For almost 40 years, there was no working distillery in Ireland’s capital. But in 2015, the Spirit of Dublin was awoken at Newmarket when Teeling Distillery opened its gates. The distillery was founded by Stephen and Jack Teeling, sons of Cooley Distillery founder John Teeling. When Cooley was sold to Beam Inc. (which is Beam Suntory now), the Teeling brothers kept roughly 16,000 casks, which they now use for the Teeling core range and special bottlings.
Part of the distillery is a visitor center, which includes a small exhibition as well as a shop, a bar and a café. In addition, you can also see the working distillery. We arrived at the distillery a bit too early, but that was no problem as we could switch into an earlier tour. We met our guide in a room where a short film about Teeling was shown. She asked everyone about their whiskey knowledge and where they came from. In the beginning she said that we would probably not remember her name at the end of the tour as it is a name typical for her home country Canada. Unfortunately, she was right.
After a short overview, we were brought into the distillery. It is a really modern distillery with up-to-date facilities. Over all there lies a smell of fermentation and whiskey making. Highlight of the production hall are the Three Sisters – Alison, Natalie and Rebecca – the three copper stills named after Jack Teeling’s daughters. Since Teeling is a working distillery, it is acutally quite loud in there. But that was no problem as our guide was using a microphone. Everyone could easily understand everything she explained.
After leaving the production hall, we went into a room where several casks were shown. Our guide explained what kind of casks are used at Teeling’s and why they do not have a warehouse in the center of Dublin. If you also read my review on the Irish Whiskey Museum, you already about the Dublin Whiskey Fire in 1875. The people of Dublin learned from this event that it might be a clever idea not to store big amounts of whiskey in the city center anymore. Also, we were taught about the angel’s share and the devil’s cut as well as the regularities for Irish whiskey. It has to be produced in Ireland and it must be matured in a cask in Ireland for at least three years and one day. This is exactly one day longer than the Scottish law calls for if you want to produce Scotch whisky. The reason for this is simple. The people in Ireland were always sure that they had a much better product than the Scotsmen. To unterline this, they determined by law that Irish whiskey had to be matured one day longer than Scotch whisky.
Of course, the tour would not be complete without a tasting of Teeling whiskeys. We started with the Teeling Single Malt – which offers an excellent value for money by the way. After that we had a Teeling Revival 13yo from calvados casks. A really smooth and fruity whiskey with distinct apple notes. The grande finale was a single cask bottling from a sherry cask. A very powerful and fruity whiskey that was definitely my favorite of three great drams. The Teeling Distillery is definitely worth a visit. You feel that everybody in the distillery has great commitment in what they are doing. I am really happy that the Spirit of Dublin is back!
Name: Teeling Whiskey Distillery
Type: Whiskey distillery
Address: Teeling Whiskey Distillery, 13-17 Newmarket, Dublin 8, Ireland
Opening hours: 10am to 5.30 pm (last tour)
More info: https://teelingdistillery.com/ (Website)