Dublin was once the center of the Irish whiskey industry. On the evening of June 18, 1875, a fire broke out at a bonded storehouse containing 5,000 barrels of whiskey. The flaming liquid flowed through the streets of the Liberties section of the city like lava, setting fire to everything in its path. Knowing water would only disperse the flames, the fire department finally extinguished them with huge amounts of horse manure! Whiskey production moved out of the city. Although Irish whiskey enjoyed robust sales in the early part of the 20th century, its popularity declined in the ’60s and ’70s, and Dublin’s last distillery shut down in 1976.
However, in 2015, descendants of Walter Teeling, who opened a distillery in 1782, built Dublin’s first new distillery in more than 125 years. Located in the Liberties area, Teeling Distillery offers daily tours. A very good historical exhibition sets the scene, and the tour then goes through all the steps of whiskey production, including a visit to the three copper pot stills that are at Teeling’s heart. A tasting follows. Whiskey from selected casks is given further aging in former rum barrels, which impart a spicy vanilla nose to the spirit. A bottle came home in my luggage.
13-17 Newmarket, Dublin. Tel. (353) 1-531-0888
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