We were commissioned to create a piece of on-trade activation for Jameson Irish Whiskey at the Dirty Onion bar in Belfast's vibrant Cathedral Quarter. Our response went beyond the immediate to something that would last and become a landmark.
In 2013 the Barrelman was unveiled, taking center-stage in the Dirty Onion courtyard, playing a star role in the city’s tourism imagery and featuring in many’s a photograph of a night’s craic.
WHY A BARRELMAN?
In 1930 John Jameson made a barrelman mascot for aviator Sir C. Kingford-Smith. On June 24th 1930, the mascot took pride of place in the 'Southern Cross' plane that flew from Portmarnock, Ireland on the transatlantic odyssey to America. Since the making of this first lucky mascot, Jameson has revived the icon of the Barrelman, placing him front and centre on their communications.
WHY AT THE DIRTY ONION?
Constructed in the early 1800s, this was a busy Jameson warehouse long before it became a bar. Granted a bonded licence in 1921, it stored barrels and crates of Jameson in a warehouse known as 'Stack N' (the 'N' standing for the 'North' side of Waring Street). The Barrelman is a tribute to those early adopters of Jameson who labored to bring the barrels to the city.
For starters, a 4x1.5x0.5ft Kilkenny monumental limestone base slab was cut to form and hand-carved with the Jameson brand. The lettering was then inlaid with 24ct gold leaf.
The armatures of the Barrelman were constructed with marine-grade steel coated in marine-grade fibreglass. Irregular parts were first sculpted in polystyrene before applying the coat of fibreglass. Following the sanding of body and barrel to a 360 grit finish, UV protective two-pack paint and lacquer were applied by spraygun for the perfect finish.