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Ex-Cooley MD creates ‘new whiskey category’

Jack Teeling, the former managing director of Cooley is kickstarting the launch of his new company with the release of Hybrid, an Irish-Scottish whiskey thought to be the first of its kind.

Hybrid Teeling Whiskey Co
Hybrid Edition 1 is the first release from the Teeling Whiskey Co

The release by the Teeling Whiskey Co, which is due to be rolled out in the UK this month, is a blend of 10 year-old single malts from Cooley in Ireland, and Bruichladdich in Scotland that has been married together in oak barrels for an additional eight years.

The whiskey used is from the leftover stock from the now unavailable Celtic Nations, which was initially released as a collaboration between Cooley and Bruichladdich but ran into trouble from the Scotch Whisky Association’s strict regulations.

The result has been bottled at cask strength (44% abv) with no chill filtration or colour added.

Just 1,400 bottles of Hybrid Edition 1 will be released this month.

Teeling, who left the Cooley business earlier this year after it was bought out by drinks giant Beam, said he hoped to pump some interest back into the Irish whiskey category, which now contains no independent distilleries.

“The younger demographic that’s drinking mainstream brands like Jameson and Tullamore Dew need some choice because they won’t stay drinking them their whole lives; they’ll need other things to try. If there’s not that choice in the Irish whiskey category, which was once there with independent brands, there’s a risk they’ll go to Canadian, Bourbon, rum or another classification of spirit.

“There’s a growing malt whisky consumer rather than an Irish or Scottish. So I decided to create a new classification of whisky altogether, which will be a hybrid. It won’t be Irish or Scottish, just a vatting of different malt whiskies from around the world. We thought we’d see what the consumer reaction to it is, link up with other independent whisky producers around the world and see if we can create come interesting bottlings. It’s not going to be a big seller; just to provide a home for what in my opinion is a very good whisky.”

Teeling intends to roll Hybrid Edition 1, which is expected to retail for around £30 for a 70cl bottle, out to key European markets after an initial UK launch.

Hybrid will mark the first of several new product launches from the Teeling Whiskey Co. in the coming months.


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