Delicious Tipples from Dublin

When discussing Irish whiskey, most casual drinkers will go straight to Jameson. While there is nothing wrong with Jameson, there are others I have greater fondness for. Like Teeling! I have many people here and across the pond that have no knowledge of Teeling, and I am always delighted when I can make the introduction.

In 1782 Walter Teeling set up a small craft distillery in the heart of Dublin, which started the love of distilling within the Teeling bloodline. In 2012 Jack and Stephen Teeling were working at the Cooley distillery, but after that was sold to Beam the brothers bought 16,000 casks of aged Cooley to launch their own distillery. It wasn’t until 2015 that the latest of the Teeling family whiskey makers opened the first new distillery in Dublin for over 125 years! Not only that, but it sits in the historic distilling district, just down the street from where the original distillery sat. The phoenix on the logo represents their rebirth well!

The brothers set out to put Teeling at a premium position instead of the mass-produced cheaper end of the market. They pride themselves on doing things in an unconventional way in both marketing and whiskey making. Using a variety style, number of barrels, and time spent in those barrels maturing gives Teeling a uniqueness that they are proud of.

“Our goal is to retain the drinkability of Irish Whiskey while introducing new and interesting flavours to complement the naturally smooth and sweet taste of Irish Whiskey. We aim to encapsulate our passion for quality, authenticity and craft in every bottle of Teeling Whiskey.”

Teeling produces an array of different bottlings, some that are part of their core range and others that are quite limited. The Small Batch is their flagship offering which marries both grain and malt whiskey that have been aged in ex-bourbon casks. After the marriage, the combined spirit sits in Central American rum casks for up to 12 months. Beyond that, they have the Trinity Collection which includes a Single Grain, Single Malt, and Single Pot Still whiskey. Each of which packs their own style and unique profile. Teeling’s Vintage Reserve Collection boasts a collection of hand-selected casks that showcases Ireland’s finest and rarest single malt whiskeys. Finally, you have the Limited Edition bottlings, which are some truly special bottlings. LE bottlings just display the distillery’s dedication to innovation with special cask maturations or collaborations with different partners!

Teeling is a distillery that should always be on your whisk(e)y radar for as long as they are producing!



Currently Sipping…

Sometimes you just want something just a little bit more! That is why this week I have been treating myself to the Flor de Caña 25 as my go to rum. I may not be sitting under a palm tree or in the mountains of Nicaragua, but sure can use my imagination! Take some vitamin D in the morning so I can trick my body to think I’ve gotten some tropical sun and relax in the evening with a glass of this fantastic rum.

There are a vast array of great rums out there, but Flor de Caña will always be a favourite. Not only do they put out some delicious liquid, but they are a fantastic company. While they definitely focus on putting out a tremendous product, the company does a great job at investing in the community around them. Still a family run business after 5 generations, they make sure to treat their employees as part of that family. Since 1913 they have provided free schooling for their employee’s children, as well as offering free healthcare at the company hospital since 1958. On top of that they are also a true sustainable distillery using renewable energy for over 10 years and planting tens of thousands of trees each year.

When I hear about a company like that, that goes above and beyond just crafting a great product, I am happy to support them. Also, it’s aged at the base of a Volcano, which makes it that much more interesting!

This 25-year-old is the distillery’s premium offering and the taste easily reflects that! This bottle is a great reminder of how good a rum can be when it comes from a company that really cares about what they put on the shelves!! Super rich in colour and super rich in flavour. Wonderful notes of molasses, caramelised citrus fruit, toasted nuts and vanilla.

Supremos :)

I’m not quite sure if we are still in Lockdown or not?!  From the increase in cigar sales it seems that we may well be or it could be the sunny weather we’re expecting over the next week? Either way here’s hoping the CV19 nightmare is receding and the Lockdown is easing so we can all enjoy the Summer even if our vacations are cancelled for the rest of the year.

Karyn and I should have been herfing with friends and clients in New York City this week but obviously and sadly that had to be cancelled. Goodness knows when we will get a refund as the travel industry seems to be in a bit of a mess to say the least. We have had the best of times in NYC as its very cigar friendly but hopefully we will be back next year when life gets back to normal.

We are actually so busy our site was offline overnight for ‘essential maintenance’ whatever that means but we are back and faster than ever now! We finally raced through the 100,000 customer target on our database last week, in fact we are now over 103,000 customers! Pretty amazing when I think back to 1997 and our first Excel database of 43 customers. But then I also remember our monthly sales ledger of 60 orders a month which Laura and I were very proud of! Now we do upwards of 2000 orders a day and have over 70 brilliant staff working 24/7 every day of the year. A nice success story…

The good news is that Montecristo Supremos are expected to arrive into our humidors any time now. Measuring in at 5 ¼ length and 55 ring gauge, this Montesco vitola cigar delivers huge volumes of typical sweet and tangy Montecristo flavours. Presented in rather snappy yellow cabinets of 25 cigars with very tight allocations this is sure to be a very popular smoke. No sign of any other new releases at this stage but we are ever hopeful.

Supply lines for many cigar products from all regions are now starting to feel the squeeze as many factories have closed down and are only starting to slowly get back to production now. Fortunately we carry huge stocks and are still running at around 98% availability overall. If you have favourites that are out of stock, shoot me an email and I’ll gladly suggest alternatives. We expect supply to normalise by late July with any luck. I’m afraid one of the supply casualties is our own brand of Inka Secret Blend. The popularity of this range of cigars is incredible and despite our usual stock levels being 3 months worth we have all but sold out of them in the last month. We hope to be able to take in new stocks as soon as possible.

I seem to be spending half my time on Zoom meetings these days. What a brilliant app! I even did my first Zoom herf this week (maybe it’s a ‘Verf’!) this was a Davidoff Late Hour tasting with Sam Reuter from Davidoff as guest of honour and very ably hosted by Roy from Davidoff and my colleague Paul from C.Gars Ltd. It was great to put some faces to names of clients I have ‘known’ for many years.  I must admit I do love Late Hour, probably my favourite regular range of Davidoff. Deeply complex and packed with a kaleidoscope of superb flavours.

Looks like garden herfing weather (a Gerf!) this weekend so I have the following in the baggie:

Davidoff Late Hour Churchill (I love these cigars)

Partagas SD No.5 (amazing quality currently)

Regius Connecticut Toro (for something a little different)

Plascencia Alma Fuerte (this cigar is an insane smoke!)

Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Pointy (no sweeter blend that we sell)

….and a bottle of our bestselling Cigar Malt whisky (Gold medal winner)

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing