TEELING DISTILLERY

Debeli is a huge lover and worshiper of both whiskey and beer, so I was thinking of visiting either Jameson distillery or Guinness brewery while in Dublin. What I didn’t know then was that the production of Jameson has been transferred to Cork and that Guinness storehouse is more about selling the merchandise than showing you the real process of brewing. However, what we did at the end, it turned out to be even better!

Teeling Distillery was established by the Teeling brothers, John and Stephen, whose father, John Teeling had founded the Cooley Distillery in 1987. The distillery is now located close to where Walter Teeling, an ancestor of the family had established first distillery in 1782.

The distillery is situated in the Liberties area of Dublin, an area that was once outside the medieval walls surrounding the city. Since different laws applied for the people outside the walls, or let say there weren’t any, when it came to selling, distributing or producing alcohol, it was a promised land for various small and big distilleries. It was liberty over there, hence the name Liberties.

At the end of the 19th century in this small area there were three biggest distilleries in Europe: George Roe distillery, Jameson and Marrowbone Lane & John Power’s John Lane distillery. The area was called The Golden Triangle.

Political instability, wars, prohibitions, and competition, like the Scottish whiskey produced in a modern way, led to closing of majority distilleries in the second half of the 20th century. But this, rather small, Teeling distillery,established in 2015, it’s the first one to be opened in the past 125 years!!!

The distillery offers guided tours and a package of couple of whiskey tastings for a price of 15/30 €. If you add a small discount that Debeli found, we decided it was now or never to witness the making of this popular drink.

The production of whiskey begins with grounding unmalted and malted barley into a coarse flour called grist. Next move is to add water to extract the starch from the porridge like material. This usually takes around 6 hours, after which the drained, sweet liquid (wort) is dumped into fermenters to start the process of making alcohol.

The wort is actually beer of approximately 8% ABV, called wash and the leftovers of the porridge are sold to the farmers for feeding the animals.

Yeast is added to the wash, which helps to resolve the sugar while making both carbon dioxide and alcohol. After a couple of days, the wash is distilled. Three times.

Fermenters

Teeling distillery uses the old Dublin shape and style of stills from the 19th century, so their three copper pot stills have been handcrafted in Italy. The 15 000, 10 000 and 9 000 liters pot stills are named after John’s daughters: Alison, Natalie and Rebecca.

Pot stills

The first distillation is done in Alison, then it goes to Natalie to be finished in Rebecca. I don’t know if John planned to have three daughters only to name his pot still after them or it was a pure coincidence 🙂

Destiled wash

Maturation and cask influence is the most important part of making good whiskey because more than half of the flavors comes from the way the whiskey has been stored. According to Irish laws a whiskey to be called Irish whiskey has to be stored in oak barrels on the island of Ireland for a minimum of 3 years. The barrels used in Teeling distillery were previously used to mature rum or wines.

While production of whiskey in Teeling distillery is around 500 000 liters annually, selling (for now) is limited to the whiskey stock made by Johns’ and Stephens’ father. The first bottle of single pot still was opened 39 days after our visit. Debeli was seriously thinking of going back to try this one, but he was more than happy to taste whiskey aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in chestnut casks together with the The Spirit of Dublin, bottled at 52% ABV.

After the tour, we had a whiskey tasting where Debeli tried three types while I tried a whiskey cocktail and a small batch whiskey.

Teeling single grain Irish whiskey, Teeling small batch Irish whiskey, Teeling single malt Irish whiskey

Since I’m not a whiskey lover, just an ordinary gin(tonic) girl, I was pleasantly surprised how the whiskey tasted sooooo good! It was very mild, with a nice smell, and very tasty!

Teeling small batch Irish whiskey and Red Leg Rebellion cocktail

Just a small addition to the story….Dublin’s most destructive fire of the 19th century was The Great Dublin Whiskey fire of 1875. The first flames started around 8pm on the 18th of June, just a mile away from today’s distillery, in a whiskey warehouse. The estimated damage was worth around 6,5 million euros today.

The fun part was, after the fire department stopped the fire by mounding horse manure on the flaming liquor, the whole city felt a bit tipsy after inhaling the whiskey fumes. 🙂

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TEELING DESTILERIJA

Debeli je veliki poklonik dobre pive i viskija, tako da sam još prije polaska u Dublin planirala posjet Guinnessovoj pivovari ili Jameson destileriji. U međuvremenu sam saznala da se proizvodnja Jamesona preselila u Cork dok bi posjet Guinnessovoj pivovara, zbog silne popularnosti, bio preturistički. I neisplativ. Ono što smo mi napravili na kraju, bio je zapravo dar s neba 🙂

Malu Teeling destileriju viskija otvorili su braća Teeling 2015. godine na mjestu gdje je Walter Teeling, Jackov i Stephenov prapradjed utemeljio prvu obiteljsku destileriju još 1782. godine u kvartu poznatom pod nazivom Liberties.

Unutar srednjovjekovnih gradskih zidina Dublinom su, u srednjem vijeku, upravljale cehovske udruge zadužene za trgovinu robom, plaćanje nameta i provođenje pravde. Izvan gradskih zidina vrijedila su druga pravila ili bolje reći, nije ih bilo. To je značilo slobodu (liberty) za neograničenu trgovinu, male obiteljske obrte i proizvodnju alkohola, naravno.

