When Alex Chasko stretches out his mighty hand to greet you, you want to take both hands to counteract the expected thunder that will come your way. Alex is the Master Distiller of the Teeling Whiskey Company. He is not only responsible for the quality of the distillate and the finished whiskey, he is also responsible for the independent character of the Teeling brand.
Alex’s resume is a perfect match for the brand’s extraordinary spirit. This huge man comes from Portland, Oregon, where he learned the craft of a brewer and began to work in the slowly emerging Craft Beer scene. Brewing beer and making whiskey has many parallels, so it is not surprising that he wanted to expand his horizons at some point. He went to Edinburgh and studied the art of whiskey distillation at Heriot-Watt University, together with a handful of others who are now actively developing the tradition in the whiskey world.
In Edinburgh Alex also met his current wife, a native Irishwoman. After graduating, he took her by the hand and together they moved to Singapore, where Alex Chasko opened the award-winning Pump Room Brewery. After a night of drinking Alex came home, sat down with his wife and told her that she could determine the next place they would live. This decision was a no brainer for her and so the Chasko family moved to Ireland, more precisely to Dublin. Alex’s qualification is a good way to get through life in Ireland as beer and whiskey are part of the Irish daily routine. And so he met Jack and Stephen Teeling, who offered him the chance to build up their new distillery together.
Very rarely do you get the chance to design and plan a new whiskey distillery. How much thought Alex put into the construction and production process, you should see for yourself when you visit the Teeling Distillery in Dublin. Details, such as the huge wooden vats for fermentation, which Alex insisted on having instead of the usual steel tanks are testimony to the heart and soul that goes into every drop of Teeling Whiskey. At Teeling, there are also no legends about the shape of copper stills, as is the case with many other distilleries: they are simply very practical and can be controlled and monitored incredibly precisely thanks to the latest technology.
In the offices and monitoring rooms there are not only the usual samples of the last distilling processes: Alex also has samples of the first casks from 2015, the name Whiskey may not yet be used, for this it still needs at least two years of aging – but what is forthcoming is really promising and testifies to a great future for the young brand with its centuries-old tradition. Because it is men like Alex Chasko who take care of the soul of the whiskey.