The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2015

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48  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2015 IRISH WHISKEY Ireland on Tap by Emily Coleman / photos by Dustin Downing W hen you say Ryan Sweeney's name to any beer connois- seur in the Los Angeles area, they will list off his many beer-centric bars in the city, including Verdugo Bar, The Surly Goat, Little Bear and The Blind Donkey—just to name a few. To these diehard fans, it might be a shock to find out that at Sweeney's Ale House—one of his newest opened bars, located in upscale Encino—two of the taps do not pour suds of any sort; instead, they dispense cocktails, one of which features Teeling Whiskey. Falling for the whiskey after a trip to Ireland, where he was wooed by the brand's story—it is the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years—and smitten by Irish hospital- ity and support from the bartending community, Sweeney decided to bring Teeling to his new Irish-themed bar in a big way: by being the first pub in the world to serve Teeling Whiskey on tap (according to Sweeney), in the form of the Irish GrandMa cocktail. "As the old saying goes: You can have many mistresses, but only one wife—beer might be the latter for me, but whiskey would definitely fall into the mistress category," Sweeney laughs. "I loved that Teeling was pushing the envelope on being experi- mental and that it could stand up in a cocktail. It was an easy brand to get behind because the product is great." When deciding to give up draft spots to spirits, Sweeney reasoned that it would keep the creations consistent, easy, efficient and convenient for his bartenders—whose primary focus remains on beer, not mixology. He notes that "the bartenders are more likely to push the cocktail if it's on draft," which could explain why Sweeney's has been selling so many of them. With big developments lined up for later this year, one might wonder if Ryan Sweeney ever plans on slowing down, but luckily for us, he doesn't see that happening any time soon. Teeling Whiskey is imported by Infinium Spirits. TEELING WHISKEY FINDS ITS WAY ONTO THE DRAFT LIST AT SWEENEY'S ALE HOUSE IN ENCINO, CA Irish GrandMa ◗ 2 oz. Teeling Irish Whiskey ◗ ½ oz. Grand Marnier ◗ 2 dashes Angostura Bitters ◗ ¼ oz. honey syrup (1:1 honey:water) Stir over ice and strain into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with expressed orange peel and a Luxardo Maraschino cherry. Ryan Sweeney at his new bar in Encino, CA—Sweeney's Ale House—where Teeling Whiskey finds its way on tap in the form of the Irish GrandMa. The cocktail was created by Dustin Seazey, who doesn't "like to alter the flavor of Teeling when making a cocktail since it's so complex and good on its own."

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