Krajem 19. stoljeća na malom prostoru u kvartu Liberties postojale su tri, tada najveće destilerije viskija u Europi, George Roe, Jameson i Marrowbone Lane & John Power’s John Lane destilerija. Područje je bilo poznato pod nazivom Zlatni trougao.

Politička nestabilnost, ratovi, prohibicija, ali i konkurencija, poput škotskog viskija koji se radio na moderniji način, doveli su do zatvaranja većine destilerija u drugoj polovici 20. stoljeća tako da je Teeling destilerija prva destilerija otvorena nakon 125 godina i to upravo u prijestolnici grada koji je nekad udomljavao preko 30 destilerija ovog alkoholnog pića.

Za sitnu paru od 15/30 € Teeling destilerija nudi vođeni razgled prostorija te kušanje viskija ili koktela uključenog u cijenu. Obzirom da je Debeli nabasao na neki popust dok je bauljao po gradu, ni časa nismo časili već smo se predbilježili za turu jutro prije polaska nazad doma.

Destilerija je poprilično mala, gotovo kao ”kućna proizvodnja”, ali s godišnjom proizvodnjom od oko 500 000 litara viskija godišnje.

Budući u Teeling destileriji koriste kombinaciju suhog i namočenog (proklijalog) ječma, proizvodnja započinje namakanjem ječma u vodi prije mljevenja čime se dobiva grubo mljeveno brašno (grist).

Gristu se dodaje vruća voda koja izvlači škrob iz smjese nalik na kašu koja se potom miješa nekih 6 sati s ciljem da se izvuče što više šećera iz ječma. Nakon toga, ista sprava služi za cijeđenje kašaste smjese.

Vruća, slatka tekućina (wort) prebacuje se u fermentere napravljene od kombinacije borovine iz Oregona i nehrđajućeg čelika, dok se ocijeđena kaša prodaje farmerima za hranjenje stoke.

Slatkoj tekućini dodaje se kvasac čime nastaje pivo jačine 8% alkohola, nazvano wash. Za razliku od piva koje fermentira u zatvorenim posudama, wash fermentira u poluotvorenim bačvama pri čemu nastaju ugljični dioksid i alkohol.

Fermenteri

Nakon nekoliko dana wash se konačno destilira. I to tri puta.

Teeling destilerija, po uzoru na nekadašnje tradicionalne destilerije, koristi bakrene kazane napravljene u Italiji. Tri kazana, ukupne zapremnine 15 000, 10 000 i 9 000 litara, nose nazive kćerki jednog od braće Teeling.

Prvi destilat nastaje u Alison, prebacuje se u Natalie i završava u Rebecci odakle se prebacuje u drvene bačve gdje sazrijeva i do nekoliko godina. 

Sazrijevanje u bačvama, zapravo, je najbitniji proces dobivanja finog i kvalitetnog viskija, jer preko polovice okusa dolazi od načina na koji je viski odležao. Prema irskom zakonu da bi se viski zvao irski viski mora odležati pune tri godine u hrastovoj bačvi u kojoj je prethodno stajao rum ili vino. Ali…tri godine na irskom otoku!

Za vrijeme procesa dozrijevanja viskija, drvene bačve ”dišu” i upijaju alkohol koji isparava te se njegova količina smanjuje. Ovaj proces naziva se ”anđeov udio”, vjerojatno od babskih priča prije sto godina kad se vjerovalo da je isparavanje zapravo proces gdje nebeski anđeli sebi uzimaju dio kolača, pardon alkohola.

Prodaja Teeling viskija trenutno se temelji na starim zalihama koje je napravio otac braće Teeling prije gotovo trideset godina, dok su braća pod stakleno zvono stavili dvije nove bačve koje su sami napravili i od kojih će se jedna otvoriti tek za 12 godina, kad Stephenova kćer napuni punoljetnost.

Nakon razgleda destilerije uslijedila je degustacija tri vrste viskija za Debelog i viski plus viski koktel za mene.

Teeling single grain Irish whiskey, Teeling small batch Irish whiskey, Teeling single malt Irish whiskey

Budući da nisam neki ljubitelj i poklonik visikija, više padam na gin (koktele) debelo sam se iznenadila koliko je (ovaj) viski bio fin. Jako blagog i finog okusa, još bolje se složio sa sokom od ananasa u Red Leg rebellion koktelu.

Teeling small batch Irish whiskey i Red Leg Rebellion koktel

Tri viskija Debelom nisu bili dovoljna pa je uzeo još dva, od kojih, ovaj prozirni, Spirit of Dublin, ima preko 52% alkohola, dok je tamniji sazrijevao u burbon bačvama, a potom u bačvama od kestena.

Zanimljivost za kraj*
Najrazorniji požar u 19 stoljeću bio je Veliki viski požar koji je počeo nedaleko današnje Teeling destilerije. U osam sati navečer, 18. lipnja 1875., prvi plamičci vatre nazirali su se u Malone skladištu gdje je bilo preko 5000 bačvi viskija, vrijednosti oko današnjih 6,5 milijuna eura. Ubrzo se požar raširio okolicom zahvaćajući kuće, štale, stoku….Vatrogasna postrojba, predvođena kapetanom James Robertom Ingramom, počela je bacati konjsku balegu na vatru, jer voda nije pomagala. Požar je zaustavljen, grad je spašen, ali su se stanovnici Dublina još danima poslije osjećali poprilično veselo i to ne zbog komične situacije plivajućih konjskih govana na cesti već alkoholnih para prouzrokovanih isparavanjem viskija.  🙂

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