Skip to main content

A New Era of Irish Whiskey with Teeling

The first time I heard of Teeling it was totally unfamiliar to me. Shame on me for not knowing a great Irish whiskey. Then I started asking around and few others had heard of them either. Digging deeper I learned that they only launched two years ago. Yet they have a big, beautiful bustling distillery in Dublin and upon tasting all three of their signature blends I could see the reason for all of the awards already listed on their site. To learn more, I took a trip to Dublin to get more information about the brand, the whiskey and its’ culture. This isn’t your typical “ye ole man with a pipe” whiskey, my friends. Teeling is ‘fixie bikes, farm to fork and loads of fun and friends’ whiskey. Which is right where we roll.

A Bit of History

Dublin was the capital of the Irish whiskey world in the 19th century. At one point there were 37 different distilleries in Dublin and many were snuggled into The Liberties area of Dublin where Teeling’s distillery is now located.

Three events destroyed the Irish whiskey world:

  1. Prohibition – self explanatory as this silly era in United States history decimated numerous spirit brands around the world.
  1. The Irish Uprising- When Ireland demanded independence from England, the English halted all imports from Ireland and Irish whiskey stopped being served in England and all of its colonies.
  1. The Column still – This new invention in 1830 made whiskey distilling faster and easier yet the Irish thought it was a one trick pony and kept to their pot still process. Meanwhile, the Scottish and others took to the column with gusto and increased their distilling greatly.

By the late 20th century the number of Dublin distilleries had shrunk and the last closed in 1976. Where are all of those Jamesons, Bushmills and Powers made? Not in Dublin. Jameson and Powers are in Cork and Bushmills is in Northern Ireland (which is part of the U.K.). Therefore folks, Teeling opening up in Dublin is a Really. Big. Deal. They are the first new distillery in Dublin for 125 years. Put that in your glass and shoot it.

Who are the Teelings?

The Teeling family has been in the whiskey business on and off for over 230 years. In 1782 Walter Teeling had a distillery on Marrowbone Lane in The Liberties of Dublin. At this time there were over 37 different distilleries in Dublin alone in particular centralized in the industrial engine room of the city: The Liberties; the Coombe, Newmarket and Smithfield. Fast forward to 1987 when the boys’ father, John Teeling bought Cooley Distillery. His sons Jack and Stephen leaped into the family business and Jack became managing director of Cooley until it was purchased by Jim Beam in 2012. During Jack’s tenure at Cooley it won over 100 international awards for its whiskey including IWSC World Distiller of the Year and European Distiller of the Year five times.


The Teeling Whiskey Company was founded by Jack in 2012 to bring back an independent voice to the Irish whiskey category. The Teeling Whiskey Company has quickly become Ireland’s leading independent Irish whiskey maker. It drives category choice and innovation through a selection of unique handcrafted small batch Irish whiskeys, which have been honored with over 40 International Awards in a short period of time including two top honors at the 2014 WWA.

Jack’s brother Stephen is at the helm of the Sales & Marketing of the company. He also cut his teeth at Cooley before joining his brother to launch their own brand. But enough with the facts. Spending time with these boys was a total laugh. They are in their late 30s, well travelled and expert hosts. No pretention here, just great guys behind a phenomenal brand. Believe us when we say it is refreshing to meet them. We have spent many an evening with whiskey aficionados who prefer gold chains with very big watches and very few manners. Besides the brothers, the entire company is stocked with quality folks including Kevin Hurley their brand ambassador and their Master Distiller, Alex Chasko who actually hails from Portland, Oregon and got his start in the craft brew world.

What makes them different you ask? We will be posting a whiskey a day for the next three days for you to get a better understanding of the brand and their tastes. For now, welcome to the inner circle. You know now about the whiskey that is changing the tides of the spirit world and winning over fans from Dublin to Detroit.

If you are looking for an Irish whiskey to enjoy for Saint Patrick’s Day, look no further.

Editors' Recommendations

Cator Sparks
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Cator Sparks was the Editor-in-Chief of The Manual from its launch in 2012 until 2018. Previously, Cator was covering…
New Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Release Out in September
makers mark 2020 wood finishing limited release maker s 2

Last year, Maker's Mark released its first nationally available limited release edition of its Wood Finishing series, which joined the ranks of other wood stave-finished bourbons from the distillery like Maker's 46 and Private Selection. The bourbon had the arguably inartful name of Maker's Mark Wood Finishing Series 2019 Limited Release: Stave Profile RC6, based on the name of the staves that were placed in the barrel as part of the whiskey's finishing process. This September, the distillery is releasing the second edition, which rolls a bit easier off the tongue: Maker’s Mark 2020 Limited Release.

Two different staves were used for this year's bottling, the result of about a year's work with Independent Stave Company -- SE4, made from virgin French oak cooked at medium heat to bring out flavors of caramel, and PR5, made from virgin American oak and cooked slow and low to augment the vanilla notes.

Read more
Wild Turkey Releases Two New Limited Edition Whiskeys
best single malt whiskies not scotch whiskey glencairn

Wild Turkey is one of those Kentucky whiskey brands that doesn't really need to expand its core lineup. After all, what it's known for is quality and affordability, two things that sometimes can be hard to find together. In other words, master distillers Eddie and Jimmy Russell can confidently rest on their laurels. But over the past few years expansion is exactly what the distillery has been doing, with the ultra premium Master's Keep series and additions to the Russell's Reserve brand. Now you can look for two more whiskeys with flags flying under the Wild Turkey banner, one from the aforementioned Master's Keep series, the other a new barrel-proof rye whiskey that is part of the Rare Breed lineup.

Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond is the fifth release under this banner of pricey, limited-release whiskeys. It's a 17-year-old bourbon, and the second Wild Turkey release to carry the BIB designation (the first was the 15-year-old American Spirit released over a decade ago, according to the brand). “With our own Master’s Keep Bottled In Bond, we took the historic process and protocol of aging for four years to the next level and allowed the liquid to rest for 17 years,” said Eddie Russell in a prepared statement. “We aged and perfected this rare, 17-year-old bourbon in Wild Turkey’s Camp Nelson rickhouses. This expression is a nod to the past, both our own heritage and the heritage of American whiskey-making as a craft.” Per the BIB rules, the whiskey is bottled at 100 proof, at least four years old, and is the product of one distilling season from one distillery. It's rich and delicious, with a creamy mouthfeel and strong notes of tannin, cherry, chocolate, and prune on the palate. This bourbon was bottled just in time -- it might have gone south after another year or two in the barrel. But as it is, it's a winner. It's not cheap at $175 for a bottle, but for those willing to spend some cash on a high-quality, older-than-usual bourbon, it's certainly worth it.

Read more
Big Whiskey News: Brown-Forman Early Times is Sold to Sazerac
Whiskey in a glass

Early Times whiskey is celebrating its 160th year -- not a bad run for any brand -- but it was announced this week that Brown-Forman is selling the brand to Sazerac. Brown-Forman, which has owned Early Times since 1923, is unloading the whiskey brand along with Canadian brands Canadian Mist and Collingwood -- so it's possible that this deal is more about those than it is about Early Times. More people drink Early Times than you might think, as the brand claims that it is "the seventh-largest unflavored whiskey in the United States available in markets around the world."

“Early Times and Canadian Mist have been valued brands in our portfolio for many years, and they each have played significant roles in our company’s history,” said Lawson Whiting, president and CEO of Brown-Forman, in a prepared statement. “We are thankful to all the people who have distilled, bottled, shipped, marketed, and distributed these brands with care over the years.” Sazerac CEO and president also expressed his delight in acquiring what he called "iconic brands."

Read more