Last week there was a Twitter Tasting of the new Single Malt whiskey from Teeling Distillery in Ireland. They’re in the process of building a distillery but this was from their current releases in which they buy and blend mature stock from the few Irish distilleries that are available. Since it is a SINGLE malt, it must be either a Bushmills or Cooley. Not a clue which, of course.
This whiskey was released a short while ago and at a surprisingly affordable price, of about € 50 in The Netherlands.
Regarding that Twitter Tasting. When I applied I had of course forgotten that this would be in the first week of the Blind Tasting competition, so there would be enough whisky action anyway, so I had to fit this in before the other dram. Luckily, with the tasting consisting of only the Single Malt, this turned out to not be a problem.
The whiskey consists of drams up to 23 years old (this doesn’t help in pinning down which distillery it is), and was matured in wine casks, sherry, port, Madeira white Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon. One more cask type and you’d be on Dalmore’s King Alexander level!
The nose is quite rich, with some vanilla and banana at first. Off to a sweet start! There’s some toffee after that, with pastry cream and ripe pears. After a little while longer there’s some minor hints of cracked black pepper and cookie dough. If you search hard, which is what happens in the rather suggestive Twitter Tastings you might find cloves and blackberries, and cantaloupe melons.
With the pastry cream this might work well with Apfel Strudel.
The palate is slightly more spicy than the nose. The vanilla is still here but now I get some rather ‘present’ notes of saffron. I don’t think I ever had that before. Very smooth, but quite sweet. Cantaloupe, pear drops, mango. The casks show themselves and I get a jumble of fortified wines and a touch of pepper. The Madeira shows stronger than the sherry does. Quite nutty. Also, Apfel strudel, ginger and lemon curd.
On the finish the ginger gets stronger and for some reason this also makes some dried fruits pop up. The nuts of the Madeira are slightly stronger too.
At first I was a bit apprehensive, mostly because of the huge variety of casks used. This makes for a bit of a jumble and would explain the massive amount of different notes. I’m not entirely sure the white and red wines added all that much since I contribute most of the flavors to the other casks. But then again, what do I know?
While I didn’t state it all that much, most flavors I got are sweet. This makes for a pretty sweet whisky, flavorwise (not the subjective ‘sweet’). Even though there are increasing notes of ginger up to a level of ginger snaps (which I really craved after the tasting). So there are some spices, mostly ginger that grows as you let it sit, and a touch of pepper. Apart from that there’s vanilla and all kinds of sweet fruity notes.
I think, to my palate it is a little bit too sweet, although the increased complexity would put this just above, say, Redbreast 12.
So, an interesting whisky, but not one for my wishlist. It’s just slightly too sweet for me. If you like sweet whiskeys, get this.
Teeling Single Malt Whiskey, 46%, available at DH17 for € 48.50
Full Disclosure: I got this sample for free from Teeling Whiskey and The Whisky Wire for participating in their Twitter Tasting. My own opinions though.