When Teeling first opened in 2015, it became Dublin’s first new whiskey distillery since the late 1800s. Setting up shop in a section of the city once regarded as the global capital of matured spirit, this was a brand promising restoration of a proud past. With the launch of its new “Wonders of Wood Series” Teeling seems equally as invested in innovating a brave new future. The line lifts off this month with Teeling Single Pot Still Chinkapin Oak, a uniquely spicy, non-age-statement Irish whiskey.
Similar in composition and taste profile to chestnut, the chinkapin oak is sourced from the forests of eastern and central North America.
“When it’s used for the maturation of our whiskey, it adds a distinctive gingerbread spice and banana bread sweetness that is not traditionally found in the category,” explains Alex Chasko, master distiller at Teeling. “There is less vanilla than you would expect from American oak and more of the earthy notes that can be found in European oak.”
These elements are amplified through the implementation of virgin casks—a relative rarity in this part of the world. But while the barrels exist as industry outliers, the new make that enters in is unmistakably Irish: Teeling Chinkapin Oak is triple distilled and crafted from a traditional pot still recipe of half malted/half unmalted barley.
The resulting whiskey splits the difference between Old World and New. It sits somewhere within the sweet creaminess of Irish pot still and the herbal, spiciness of American rye.
The next in the “Wonders of Wood” series isn’t due out until May 2023. In the meantime, Teeling is making good on that initial promise of restoring a proud past; the distillery has partnered with the Tree Council of Ireland to assist in reforestation efforts across the Emerald Isle.