Tag: Teeling whiskey

Teeling 24-year-old single malt

Teeling whiskeys: Vintage Reserve collection, 24-year-old single malt

Last week it was finally time to open up this sample bottle from Teeling – the famous award winning 24-year-old single malt.

There aren’t many older Irish whiskeys around, so I was very curious about how this one would be. Also, I have mixed experiences of older whiskeys. Older isn’t always better!
The oldest Irish whiskeys I’ve tasted before this have been 21-year-olds, from Midleton (Redbreast) and Bushmills, both excellent. In this Vintage Reserve collection from Teeling there is also a 33-year-old whiskey, the oldest Irish whiskey out there, as far as I know.

The 24-year-old is initially matured in ex-bourbon cask and has also spent some time in ex-sauternes wine casks. Teeling themselves write on their site that it’s “limited to 5000 bottles per batch“. I wonder if this means that the 24-year-old single malt will be an ongoing release from them? Well I certainly hope so!

This is one of the best Irish whiskeys I’ve tasted.
The first impression was an overload of flavour that filled up my entire being (ok, I little exaggerated, but you get it!).

Not impressive on the nose. Something smoky at first – almost like the burnt rubber of the Connemara. The smokiness disappears quite soon and there’s white pepper, wet wood, rhubarb and cereals.

There’s a total explosion on the palate with the first sip. Fantastic! I love it from the first moment it touches my mouth. I get toasted almond, figs, grapes, and apricot jam with a twist. An interesting combination of flavours – I love it!
The finish is long with a lingering sweetness but dryness on the tongue. With a drop of water it becomes sweeter but lighter in flavour – not worth it.

This is definitely a whiskey I’ll add to my “whiskeys I’ll buy when I want to spend some big money” whiskey list.

This whiskey was sent to me from the brilliant Teeling whiskey company. All opinions & tasting notes are my own.

Teeling Revival Series V

Teeling whiskeys: Revival series V

It’s Teeling time again, people!

The Revival series from Teeling was created to celebrate the opening of the new Teeling distillery and the return of distilling in Dublin. The series was first launched in 2015, each of the bottlings with its own special cask finish. This is the last whiskey in the series, released in the spring of 2018, shortly before the release of Teeling’s first single pot still. Previously I’ve only tasted one from the Revival series, the 14-year-old (very nice indeed) so I was very curious about this one.

My little sample bottle doesn’t have an age statement, but in various places online I see that it is a 12-year-old single malt. It’s been initally matured in ex-bourbon casks, and then finished in a combination of brandy and cognac casks.

You remember that I wasn’t overly happy about last week’s Teeling? Well, this one definitely suited my palate.

My first impression is – VERY nice aroma. Warm chopped hazelnuts, lemon peel and some white pepper. I even get some nutella, but that’s gone the second time I nose it.

A nutty almondy entrance, honey sweetness. It’s quite light bodied but has a nice warm lingering with a small hint of dark chocolate. There is some bitter citrus in the background. Light wood and a creamy mouthfeel. I really like this whiskey.
With a drop of water it becomes softer on the palate, and a bit more balanced. This isn’t always a good thing – it happens that more balance makes whiskeys less interesting. It’s not the case here though, I wish I had added water earlier!

Very nice whiskey and a worthy ending of the Revival series (of which I’ll try to taste more eventually).

This whiskey was sent to me from the brilliant Teeling whiskey company. All opinions & tasting notes are my own.

Teeling whiskey series

Teeling whiskeys: Brabazon bottling 1

Hello people, I hope you are well. I’ve been unable to post a few weeks because of exams, flu and other things going on but now I’m back on track, I hope.

I’m continuing my journey through the Teeling whiskey range. The Brabazon bottling series was released in 2017, and takes the name from the Brabazon family, who dominated the Liberties area in Dublin from the 16th to the 19th century, and became Earls of Meath.
The Brabazons laid out the market space at Newmarket, now home to the Teeling distillery. The area became an important area for business which attracted many tradesmen and crafts – among them Walter Teeling who started the original Teeling distillery in 1782. The Liberties housed several distilleries at the time, and because of this history, it’s a delight to see the distilling tradition return to the area in our days.
The Brabazon series celebrates the reason why Teeling and many other distillers came to this part of Dublin to begin with, and why they are coming back.

The Brabazon bottling number 1 is a vatting of single malt whiskeys from six different sherry casks, and bottled at 49,5% ABV. It’s non chill filtered and has no added colourings.

I opened this little bottle while spending a day in our new house, with no furniture other than my computer desk, no kitchen gear and no heating yet (let’s call it we have a DIY house). After several hours without heating and quite dull weather outside, I was frozen, and it was nice with a little dram. But it’s also a fact that whiskey needs a certain temperature to show its true identity, and I’m not sure how well I managed to warm it with my hand.

