Monday, July 6, 2015

Dublin’s Teeling Whiskey. New Experience in the Liberties

Dublin’s Teeling Whiskey

New Experience in the Liberties
Left to right: 24% - 65% - 85%
The Teeling family and their whiskey is back in Dublin’s Liberties, an area that once was outside the city and indeed, outside the law, home in the 18th century to some 37 distilleries not to mention houses of ill repute. So I found out during last week's tour of the new Teeling Distillery in Newmarket Place.

The official opening took place in June and the fully functional distillery is the first to be opened in Dublin in 125 years and is “the only operational distillery in the city”.  But the Teeling connection with whiskey goes back to 1782 when Walter Teeling set up a craft distillery in nearby Marrowbone Lane.

The new whiskeys are positioned at the premium end of the market and the promise is of “new flavours and aromas”. “The company is small, so the quality must be high.” There will be no Teeling gins or vodka but there is a Poitin. You may read all about their award winning products (and the family’s recent whiskey adventures in Cooley and much more) here.
Our informative tour guide told us that whiskey was invented by Irish monks in the 6th century and was called uisce beatha (water of life). But it was regarded as a medicine. Luckily, you need no prescription nowadays! Treat it with care though, as the Teeling whiskeys weigh in at 46%, somewhat higher than most.

The ingredients are simple: barley, yeast and water. The water is local, coming from the River Poddle that runs underneath Newmarket! The basic ingredients are first processed into a “beer” which has an abv of 8%. Then it is put through the magic of the three stills, the first one ups the abv to 24%, the second to 65% and, at the end of the third distillation, the abv is 85%.
By the way, US Bourbon has just one distillation, Scotch has two, while the Irish has three. Our guide told us the climate here is ideal for maturation “not too hot, not too cold”. At the end of the distillation process, the liquid is clear; flavour and colour is added during maturation in casks that have been previously used for making Sherry, Port, Wine, Bourbon, Madeira and other similar products.

The Teeling Single Grain is made from corn (which makes it that bit sweeter) and it spends six years in wine barrels. The Single Malt (100% barley) is matured in five different types of wine barrels.
A Favourite!

Their flagship whiskey is the Small Batch and is very smooth and is the one that you get to sample if you've paid for the basic tour. You are also given a cocktail; the current offering is a very seasonal and every enjoyable Teeling Summer Ice Tea and the ingredients are Single Batch, Orange liqueur, Pineapple syrup and ginger. Read all about the tours and the distillery here.

It is early days yet at Teeling in Newmarket but, as you may have seen on the recent TV series, this is a serious venture by a family well experienced in the trade. Just the other day, they appointed Sheila Baird as general manager of the visitor centre.
Sheila Baird
Sheila has over 20 years experience working in the hospitality industry, having been with a number of well-known hotels over the course of her career including the Quinn Hotel Group, the Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links and the Marine Hotel in Sutton. Most recently, Sheila worked with the Cara Hotel Group, as the general manager across a number of their properties.
In her new role, Sheila will oversee the day-to-day running of the visitor centre and will work with the marketing team to deliver an exceptional experience for visitors. The experience at the moment is not bad at all but looks as if it could get even better under Sheila: “I am delighted to take up this new role with the Teeling Whiskey Company. It’s an exciting opportunity to be involved in a brand new tourist attraction from the very beginning. I look forward to working with the entire Teeling team to deliver a stand-out customer experience for visitors from both home and abroad.”

Best of luck to Teeling and to Sheila. She could do worse than start with the taxi drivers - I had to give my taxi driver directions!

See also:
Dublin's Chapter One Restaurant
National Botanic Gardens
Dinner of Delights at Restaurant Forty One

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