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Teeling Whiskey Co.’s Dublin Distillery Up And Running, As New Products Hit U.S.

March 3, 2015

Ireland’s Teeling Whiskey Co. is getting production underway at its new distillery in Dublin’s Liberties section and hopes to put its first whiskey in barrel by St. Patrick’s Day, says Stephen Teeling, who together with brother Jack runs the family whiskey business.

Meanwhile, the company has begun the U.S. release of its new Single Grain Irish whiskey. Made from a mash of 95% corn and matured in California Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, Teeling Single Grain retails at $50 a 750-ml. It’s expected to attract younger consumers, who are starting to experiment within the whisk(e)y category. “We’re seeing lighter styles of whiskey—more accessible liquids—get more of a reception with Millennial consumers,” Teeling says.

Later this year, Teeling also will release a Single Malt expression, which has been matured in five different types of wine barrels and will represent another step up the pricing ladder, retailing at around $60.

Last May, Teeling debuted in the U.S. market with Teeling Small Batch ($40), a blended Irish whiskey married in Flor de Caña rum barrels. Teeling Small Batch is making inroads in key markets like California and New York, and is also garnering interest in areas as varied as Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington and Arizona, Teeling says.

All three whiskies were produced at Cooley Distillery in Dundalk, which the Teeling family sold in 2011 to the former Beam Inc. The whiskies are all at 92 proof and non-chill filtered. The Teeling portfolio is handled in the U.S. by Infinium Spirits, the spirits division of California-based Wilson Daniels.

The new Teeling distillery in Dublin has an annual capacity of around half a million liters on a normal five-day production schedule—and perhaps up to 1 million liters if ramped up to full speed. The company sees an opportunity in Irish whiskey for a brand with a “more urban” image, rather than what Stephen Teeling calls the traditional “rolling hills of Ireland” positioning. Looking ahead, the company plans to “experiment with old family pot still recipes, now that we control the mash, and maybe some single cask offerings,” Teeling says. “The bigger guys are doing a great job with recruitment into the category. What we want to do is create a ladder of different styles, tastes and price points” to which these entry-level consumers will graduate.


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