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Jameson unveils 2017 St Patrick's Day design

Pernod-Ricard's Irish whiskey brand, Jameson, has unveiled its sixth limited-edition bottle celebrating St Patrick's Day. The series features collaborations with Irish artists, this year using designs by Dublin-based designer and illustrator, Steve McCarthy.

McCarthy’s creative starting point came from the Jameson family motto 'sine metu' – or 'without fear', which has been at the heart of the company since it was founded in 1780. He also took inspiration from a commonly used Irish saying that goes hand in hand with 'sine metu', ‘to chance your arm’.

Jameson claims the saying originates from a 1492 legend, where ‘Black James’ Butler and his men found themselves barricaded behind the door to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. On the other side was Gearóid Fitzgerald who, tired of the constant fighting between the clans, decided it was time to make peace. Fitzgerald ordered his men to cut a hole in the door before extending his hand through the gap as a token of friendship. Rather than cut his arm off with a sword, Butler shook it and the long standing feud came to an end, giving Dublin one of its most famous sayings: to chance your arm.

This has been brought to life on the label through two outstretched hands exchanging a handshake, framed by the St. Patrick’s Cathedral door of Reconciliation. The 'sine metu' motto has been tattooed on to the knuckles of each hand, which the brand claims to serve as a reminder that when we fear a bit less, we live a bit more.

McCarthy has included some of the Irish capital’s most recognisable monuments in his design, such as the Ha’penny Bridge and Smithfield tower, and has also peppered the label with additional details that are reflective of his own knowledge of the city and sense of humour.

McCarthy comments: “I wanted it to feel like there was a deeper meaning to what you see. For me, the Jameson motto is very emotive and I hope that with my design I am able to speak to others around the world who have also been inspired by 'sine metu', or those who might still with this release, to fear a bit less to live a bit more.”

The release of the sixth limited-edition bottle kicks off Jameson’s global St. Patrick’s Day celebrations for 2017 and will be available in markets including the USA, Ireland and Russia from February 2017, with a recommended retail price of €30 (or local equivalent).

Daniel Lundberg, Jameson global brand director adds: “Our limited edition Jameson bottle for 2017 keeps the spirit of John Jameson alive and celebrates a very Irish saying that dates back to the 15 century but is as relevant as ever today. As Jameson found when he established the Bow Street distillery in 1780, fearing less can help you reap rewards you never thought possible and we still proudly live by this ethos.

“Steve’s design perfectly balances the rich heritage of Dublin with the modern design and Irish wit of Jameson, and we hope that Irish whiskey fans will be inspired by the bottle in their own St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.”

13 February 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor