When I was fifteen years old, I went to Dublin, Ireland, for a month to learn English. I decided on Dublin because all the other destinations for Swedish kids to learn English seemed boring.
Torquay, Brighton, Hastings. Meh.
Dublin on the other hand was a brand new destination, and it seemed really exciting.
In Dublin, I ended up in a class consisting of twenty-or-so Swedish and Finnish teenagers all eager to learn English and discover Ireland together with our three teachers–one Swedish, one Finnish, and one Irish. We spent half the day in class and half the day either on excursions or on our own.
One such excursion was a guided tour at the Old Jameson distillery on Bow Street in Dublin’s city center. I honestly don’t remember much of the actual tour. What I do remember, however, is what happened after.
When the tour was finished, our guide told us that usually there would be a tasting. But since we were all under-aged, we would have to skip that stage.
Disappointed, we all spilled out into the street. But then, our Irish teacher spoke.
She had Jameson at her apartment, and we were all welcome to join her for a shot of whiskey.
So off we went.
When we arrived at her address it turned out that she lived in an apartment run by the Iveagh Trust. The Iveagh Trust provides social housing. Our teacher had managed to get an apartment at the Trust after having been homeless.
I remember her apartment as being very small. Basically a kitchenette and a bedroom. And here we all piled in. Teenagers and teachers sitting on the furniture, on the floor, on each other, all the while our generous host served us one shot of Jameson whiskey each.
It was well worth the walk from the distillery.
Then, all I knew was that she served me a glass of whiskey that I really enjoyed. Today, I know that what she gave me was Jameson Original.
It has been my favorite whiskey ever since.
In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.