Teeling Whiskey Co-Founder Talks History of Old Irish Distilleries and New Products

Stephen Teeling, co-founder of Teeling Whiskey
October 16, 2019

Dublin is a city steeped in whiskey history and now there's a new generation of whiskey distillers. The Teeling Whiskey Distillery first opened its doors in 2015 becoming the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years and recently won the title of World’s Best Single Malt at the 2019 World Whiskies Awards. Now Teeling is looking for another way to breathe new life into the Irish whiskey category.

Teeling Whiskey is launching two new expressions, the Single Pot Still and Single Cask Whiskey.

"We're focused on innovation, trying to excite the whiskey drinker," said Stephen Teeling, co-founder of Teeling Whiskey.

The Single Pot Still is the first whiskey to be distilled in Dublin, Ireland in 50 years. It's a 92 proof bottle, selling for nearly $65.

"This was synonymous with Dublin whiskey. The Single Pot Still really was the gold standard," said the co-founder. "This is a historic moment. We are respectful of the past but hopefully doing things for this era."

“The release of our own Dublin distilled whiskey completes the revival of craft distilling in Dublin and draws us into a new renaissance, not only for Teeling Whiskey but also for Dublin distilled Irish whiskey as a whole,” said Jack Teeling, founder and managing director.

The other product addition, the Single Cask, will be available exclusively to the U.S. market, with a limited release of 846 bottles in New York, California, and Illinois. The 110.2 proof bottle is priced at nearly $100.

"A lot of what we're doing with Irish whiskey has never been done before," said Stephen Teeling. But the Teeling brothers are not forgetting their roots.

"Dublin used to be where all of the big distilleries were. Going back 150 years ago there were 37 separate distilleries in the city of Dublin. Irish whiskey was the biggest selling brand spirit in the world,' said Stephen Teeling. But the Irish whiskey's reign didn't last, "We went from biggest selling whiskey in the world to just 1 percent." Teeling credits the fall from grace to the Irish fight for independence, prohibition, and the lack of innovation from older distilleries.

But, there is currently a whiskey revival happening in Ireland, and Teeling Whiskey is credited with leading the charge. "Our family goes back to 1782, where the family originally had a distillery in Dublin," said Stephen Teeling. "Myself and my brother had the chance to restart our family brand and put Dublin back on the map for Irish Whiskey."

And Teeling Whiskey has hit the ground running by winning more than 200 awards since opening its doors.

"Irish whiskey had never even been short listed for the [2019 World Whiskies Awards] by actually winning I think we put Irish whiskey back on the map for credibility, "said Stephen Teeling. "The most awarded Irish whiskey producer and hopefully that will continue and we can excite a new generation of Irish whiskey drinkers."

Whiskey fans aren't only drinking the Teeling Whiskey, but watching it being produced. Half of a million people have visited the location since 2015.

"We are quite different from a museum. We are a real working distillery," said Stephen Teeling. "They get to see the distillery, see things going wrong and it is thoroughly enjoyable to partake while you're there."