Welcome to KWM Whisky Advent Day 14 – Teeling Single Malt
The Teeling Family has been in the whiskey business since 1782 when Walter Teeling setup a small distillery on Dublin’s Marrowbone Lane, in the Liberties area. At the time there were 37 distilleries in the city of Dublin alone. At the end of the 1800s Irish Whiskey was the most desired spirit in the world, but the 20th Century would not be kind to the industry. Irish whiskey’s prominence was already in decline when World War I, the Irish War of Independence and subsequent Irish Civil War consecutively brought it to its knees. The straw that broke the camel’s back was American Prohibition, which closed off Ireland’s last major market and sealed its fate.
Dublin’s last distillery closed its doors in 1976, part of an industry-wide consolidation which saw the Emerald Isle left with but two distilleries, Bushmills in Northern Ireland and the giant new Midleton Distillery in the Republic. Even to this day most Irish whiskies hail from the New Midleton Distillery in Cork. But this has begun to change, in recent years distilleries have been popping up all over Ireland. It all began with John Teeling in 1987 when he converted a closed government potato ethanol plant into a whisky distillery. The Cooley Distillery made quite a name for itself in the two and a half decades it operated independently, until selling to Beam Global (now Beam Suntory) in 2011 for USD $95 million. In addition to a huge pile of cash, John Teeling and his sons walked away from the sale with impressive stocks of matured whiskey, the are the basis of the Teeling Whiskey brand which includes award winning single malts, single grain and blended Irish whiskies.
The sale of Cooley Distillery and the success of the Teeling brand has afforded the family the opportunity to bring the it’s distilling heritage back to Dublin’s, Liberties area. The Teeling Distillery, Dublin’s only active distillery is the first one to be built in the city in 125 years. The Irish whiskey industry’s fortunes are changing, where as in 1987 there were just 3 distilleries including the new Cooley distillery, there are now more than a dozen active distilleries in Ireland and more planned. It will be many years before the whiskies from Teeling’s new distillery reach maturity, in the meantime lets hope they keep releasing excellent stocks from their old one. Especially single malts like this one which consist of stocks distilled as far back as 1991 and finished in 5 different wine casks (Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon. Like all the other whiskies in the range, the Teeling single malt is non-chillfiltered and bottled at 46%.
Teeling Single Malt – 46% – Unchillfiltered – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: clotted cream of fresh baked scones and vanilla icing sugars; white fruits and citrus, toasty and honeyed with almonds; Palate: creamy and very honeyed, more clotted cream on scones and vanilla icing on white cupcakes; still toasty, a touch of white pepper, more citrus and white fruits with some honeydew melon; soft and malty with a hint of licorice and dark fruits; Finish: long, malty citric and sweet; Comment: a very pleasant malt, youthful but complex and eminently drinkable. – $69.99 / 700ml – or – $7.99 / 50ml