The pandemic has brought us misery, but it also has caused companies to be creative and find new ways to keep their businesses going. Examples of this in the drinks industry are virtual tastings and festivals as mentioned in my previous post, but also the possibility to buy whiskey samples online from pubs. This is a service I really, really appreciate.
Lately I've been sceptical about buying full bottles of whiskeys I know nothing about. I prefer tasting them first, and then buy a bottle if I like it. I believe there are many like me - for financial or other reasons. Being able to buy whiskey samples can only benefit the whiskey industry. It’s very likely that more people will buy bottles if they have an opportunity to taste the whiskey first, also during normal times with pubs open. Not everyone lives near a specialised whiskey bar, and ordinary bars won't have the new shiny Liberators, Bill Phils, Brabazons or similar..
I remember asking on Twitter some time in April if it was possible to buy samples somewhere in Ireland, similar to the Drinks by the dram by Master of malt. Then later, Bar 1661 in Dublin started selling drams, and Dick Mack's of Dingle came along with their Dream Drams. Now also my favourite whiskey bar, Shelbourne, has a takeaway whiskey sample service.
One of the samples I've purchased from Dick Mack's is a Teeling single cask whiskey bottled for An Púcán, a whiskey bar in Galway. Their whiskey menu looks amazing, and after the pandemic, when we have reason to visit Galway, I'll definitely visit.
This Teeling whiskey is distilled in 2002, matured in a bourbon cask, and has then spent a year in a Carcavelos white port pipe. Here's more to learn for me, I didn't even know white port existed! 140 bottles at 56% ABV were produced of this whiskey and I guess I can count myself lucky to have had the opportunity to taste this.
So, how did I like this whiskey?
Tropical fruit, leather, wood spice and toffee.
A lovely mouth-coating whiskey. It's filled with sweet fruits and spice - there's apricot or peach, then cloves and cinnamon or possibly cardamom with a long spicy finish. There's a hint of chocolate too. With a drop of water the oils come forward with a lovely mouthfeel and more sweetness. Very delicious!