Teeling Brabazon bottling no 1

Not the very typical sherry aromas to me. Darker damp wood, mint chocolate, baked apple and cinnamon. A light medicinal feel. A quite odd mixture of aromas!

Dark wood, with very spicy or peppery attack as a first impression. There’s some undefined sweetness. The baked apple with cinnamon comes back, and the spicy notes follow along to a quite long and dry finish.
With a few drops of water there’s more vanilla and pepper on the nose, it becomes sweeter to the palate but loses some body and the more interesting characters.

This whiskey was generally quite odd to me – I find it a bit too indecisive and less balanced than their standard single malt for example. However, the extra spice suited my palate very well, especially on the day of tasting, and the fact that this whiskey also gave me a history lesson makes me like it more!

This whiskey was sent to me from the brilliant Teeling whiskey company. All opinions & tasting notes are my own.

Teeling whiskeys: The non age statement single malt

I received a very nice little parcel a few weeks ago. After I had published this post about the Teeling single pot still, a nice person at Teeling thought I should taste the award winning 24-year-old single malt, and I received not only that one, but a few other samples too.

There’s something else (other than the whiskeys) that is brilliant about this parcel…

No plastic packaging. This increases my respect and appreciation for Teeling even more! Every decent company these days should minimise the use of plastic packaging, or better yet, stop using it altogether. The only plastic that came with this parcel was there to cover the address label.

Plastic aside, I decided eventually that since I now have a nice little collection of Teeling whiskeys, and Teeling has loads of other interesting expressions out there to explore, to start this Teeling series, that will be published outside of the weekly reviews. I will start with the non-age statement single malt.

I’ve actually had a bottle of this in the past, but wasn’t particularly fond of it back then. I wonder what my taste buds were up to??! Then last summer I spent a few days with a friend to practice for a little gig and she had a bottle of it. And I loved it.

This whiskey is made from malt whiskey finished in five different wine casks: sherry, port, madeira, white burgundy, and cabernet sauvignon. One may think that this creates a final product that is very.. eh, undecided? Instead I think it’s nicely balanced. It’s a non-age statement whiskey but Teeling themselves write on their site that the oldest whiskey in this expression was distilled in 1991 – I’m not sure exactly which release I have here but however, likely they still use whiskey of a decent age in it. It’s bottled at 46% ABV.

I spent quite some time trying to define what my nose perceived on this one. A nice sweetness along with tropical fruits – bitter citrus such as grapefruit, pineapple, and perhaps apricot. Grass or hay, or it could be the malt. Also some hints of dried fruits, nice warm aromas.

More grapefruit and pineapple. Dry mouthfeel but there is also a hint of honey sweetness. There’s a nice mixture of bittersweet flavours where the sweetness takes the lead. Dried herbs or maybe cereals. There’s a nice lingering citrus-ey feel along with cloves or other spices.

I didn’t add water to this which I regret now when I read other people’s tasting notes. However, I will get the opportunity to do that. This is a lovely whiskey and I will definitely buy another full bottle of it quite soon, to enjoy more of it. I also love to see whiskey producers dare to try new things – such a variety of cask finishes in the same bottle can’t be very common. The final result is a very interesting (in the positive sense of the word) whiskey with nice depth and flavours that appeal to my palate.

This whiskey was sent to me from the brilliant Teeling whiskey company. All opinions & tasting notes are my own.

Teeling single pot still batch 2

Before saying anything else about Teeling, I want to congratulate them for having the 24-year-old single malt voted the World’s best single malt! I haven’t tasted this particular single malt, but I’ve really enjoyed the other single malts that I’ve tasted from them.

Since I came across my first Redbreast, I’ve always loved single pot still whiskeys. I’m thrilled to see new distilleries produce single pot still whiskey, because it is something unique to Ireland and I think it’s a shame that only one distillery has been producing them for so many years, until Dingle released their first.

If you want an update about what a single pot still whiskey is and some of the history around it, you can read my post about the Dingle single pot still.

I was of course very enthusiastic about the fact that Teeling’s first Dublin produced release was a single pot still. As everyone else has also stated, it was such a victory to see pot still whiskey production back in Dublin. I tasted the batch 1 when I visited the distillery in November last year.

I found the batch 1 quite poitìn-ey, which isn’t a great surprise for a 3-year-old whiskey, but I wondered why this one still had so much poitìn character that other 3-year-old whiskeys don’t.

However, I have been looking forward to seeing what more time in the cask would do to it, and when I read another blogger’s review of batch 2, it sounded like something I wanted to taste. From what I can find online, batch 2 has spent four months more in the cask than batch 1. Interesting that only four months can make such a difference!

