5 Questions with Teeling Whiskey’s Master Distiller
Alex Chasko is an American in Dublin: the Portland, Oregon-native first got his start at the local Bridgeport Brewery. “There are such unique and interesting aromas in beer,” he says. “Spirits have the same thing—it just takes longer.”
Chasko then flew to Edinburgh to get his MSc. in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University before moving to Ireland, where he became the innovations manager at Cooley Distillery in County Lauth.
In March of 2015, Chasko joined brothers Jack and Stephen Teeling's eponymous distillery for their opening debut as the master distiller and blender; it was the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years. (And it’s located near Walter Teeling’s small craft distillery on nearby Marrowbone Lane, dating back to 1782.)
Coining themselves the “new generation of Irish whiskey distillers”—and well aware of the spirit’s past downfall—Teeling aims to bring both innovation and independent voices in the industry back to the heart of the country.
“Dublin whiskey would have traditionally been made in a copper pot still. It would have been triple-distilled, it would have been made of a mixture of malted and unmalted barley, and using locally-sourced water and Irish grain,” says Chasko. “And that’s really what we’re trying to do with our distillery, with triple-distilled copper pots and the traditional mashing and fermentation methods, and to find the use of traditional grains that would be used today like oats and Rye and other varieties of barley. We’re kids in a candy factory—we make any sweets that we want.”
A special whiskey at Teeling is made in aquavit casks and is sold in Sweden.
Chasko has now been a resident of Ireland for just over a decade; he currently resides in Dublin with his wife and daughter.
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