By Thomas Telford
A piece of Dublin whiskey history is set to be made. Teeling Whiskey releases its first whiskey which was distilled in its Newmarket site a little over 3 years after first opening its doors. This Single Pot still Whiskey is the first to be distilled in Dublin in over 40 years since Powers shut up shop and moved down to Midleton. On Tuesday, Batch 1 was released across the country and has an RRP of €55.
And the fact that it’s a Single Pot Still whiskey makes it even more special. Back in Irish Whiskey’s heyday, Pot Still whiskey was at the forefront of distilling in Ireland. At one point, more than half of all whiskey in the world was being created in Ireland with a large percentage being made in Dublin in what was known as the Golden Triangle.
This was an area of the Liberties less than a mile in size that produced the vast majority of whiskey in Dublin. It included the worlds largest brewery, Guinness, and the worlds largest distillery, George Roe and Sons. Just to give you an idea of the size of the distillery, Roe and Sons was located across 17 acres on Thomas Street. What makes this even more interesting is that both were situated right beside each other and Guinness and George Roe and Sons were not fond of one another, to put it mildly.
But by the 1920s, Irish whiskey was in terminal decline. The war of Independence and Prohibition in the US, which was Irish whiskey’s largest market, virtually wiped it out. The invention of the Coffey Still was another nail in the coffin for Irish whiskey.
Within a few decades, Ireland had gone from having hundreds of distilleries across the island to having just two, Midleton and Bushmills.
Pot still whiskey should be treasured. It can only be made in Ireland and the process goes back hundreds of years. Currently, there are only a few brands that release the style of whiskey known as Single Pot Still. It involves using both malted and unmalted barley. The reason for doing this was to avoid a tax that the British had placed on malted barley.
Today, the likes of Green Spot, Yellow Spot, Redbreast and Powers are the major players in the pot still whiskey sphere. However, all of those whiskeys are made in Midleton.
Thankfully, Irish whiskey is on the crest of a wave at the moment. It’s the fastest growing spirit in the world having accounted for less than 2 % of worldwide whiskey sales just a few decades ago. Jameson is still the largest brand In Irish whiskey but with 18 distilleries currently open and another 16 in the works across the country, in a few years they’ll have some serious competition.
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