The Teeling single pot still is triple distilled, bottled at 46% ABV, and made with 50% malted barley, and 50% unmalted spring barley. It’s matured in ex-bourbon, ex-wine, and in virgin oak casks. It’s an interesting combo, and I like it! I’m quite fond of virgin oak that, when used correctly, gives a nice woody character to the whiskey. Some people don’t like it at all, but I love it.

Orange peel or perhaps grapefruit. The citrus aroma is quite intense. There’s also something minty, and darker fruits as well as a spicy sweetness and something woody.

It has a nice soft mouthfeel. It has spice and sweetness, like from some dark sugar. I get white pepper with a long spicy finish.

When I add a drop of water, the aromas intensify and get more.. homogenous? On the palate it seems sweeter and with more body. It has a nice long finish as before. I really like this whiskey and I’m impressed with how much it has developed in this short time. The Teeling single pot still has lots of potential – and is already a very nice whiskey.

WOTW – Teeling small batch

It’s about time that I write about Teeling on this blog, isn’t it? I haven’t so far because – don’t hate me now – I haven’t been overly impressed by their whiskey. But I’ve changed my mind recently.

Whiskey making runs in the Teeling family, starting in 1782 when Walter Teeling established a small distillery in the Liberties, Dublin. His descendent John Teeling opened the Cooley distillery in 1989, and in 2012, the Teeling brothers Jack and Stephen moved on from Cooley and launched Teeling whiskey company. The new distillery opened in 2015, and this year we’re awaiting the first whiskey produced in their own distillery – Teeling whiskey making is back in the Liberties.

I came across Teeling for the first time in late 2016. I had never heard of them, but their small batch blend was in the standard stock at our Swedish Systembolaget all of a sudden. I bought a bottle, and really liked it. Since I came to know about Teeling, they have impressed me greatly with their marketing skills, because since 2016 the name Teeling whiskey has been EVERYWHERE. As I stated in the beginning of this post, for a while I wasn’t too excited about Teeling whiskey. I wanted whiskey at cask strength, amazing flavour bombs, lots of complexity, and I didn’t think the Teeling whiskey I had tasted at the time fell into that category. When I now take a sip of the small batch blend I don’t understand what my tongue was doing earlier – it’s a fabulous whiskey.

My taste has evolved quite a lot since I started exploring the world of Irish whiskey, I now appreciate also the more simple whiskeys, as well as the very complex, older, or stronger whiskeys. They are just different whiskeys that can’t be compared. I’ve also found that there are many Scottish whiskies that I’m not interested in anymore because they lack the sweetness that Irish whiskeys have.

I’ve now had the opportunity to discover more from Teeling, some of their older and more complex whiskeys. The oldest I’ve tasted was the 15-year-old though, so I still have some Teeling tasting to do!

My visit at Shelbourne bar in Cork in March this year was the starting point for my renewed interest in Teeling whiskey. If I remember correctly, I told Mark about my opinions about Teeling and asked him to give me something that would prove me wrong. And he sure did.

This 12-year-old single malt finished in Merlot cask was a real beauty, and definitely one in the flavour bomb category. Later at the beer & whisk(e)y fair in Göteborg, I tasted their very nice 15-year-old from the Revival series. I’ve also fallen in love with the Teeling single grain whiskey, that is a more simple whiskey but still gorgeous. The small batch blend has been ignored on my shelf for a while, but when I had a dram of it last night, my palate sang with joy. 

Recently I bought a sample of another single cask bottling distilled in 2004 and bottled in 2016 – a sherry cask matured whiskey that also was a beauty.

So as my taste in whiskey has evolved, I’ve changed my mind about Teeling whiskey. I’m excited to get the opportunity to taste more from them, as well as the ones I didn’t like in the past to see if I’ve changed my mind about them. And of course I’m enormously excited over their first Dublin distilled whiskey that will – to my great delight – be a single pot still.

So what about the Teeling small batch? It’s a nice blend that has been finished for 6 months in rum casks, and bottled at 46% ABV. It has won several awards, the best blended Irish whiskey €60 and under, Irish whiskey of the year, and many more (see them listed here).

Something spicy, cereals, grass or hay, citrus or possibly pineapple.

Beautiful soft vanilla, a hint of honey, perhaps a small bit of tropical fruits. Spicy finish with some dark chocolate. With two drops of water the aromas are more intense and there’s more wood and something medicinal to the nose. It becomes sweeter and softer to the palate and possibly has a longer finish, but the flavours are more interesting without adding water. 
In case you wonder, when I do my tastings, I first taste the whiskey neat and then I always add water, but only 1-2 drops. Even whiskeys at 40% can change character with a drop of water, and curious minds want to know. As a conclusion, the Teelings know what they are doing, and this small batch blend is a very nice tasty whiskey that you can get at a very nice price.

This is the last Whiskey of the week or review for a while – I’m very busy right now but I have lots of ideas for other types of articles, and hope to be able to make time to write them. Occasional reviews will show up if/when I come across something fabulous.