By Richard Thomas
Few distillery openings in modern times have been as anticipated as that of Teeling Whiskey Company, roughly a year ago in Dublin, Ireland. That anticipation was both a mark of the success of Teeling’s marketing as a sourced whiskey brand in the years prior, and as the landmark opening of the first new whiskey distillery in Ireland’s capital in over a century.
As just mentioned, Teeling is a sourced brand. As their distillery has only been open for a year, their own spirit won’t appear in the bottles for years to come… unless those bottles bear the name “poitin” on the label. Pronounced “poyt-cheen,” this stuff is essentially Irish moonshine, and Teeling had a very potent poitin out already. With their own new make available now, Spirit of Dublin Poitin represents the company’s first substitution of a sourced product with in-house spirits. Yet more than that, Spirit of Dublin Poitin is also a first glimpse of what we can expect from Teeling in the future.
Teeling’s Spirit of Dublin Poitin is a triple distilled pot still new make, and right there it is markedly different from its sourced predecessor, which was mostly corn whiskey. It’s lower proof, but uncut all the same, weighing in at 52.5% ABV.
The nose smacks of freshly baked bread, seasoned with mountain herbs, honey and lemon peel. On the palate, the new make is surprisingly smooth for such a high octane and unaged spirit, resting easily on the tongue. The flavor combines malty, honey sweetness with airy herbs.
Only on the swallow does the high alcohol content rear its head. Even so, the finish is dry rather than harsh, and although it’s quite warm I would not describe it as “hot.”
Nothing about this new make is even remotely hot, in fact. It’s simple, mellow, flavorful, and quite refreshing, all natural staples of summertime drinking on the rocks.
A 50 cl bottle of Spirit of Dublin Poitin runs €35, and that is actually a pretty fair price for it.