy by releasing Ireland’s first-ever blended whiskey selection. Its name came from the city of Tullamore, and Daniel’s initials, ‘Tullamore D.E.W.’
Tullamore Dew started at the old distillery in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland. It began when John Jameson discovered a new method for producing Irish whiskey.
Over the years, they sold the brand to John Powers & Son, and in 2010 it was acquired by William Grant & Sons.
Jameson originated in one of the six main Dublin whiskeys at the Jameson Distillery Bow St. Both Jameson, and Tullamore Dew had hard times in production and distillation during the prohibition era and Irish independence.
Jameson merged with the owners of Cork Distillers, John Powers, and Sons, and Tullamore Dew to form the Irish Distillers Group.
How It Is Made
Tullamore Dew is triple-blended of golden grain, pot still, and rich malt. It’s also triple distilled in a copper pot still and triple cask matured. This process makes Tullamore Dew tasting notes prominent and unique from the rest of Irish whiskey.
Jameson whiskey is triple distilled and is made by mixing a pot still made from unmalted and malted barley with grain whiskey. The barley used for this brand is all locally grown in Ireland, while the water comes from the Dungourney river.
Most Irish whiskeys pass through three distillations.  But triple distillation is not mandated in Irish law, and many small brands use other distillation methods, including double pot still distillation.
Maturation & Age Statement
After Jameson has been distilled, it is aged for a minimum of four years in oak casks, while Tullamore Dew is aged in ex-sherry casks and other ex-bourbon casks.
Tullamore Dew is triple cask-matured for its deep flavor profiles. It is aged in traditional refill barrels, which imparts flavors to Irish whiskey.
Both Jameson and Tullamore Dew are classified as Irish whiskey. They are matured and aged for a minimum of three years in Ireland and use barley, malted and unmalted in their ingredients. 
Tullamore Dew is a triple-blended mix of grain, single malt, and pot still whiskey. Its pot still whiskey is made from at least 30% malted and unmalted barley, while its grain whiskey uses no more than 30% malted barley.
On the other hand, Jameson is a blended Irish whiskey of grain and pot still whiskey. The pot still is generally made from malted and unmalted barley, but the grain whiskey uses about 5% barley, and 95% is corn.
Palate: Has a medium body that welcomes the tongue with subtle tropical fruit notes, mixed vanilla, and spicy notes.
Nose: Faint hints of spicy wood, tropical fruit, dried fruit, and caramel and has a freshly baked banana bread aroma.
Color: It has a light amber color feature.
Finish: Short spicy oak finish mellowed by golden raisins and honey.
Palate: Slightly sweet and has malt and toffee sweetness, nutty vanilla flavors, and hints of lemon rind and grapefruit.
Nose: Caramel, vanilla, hints of butterscotch, fresh flowers with subtropical fruit.
Color: It has a gold color feature.
Finish: Medium-length and ends in spicy notes.
Price Point & Value
Tullamore Dew is slightly cheaper at about $30.99 per 750ml than a 750ml bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey at around $28.59.
Even though it’s a dollar or two cheaper, the taste and quality determine where its value lies. But what makes Irish whiskey different?
Ownership & Distillery
Tullamore Dew has its original Tullamore Dew distillery, but after 60 years, it opened a new distillery within the same spot. The brand changed hands many times, from John Powers & Son to Midleton Distillery. But William Grant and Sons purchased it in 2010.
Jameson Irish whiskey is originally distilled in Stein’s Family Bow Street Distillery. But it was rebranded in 1810 as John Jameson and Sons Irish Whiskey Company. Also, it became a part of the whiskey portfolio of Pernod Ricard.
It is now distilled by Irish Distillers Limited at the New Midleton Distillery and is a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard. Jameson is made in a single distillery, while Tullamore Dew is produced in different distilleries.
How to Drink It
Tullamore Dew and Jameson brands have unique tastes and flavor profiles that whiskey lovers enjoy. Tullamore Dew is a traditional blended Irish whiskey that has a sweet profile. Its robust flavor can be a good mix with different cocktails.
On the other hand, Jameson has a softer and smoother finish which is perfect for those who love whiskey on the rocks and other mixed drinks. However, both these two Irish whiskeys are premium whiskey that is great to be enjoyed by themselves.
It’s undeniable that Jameson and Tullamore Dew are two brand leaders in the Irish whiskey market. Jameson is the number one selling brand in the United States, with Tullamore Dew following behind. But is Jameson Irish whisky good?
In 2020, Irish whiskey marketed $1.1 billion worth of revenue for distillers in the United States. Since 2002, its popularity has made premium Irish whiskey sales soar by 1,007%, while super-premium Irish whiskey has increased by 8,728%.
Price Comparison Chart
|Brand||Size||Alcohol Proof||Average Price|
|Jameson Irish Whiskey||750ml||40% ABV||Around $30.99|
|Tullamore Dew||750ml||40% ABV||Around $28.59|
*Average price is based on Drizly. Prices may vary in local liquor shops.
Jameson & Tullamore Similarities
Jameson whiskey and Tullamore Dew are Irish whiskeys. Technically, whiskey is considered Irish whiskey if the whiskey is made on the island of Ireland. It has four kinds, grain, malt, pot still, and blended.
Tullamore Dew uses three types of Irish whiskey, pot still, grain, and malt, while Jameson uses the two types, pot still and grain.
Tullamore Dew and Jameson whiskey are triple distilled before their blending. The ’triple distilled label is featured in most Irish whiskey labels, giving a signature smoothness.
Both pot still whiskey used is passed on traditional copper-still, and the grain is produced using three-column stills. It’s a modern distillation technique that performs continuous distillations, capable of higher production than pot stills.
These Irish whiskeys, Jameson whiskey, and Tullamore Dew are bottled at 80-proof. Although it has a different distillation process, they have the same standard alcohol content as Irish whiskey with 40% ABV.
Is Jameson better than Tullamore Dew?
Yes, Jameson is better because of its softer notes than Tullamore Dew. During our blind testing, Jameson stands out with its elegant aromas and smoother finish.
However, we found Tullamore Dew has more noticeable fruit notes. But its peppery hints overwhelm the other whiskey tastes.
Is Jameson a top-shelf whiskey?
Yes, Jameson is considered a top-shelf whiskey. Its brand is one of the premiere names in the world of Irish whiskey. Also, Jameson is a good whiskey for new whiskey drinkers. It’s a top-selling brand, and you can find it in a typical liquor store.
Which is sweeter, Tullamore Dew or Jameson?
Tullamore Dew is sweeter than Jameson. Its toffee, caramel hints, and fruit notes are more pronounced, which is perfect for an Irish coffee or ginger ale.
Jameson has a noticeable sweet smoothness, but it has a more robust profile and a snap of spice under its sweet taste.
Jameson versus Tullamore Dew is a close fight, not only in quality but also in the market. Both Irish whiskeys are top-selling blended Irish whiskey brands. But aside from price, the overall flavor and tasting notes are some important things to consider.
Its different production techniques lead these two blended Irish whiskeys unique from each other.
Although Jameson and Tullamore Dew have the same alcohol content, Jameson has a more robust flavor and is smoother, while Tullamore is a bit sweeter.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.