Tag Archives: Kid Karate

Teeling Whiskey Distillery – Revisited

My second visit to the Teeling Whiskey Distillery happened to take place on Valentine’s Day.

Herself had decided we’d stay with old friends in Dublin and all 4 of us would go out for a joint meal together on the 13th. It was further decreed the ‘ladies’ would visit the National Botanical Gardens on the 14th – allowing the ‘men’ to visit the now fully opened award winning distillery located in Newmarket Square in the historic Liberties area of Dublin.

Now my first visit to this fine establishment included a guided tour by none other than the master distiller Alex Chasko who exuded much glee at soon being able to produce the first distillate for many a year within the city confines.

As the building wasn’t yet complete the dress of choice was hi-vis vests and hard hats – complete with the sounds of powered tools and much shouting.

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Alex in the yet to be opened Teeling Distillery c/othewhiskeynut

As a paying customer this time round – it would be very interesting to compare my experiences.

Gone were the scaffolding – cranes -hoardings and ant like workers busily adding the final touches.

In was a nice clean facade aided by the cycle park outside the main entrance which enhanced the view. Instead of dirty workers there was a gathering of visitors who were as much excited by the short heavy hail shower that greeted our arrival as the golden liquid inside.

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Conor – our Teeling guide c/othewhiskeynut

Instead of Alex – Conor – one of the friendly and helpful Teeling branded staff was to be our guide today.

The ground floor contained a large cafe area serving delicious hot and cold foods along with teas – coffees and soft drinks for the kids. There were sofas and chairs to lounge in with large windows looking out into the square where many folks came to visit the neighbouring farmers market and food stalls which are a regular event.

Having been tagged at reception for the type of tasting experience you wished at the end of the tour – guests then entered a photographic display area along with whiskey memorabilia and associated artefacts whilst waiting for the tour to begin.

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Teeling whiskey display c/othewhiskeynut

As is customary – a short video introduces the visitor to Irish Whiskey and Teeling Whiskey Distillery in particular before we are led into the main event – the working distillery itself!

The first thing that struck me upon entering the working distillery was the strong smell – and heat – of the malt in the mash tun. Such a warming and welcoming entrance to the building site I previously enjoyed.

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Teeling’s mash or lauter tun c/othewhiskeynut

The attention to detail was evident with the inclusion of a strategically based light above the inspection window to allow visitors – and staff – to see inside the large vessel.

The trio of copper stills had been cleaned up and were not only shining – but had been given names too!

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Natalie and the spirit safe c/othewhiskeynut

And most importantly of all – the spirit safe had a steady flow of new spirit during the entire duration of our visit.

Conor gently informed us of the whole whiskey making process – from the delivery of malted and unmalted barley – to the mash tun and copper stills – to the spirit safe and on to the maturation period.

One thing I hadn’t previously thought about was that after the 1875 Liberties Whiskey Fire – the maturation of whiskey was banned from within the city and so to this day – all whiskey – including that made in Teeling’s – has to be transported out of Dublin to complete the minimum 3 years in a barrel before being able to call itself whiskey.

Teeling matures many of it’s expressions for a lot longer than that minimum requirement.

In fact at present – with the exception of Teeling Poitin – all Teeling expressions were distilled at the Cooley Distillery but have been matured to their own style by the master blender Alex Chasko.

We had the opportunity to taste some of these marvellous creations at the Bang Bang Bar after our tour.

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Single Malt, 15 yo Revival and 23 yo c/othewhiskeynut

I’d opted for the Teeling Master Class tasting – sure why else would you visit the distillery than to try out the best they had to offer?

My trio consisted of;

Teeling Single Malt

Part of the standard Teeling Trinity made up of the Small Batch and Single Grain releases – Single Malt is a lovely smooth yet sweet offering which belies it’s 46% non chill filtered strength.

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Teeling Revival c/othewhiskeynut

Teeling 15 Year Old Revival

A recent offering matured and finished in rum casks. A far more fuller bodied expression with a hefty dose of rum throughout the nose and taste. I thoroughly enjoyed this dram.

Teeling 23 Year Old Sherry Cask

A beautifully dark liquid with distinctive sherry nose. The whiskey slips down so smoothly you’re unaware of it’s 52.5% ABV until a rich – softly spicy tingle reminds you of it’s true strength on the long and satisfying finish. A masterpiece!

This dram is definitely Louder – cue Kid Karate! An equally new – as Teeling – young upcoming band from Dublin.

This superb 23 yo expression is only available at the distillery which features the novel and exciting experience of bottling your own whiskey.

I was mindful the ‘ladies’ would be meeting us shortly in the cafe downstairs so a purchase of this magnitude for myself probably would’t be wise given the day that’s in it. An 11 yo crystal malt sherry cask is also offered for filling which is again a distillery exclusive.

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Bottle yer own! c/othewhiskeynut

Along with the usual array of branded clothes – glasses and bottles available to purchase in the roomy shop area there were a fine collection of books pertaining to both whiskey and Dublin too. I spotted Jim Murray’s 2016 Whisky Bible and after all the fuss made about his winning dram – I couldn’t resist buying a copy.

