While we love a good well-crafted Teeling Whiskey cocktail, we have been experimenting with a new style of “cocktail” here in Newmarket – one of a yeasty kind. As part of our core belief in creating unique expressions of Irish Whiskey we have been using different raw materials and will continue to do so but we also wanted to come up with our own unique recipe or “cocktail” of yeast strains to ensure our resulting whiskeys always taste different to what other distillers are doing.
The Fermentation Process.
For those that don’t know, yeast is an essential component of the brewing and distilling process as it acts as the catalyst in the conversion of sugars to alcohol during the fermentation process. Basically the yeast eats the sugars extracted from the barley to create alcohol with CO2 being released during the conversion. It is in this stage of the process that the alcohol and resulting flavours are actually created and the rest of the distillation process focuses on reducing the amount of impurities and water in the end spirit. As such, in particular as we triple distill in the age old Dublin distillers tradition, it is critical we get as much flavour from our fermentation process as possible.
Our Yeast Tank at work.
Our original plan was to try to re-create an old yeast recipe from the 19th century however we concluded that the widely available and used distillers yeast is more than likely an evolution of what was used back then. Distillers yeast does what it says on the tin and is highly efficient in converting as much sugar from the barely into alcohol and produces the standard taste profile you would expect from our resulting wash or beer after fermentation. However while we started using distillers yeast to ensure we optimised our production process during the first year, our distilling team have been experimenting in the background with different styles of yeast including various beer, champagne and wine yeast in varying percentages.
Alex & Pauric from our distilling team.
This experimentation has resulted in us developing our own proprietary cocktail of distillers and wine yeast strain. The white wine yeast we chose was cultivated by the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa and brings bright, citrus flavours associated with tropical fruits, grapefruit and passion fruit to the spirit. By combining a certain percentage of this yeast with traditional distillers yeast allows us to have efficient conversion while producing the flavours we are looking from. This unique yeast cocktail, when combined with the use of our open Wooden fermenters, works in tandem to give the spirit a very unique and fruity nose.
Hope you can come to Newmarket to see and smell for yourself!