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Teeling Irish Whiskey: A Renaissance of Dublin Distilling

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Teeling Irish Whiskey

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Teeling Irish Whiskey represents a revival of Dublin’s rich whiskey-making heritage. This article will explore the brand’s history, unique production methods, core range, and tasting notes to provide a comprehensive guide for whiskey enthusiasts and newcomers.

Teeling Irish Whiskey

Unique Flavor Profile
Teeling Irish whiskey offers a distinct and complex flavour profile, thanks to its innovative blending and ageing process. Each sip reveals layers of rich vanilla, spice, and dried fruit notes, making it a standout choice for whiskey enthusiasts.

The Teeling Story: A Legacy Reborn

Dublin’s Whiskey Roots

  • Dublin was once the epicentre of Irish whiskey production
    • Over 37 distilleries operated in the city in the 19th century
    • Industry decline led to the closure of all Dublin distilleries by 1976

According to historian Fionnán O’Connor in his book “A Glass Apart: Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey,” Dublin was responsible for producing over 70% of all Irish whiskey at its peak in the late 1800s[1].

The Teeling Family’s Whiskey Legacy

Teeling Irish Whiskey
  • Walter Teeling established a distillery in Dublin in 1782
  • John Teeling founded Cooley Distillery in 1987, reviving Irish whiskey
  • Jack and Stephen Teeling launched Teeling Whiskey in 2012
    • Opened Dublin’s first new distillery in over 125 years in 2015

Jack Teeling, co-founder and managing director of Teeling Whiskey, states: “Our goal is to revive the independent spirit of Dublin whiskey distilling and bring innovative flavours to the category”[2].

Teeling’s Unique Approach

Teeling sets itself apart through the following:

  1. Innovative cask finishes
  2. Non-chill filtration
  3. Higher bottling strength (46% ABV for core range)
  4. Focus on small batch and single cask releases

Production Methods

MethodDescription
MashingTriple-distilled using both malted and unmalted barley
FermentationExtended fermentation times for enhanced flavor
DistillationCopper pot stills for batch distillation
MaturationVarious cask types, including ex-bourbon, sherry, and wine casks

Alex Chasko, Teeling’s Master Distiller, explains: “Our triple distillation process, combined with our unique cask finishing program, allows us to create whiskeys with depth and complexity”[3].

The Core Teeling Range

Teeling Small Batch

  • Blend of malt and grain whiskeys
  • Finished in ex-rum casks for 6 months
  • Tasting notes:
    • Nose: Vanilla, spice, and rum influences
    • Palate: Smooth and sweet with woody undertones
    • Finish: Spicy with lingering sweetness

Expert opinion: Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2021 awarded Teeling Small Batch 95 points, praising its “sublime, silky complexity”[4].

Teeling Single Grain

  • Made from 100% corn
  • Fully matured in ex-Cabernet Sauvignon wine casks
  • Tasting notes:
    • Nose: Red berries, vanilla, and spice
    • Palate: Creamy with a wine-like character
    • Finish: Dry with lingering fruit and wood notes

Awards: World’s Best Grain Whiskey at the World Whiskies Awards 2014[5].

Teeling Single Malt

  • Made from 100% malted barley
  • Aged in five different wine casks (Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • Tasting notes:
    • Nose: Fruit, citrus, and vanilla
    • Palate: Complex with dried fruit and spice
    • Finish: Long with a balance of sweet and dry notes

Critical acclaim: Rated 92/100 by Whisky Advocate, noting its “exceptional balance and complexity”[6].

Comparison with Competitors

BrandTeeling Small BatchJamesonRedbreast 12Bushmills Original
StyleBlended, rum finishBlendedSingle Pot StillBlended
ABV46%40%40%40%
Price Range£37.95£28.00£51.99£18.50
Flavor ProfileSpicy, sweet, complexSmooth, vanilla, nuttyRich, fruity, spicyLight, fruity, vanilla
Prices are from June 2024

Teeling stands out for its higher ABV and unique finishes, offering more complexity than standard blends like Jameson or Bushmills. However, it may not match the richness of traditional pot still whiskeys like Redbreast.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Innovative flavour profiles
  • Higher ABV for a more pronounced taste
  • Non-chill filtered for a fuller mouthfeel

Drawbacks

  • Higher price point compared to mainstream Irish whiskeys
  • Flavor complexity may not appeal to casual drinkers
  • Limited availability in some markets

Consumer feedback on Whisky Exchange shows a 4.5/5 star rating for Teeling Small Batch, with praise for its unique flavour but some criticism of its price[7].

Unique Releases and Limited Editions

Teeling frequently releases special editions, including:

  • Revival Series: Commemorating the opening of their Dublin distillery
  • Brabazon Bottling Series: Exploring the influence of fortified wine casks
  • Vintage Reserve Collection: Ultra-premium aged releases

Tasting Teeling Whiskey

Teeling Irish Whiskey

Tips for Enjoying Teeling

  1. Use a tulip-shaped glass to concentrate aromas
  2. Try it neat first, then add a few drops of water to open up flavours
  3. Compare different expressions side by side to appreciate nuances

Food Pairings

  • Small Batch: Dark chocolate or blue cheese
  • Single Grain: Fruity desserts or mild curry dishes
  • Single Malt: Aged cheeses or grilled meats

The Future of Teeling

As Teeling’s own distilled spirit comes of age, the brand is poised to:

  • Release fully Dublin-distilled whiskeys
  • Expand its experimental cask program
  • Continue pushing boundaries in Irish whiskey innovation

According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, Irish whiskey is the fastest-growing spirits category globally, with Teeling positioned to capitalize on this trend[8].

Teeling Irish Whiskey: Conclusion

Teeling Irish Whiskey embodies the resurgence of Dublin’s whiskey heritage while embracing innovation. Its diverse range offers something for every palate, from casual drinkers to connoisseurs. By prioritizing quality and experimentation, Teeling is helping to reshape perceptions of Irish whiskey globally.

For those looking to explore Irish whiskey beyond the mainstream, Teeling provides a compelling entry point into the category’s renaissance. Whether you’re drawn to the approachable Small Batch or intrigued by the complexity of their Single Malt, Teeling’s offerings invite exploration and appreciation of Ireland’s evolving whiskey landscape.

Helpful Resources

For further engagement with the whiskey community, consider joining forums like Reddit’s r/whiskey or attending local tasting events.

[1] O’Connor, F. (2015). A Glass Apart: Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey. Images Publishing. [2] Teeling Whiskey. (2021). Our Story. https://teelingwhiskey.com/our-story/ [3] Whisky Magazine. (2019). Interview: Alex Chasko, Teeling Whiskey. [4] Murray, J. (2020). Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2021. Dram Good Books Ltd. [5] World Whiskies Awards. (2014). World’s Best Grain 2014. [6] Whisky Advocate. (2020). Teeling Single Malt Review. [7] The Whisky Exchange. (2021). Teeling Small Batch Customer Reviews. [8] IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. (2020). Global Whisky Insights.

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