I was very lucky to have been taken around the Guinness factory and Teelings Whiskey distillery last weekend courtesy of Adrian at Tanners Wines. If you haven’t been then we can’t recommend either highly enough. The Guinness building is immense and spans at least 8 floors, tracking the production process, finishing up in a sky bar overlooking the whole of Dublin, with views stretching all the way to the Guinness water source at the Wicklow mountains.
The combination of Victorian engineering and modern building techniques combine brilliantly to give this iconic brand the representation that it duly deserves. Our personal favourite was the advert suite, a 180 degree cinema room with polished concrete floors and Bose surround sound made you feel like part the advert itself. The sense of community they create and the theatre of the spectacle were skin tinglingly awesome. Whilst many would argue the surfers and white horses advert with the bone chilling sound track, Phat Planet by Leftfield
, is perhaps the most iconic of their adverts my own personal favourite will always be that of the swimmer
– witty and entertaining giving us a sense of pride for a fictional character we’ll never even meet, truly inspiring! Now all i need is a pint of the black stuff!!
Having doffed our cap to the drinking gods, sinking several pints of Guinness in the process we moved on via a horse and carriage to the Teelings Whiskey distillery.
Established in 1782 Teelings is now the only working distillery in Dublin with a factory tour. My memory at this point was compromised by the aforementioned pints of Guiness we had put away earlier but i think I’m correct in saying that the production facility at Teelings has a continual flow of about 17,000 litres of whiskey in production using the same techniques as have been used since its beginnings, albeit, with a modern upgrade to scale and efficiencies.
The three main stills pictured below are named after the three daughters of the Teeling family. Made of 7mm thick copper they are all hand beaten into shape and represent an investment of over €3M. The wort begins the process at 8% ABV and finishes at 86% ABV by the time it completes its third distillation. At this point the whiskey is crystal clear only later to take its colouring from the barrel as it ages. Hence, the older a whiskey, the darker it becomes.
At this point we were treated to a range of whiskeys including a 23 year old, sherry barrel aged, single malt. At €250 per bottle its not cheap but it’s definitely smooth enough to help swallow the price tag! We all agreed this was our favourite and made our way to the bar for a few more!
The above trips were a great insight into Dublin and a really enjoyable way to spend the day, especially as it was unsurprisingly raining!