It pleased me very much that to date – Jim hadn’t yet rated the fabulous 23 yo Teeling – nor for that matter the fabulous Eschenbrenner Spessart Amber I’d  purchased in Berlin!

I may be short of the 4000 plus samples he’s tasted but at least I’ve had a few he hasn’t!

I don’t know if Jim has visited Teeling’s yet. He won’t be disappointed when he does – and neither will you.

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Teeling’s awaits you. c/othewhiskeynut

The staff are very friendly and informative. The food is great. The building has modern clean lines and the whiskeys are divine!

A working distillery in the heart of Dublin. There hasn’t been one for over 40 years.

Isn’t it about time you paid it a visit?

Slainte

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The Wonderful World Of Whiskey Advertising

An impulse buy at my local supermarket of a whisky I hadn’t yet tried before – nor knew anything about – led me to a rather pleasing drink as well as very entertaining advertising.

William Lawson’s Blended Scotch Whisky is one of those rather plain bottles of whisky that adorn drinks shelves all over the place and I had avoided it – up until now – but as it was on offer – and I’m always on the lookout for a new taste experience – I thought I’d give it a go.

Now I believe behind every bottle of whiskey is a story waiting to be told – and this bottle certainly didn’t disappoint!

To start the whole show off I poured myself a glass – left it to breathe – and consulted my rather old edition of the Mitchell Beazley Pocket Guides to Scotch Whisky compiled by none other than the esteemed Charles MacLean. It’s an encyclopedic source of information on all things related to Scotch whisky – the distilleries, their single malt releases, the blended scotch expressions, owners and bottlers as well as some associated data on sales and distribution pertaining to the year of publication – the most recent edition on amazon was 2006.

From this publication I gleaned that a bottler and blender by the name of William Lawson first created this blend in 1849. Over the years it’s base moved around a bit before settling in Coatbridge near Glasgow. To secure malt for blending the Macduff Distillery was purchased and the whole operation is under ownership of  Bacardi. So far this history resembles that of many of the other classic scotch blends which originated in the mid 19th century and are still around today – via many changes of home base and ownership.

Charles gave no tasting notes so I consulted the computer and garnished many positive remarks for William Lawson’s. At this point I gave in to temptation and had a sip. I was rather surprised by the fresh light fruity taste with no peat element at all. Very unexpected to the slightly harsh grainy/peaty flavour profile I’m accustomed to with entry level blended scotch. Mmmmmm, not bad – really rather good indeed!

Further investigation led me to a very enjoyable discovery.

Fun – frivolous – full of cliches, stereotypes and innuendo – but laugh out loud funny. Drinking this whisky was a good experience – but watching their adverts takes it to another level!

Ever wondered what was under a Scotsman’s kilt? Let William Lawson show you.

There are even different expressions of the standard blend available – sadly not at my local store – but the adverts sure are hilarious and so refreshing.

I was hooked and kept searching for more whilst tasting more of this lovely little blend.

William Lawson’s advertising department certainly don’t hold back – even to the extent of using flash mobs of finely buffed Brazilians in kilts riding horses parading down Recife dispensing whisky shots to stunned passers by. The music track used was also pretty cool – Louis XIV with their eponymous song Louis XIV.

This led me down another path – that of cool music used in whiskey promotion. Teeling used Kid Karate‘s track Louder about a minute in on their video of the pot stills arriving at Dublin for the new distillery – Teeling’s whiskey certainly tastes louder to me!

Johnnie Walker also entered the cool music charts with their Plastic Bertrand backing track hailing from Belgium whose Belgian Owl Single Malt is a very cool whisky. Johnnie Walker Black Label is a descent example of a lightly peated blend from Scotland.

In contrast – Tullamore DEW from only down the road to where I’m based have taken a more traditional theme to their ads.

Whilst Jameson from Cork have also gone down the comic route with a series funny sketches in their promotional videos.

We then get into the realm of slightly odd with this one from Canadian Club.

 

Whilst the videos from Japan dispense with the sexualisation for a more minimalist approach.

Very refreshing, and even a mythical approach?

It seems as if there is no end to the permutations the ad folks can come up with to promote your drink of choice.

To round up my peek at the wonderful and wacky world of whiskey advertising I’ll finish with a seemingly sombre and severe ad for Whyte And Mackay – another fine scottish blend if you haven’t already tried it.

So there you go.

You’ll notice all of the ads are for blends. It’s not surprising. 90% of all whiskey sold is in the form of a blend. Simply chasing the money.

You’ll also notice that most of the ads imply that drinking whiskey improves your “manliness”. Apart from the Japanese, the only other brand to show a female tasting whisky was my new friend William Lawson’s. Ironically – they also showed the male of the species as the sexualised object.

Read into them what you want – but I for one;

greatly enjoyed my glass of William Lawson’s’

found their videos absolutely hilarious and,

loved the cool music they chose as backing tracks.

Whisky dosen’t come better than that. A true smorgasbord of a sensory feast – taste – smell – mouth feel – visual delight – auditory pleasure.

Well done William Lawson’s.

Slainte

Whiskey Nut

PS

What’s your favourite whiskey video?

Send me your best shot!