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During our Holiday in Ireland we only pre-booked the Kilbeggan Distillery. Along the way it turned out we came across more opportunities with regards to Whiskey related topics. I was fortunate enough that we could include them in our travel schedule.
The Teeling Distillery
While checking the tourist map we found a note to the Teeling Distillery in the city of Dublin. It turned out that this was on walking distance from the Guinness Storehouse Experience. So after we finished the planned Guinness Experience we plotted a route and started walking towards the NewMarket. With a small detour we arrived at NewMarket. Along the way you will find some pointers to get you to your destination.
When we arrived at NewMarket we were welcomed by the Fleamarket that was buzzing with activity. At one end of the rectangular square you will find the Teeling Distillery. The building was huge and looked brand new.
After you have bought a ticket you go into a small presentation area. Here we were welcomed by Mr. Teeling Sr. He acted as hospitality host for visitors. The man did not have words enough to explain about how proud he was on his sons to put the family name on the product and the building front. Something he never did when he was producing the Cooley/Kilbeggan Whiskies. Unfortunately we did not have too much time to talk to him and see the presentation as the tour started almost right away. Below a few pictures though.
For those who, like me, have visited distilleries before will be surprised by this one. Where the "old" distilleries have changed over time due to one or more updates, upgrades and/or modifications; Think about Peat Heat to Gas Burners; Or from hot water waste, to recycling for pre-heating; And from manual labor to increased computerized controlled; This one has been built from scratch. So everything is build on current state technology to bring the old process to life.
The older distilleries usually consist of multiple old buildings and you sometimes need to "crawl" through small spaces and going up and down ladders to get to all the stages of the process. At the Teeling Distillery the complete process is brought together in one big space. This area is clearly prepared for visitor tours. These tours only started recently (June 2015) and we were not lucky. Although we had a very knowledgeable guide with a lot of enthusiasm about the distillery, process and product... there was no actual production (this Sunday).
As I was on holiday with my girlfriend rather than on a Whisk[e]y road trip with my friends I missed out to make some more detailed pictures and also some more overall shots. However I will not let you miss out on the pictures I did made.
The tour is given across one slab of concrete which has the process at the four edges. On one end there are four barrels [not on picture :-( ] which shows the base products to start the whiskey process.
Close to where you enter the production area you will find The Mill.
In the picture above behind the sign for The Mill you can already see the Lauter Tun. This indicates the close setup of the production process.
The next step is the fermentation in the big wooden Tuns. There was the possibility to taste "the Beer". As this was done straight from the bottle you see in my hand, in combination with a cold soar on my lip I have passed on this occassion.
And then of course the famous Pot Stills. Three in total as the Irish Whiskey [in general] is distilled three times. The three stills were named Alison, Natalie and Rebecca after Jack Teeling's daughters.
Last but not least is the Spirit Safe. Two important things are missing for those who have seen Spirit Safes before. First of all the tax locks, and second the levers to change between the foreshot, body and tail of the spirit. The simple explanation for this; The Spirit Safe is purely for show. The process for separating the body from the rest is done automatically and computerized. You can see the "computerized spirit safe" on the right of the still called Alison in the picture above.
As the spirit is trucked out of Dublin to an undisclosed location there is no on-site storage. So once you have finished the tour in the production area you get to a small area where they have simulated a warehouse. Here is the maturation on different type of barrels explained, as well the story of the Angel's Share. At the moment  there is no official Teeling spirit that can be bottled. This will take at least three, but most likely four more years. So the Teeling Whiskey you find in the current bottles are from the old Cooley/Kilbeggan stocks which where not sold by Mr. Teeling Sr. When the Whiskey distilled in the Teeling Distillery in Dublin is finally bottled you will find this on the label of the bottle that will proudly refer to this fact
At the end of the tour there is the unavoidable tasting :-) Our guide turned out to be really an expert on the product and guided our though our tasting session.
As my girlfriend is not a drinker she was presented with the Teeling Small Batch and and Cocktail. Unlike to other cocktails my girlfriend had some difficulty finding the alcohol in the drink, where she usually can snif it out with the glass still on the table. Needles to say the glass was finished all the way. A unique experience. Our guide explained that the cocktail was developed over a few "festive" evenings to find the right balance.
Being on the Trinity tour with the yellow wrist band my tasting session consisted of the Teeling Single Grain, the Teeling Single Malt and the Teeling 10 Year Old.
Shortly before my holiday I participated on a blind tasting session on the Dutch Whisky Forum. This included the Teeling Single Malt in the line up which was not one of my favorites. So I was curious about this tasting session. Now I am not sure if there are different batches of the Single Malt, or maybe the location and atmosphere had a big influence, but the Single Malt was much more to my taste then during the Forum Tasting. Overall I prefered the Small Batch over the other two. So from the gift shop I bought a gift set (Single Grain / Small Batch / Single Malt) to evaluate once more when I get back home.
After the tour we visited the Phoenix cafe for a tasteful lunch break.
Then it was back into Dublin to further explore the city....
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