Jack Ryan Whiskey began at Ryans Beggars Bush, an iconic public house on Haddington Road, in Dublin’s Ballsbridge, a stone’s throw from the Aviva Stadium and the RDS. The locality is steeped in history – political, military, literary and sporting.
There’s been a pub on the site for at least 200 years. Thomas Ryan became proprietor in 1913, the eve of World War and of Ireland’s independence. He was a traditional vintner and whiskey man – sourcing, maturing, finishing and bottling his own Ryan’s Malt, a firm favourite among discerning locals in The Bush and the other Ryan houses.
Thomas handed on the pub, and Ryan’s Malt, to his son Jack, born to the trade. Jack maintained the whiskey tradition into the ’40’s, when the near demise of the whole Irish whiskey business forced a pause.
The Ryans still own and run The Bush, and have revived the family’s whiskey tradition. The Jack Ryan Beggars Bush 12 Year Old Single Malt won an Irish Whiskey Award in 2014. The Centenary 15 Year Old Single Barrel Cask Strength was released in 2015, and more small batches of premium single malts are planned; watch out for the Jack Ryan 15 Year Old Single Malt – The Bourdega.
It’s a long way from Tipperary; Thomas Ryan (1873-1949), eldest of a Toomevara farming couple’s 12 children, made the journey to Dublin in his early twenties. During a long and thorough apprenticeship in Dublin’s legendary licensed vintner trade, he developed an abiding interest in all things whiskey, particularly its finishing.
The purchase of the Beggars Bush in 1913, gave him the opportunity to indulge his passion and to use his learning. Sourcing the best of the world-leading Dublin malts, he developed his own quality brand – Ryan’s Malt – experimenting with bourbon, sherry and port casks.
Thomas went on to own and run four licensed premises, handing over to son Jack (1915-1977). Jack was born into the business and inherited his father’s passion for the crafting of Ryan’s Malt. He was a well-known Ballsbridge and Dublin personality, with strong family values, a loyal friend to all that knew him. Jack devoted his working life to the Beggars Bush bar, its characters and customers, all of whom he treated as extended family.
Since his untimely death in 1977, Jack’s sons have carried on the Ryan tradition, rebuilding and running The Bush, and reviving Ryan’s Malt through the award-winning Jack Ryan whiskey Company.
A thoughtful, content Jack Ryan dominates the right side of the label, his signature overlaid. Arms folded, he surveys his kingdom – the Beggars Bush – listening to his customers, keeping his own counsel, a publican to his fingertips.
Jack Ryan Whiskey – The Label
In the background, Thomas his father takes a break, perhaps from bottling malt in the cellar, to pose aproned and proud in the door of his very own Beggars Bush, the Ryan’s Malt therein indicated by the sign on the fine ornate gas lamppost. The Jack Ryan Beggars Bush label also reflects the 1913 purchase of the pub, and its Haddington Road location.