Teeling Whiskey

Teeling: Small Batch Whisky (Irish Blended Whiskey: 46% ABV)

Visual: Light gold.

Viscosity: Fast thick streaks.

Nose: Raisins. Some alcohol burn. Pencil shavings. Water soothes and adds floral notes.

Body: Smooth. Pears and custard cream centres. Raisins. Dried spice. Noticeable alcohol. Plums. Oak. Glacier cherries. Water soothes and makes sweeter. Toffee. Apple comes out against darker fruit. Marzipan or maybe almonds.

Finish: Malt chocolate. Dried spice. Oak. Malt loaf. Again water soothes to add toffee and apples.

Conclusion: Thanks to the guys at Independent Spirit for introducing me to this little gem. Then again, considering they got money out of me afterwards, it probably wasn’t born of a hundred percent altruism. But still many thanks.

Now, taken neat this thing is a bit fiery, it has lots of raisins and dark fruit, and a bit of spice, but it is a bit of an effort to get to them. Nice but you struggle against the initial burn. The flavours don’t feel too heavy, but there is still a certain weight to the whisky.

Now, with water, now that is another story. With water the smoother Irish whiskey character comes into play. There’s very easy sipping toffee and custard, but bringing that out has not diminished that raisins and dark fruit character before; It still hangs on, as does the warming spice, now warming you with that character rather than alcohol burn. A satisfying improvement. You quickly realise it is a whiskey that really needs that water, but with it, it carefully straddles the line between flavour and ease of drinking. Now at a bit stronger than normal abv, it goes down way too easy with water, but always gives you a flavour experience that is worth it.

Some easy drinking whiskeys can seem slightly dull, or light, but that is not an issue here. The rum cask ageing is just what was needed, accentuating the character with dark fruit notes, but not to the degree it overwhelms. It reminds me of my now vague memories of Caribbean rum cask aged Bushmills which has not existed for many a year. In the absence of that, this makes a nice replacement.

Even neat it should not be written off, it is harsher, but has a worthy character. Harsh edged, but the flavours are slightly better defined. Quality, if harder to interrogate.

So, yes, it does suffer from grain fire, but that is easily remedied with water. It has rough edges, but I have always had a soft spot for that. At its price point this is a remarkably high quality whisky, and a distinctive mix of characteristics. For the price it is a steal

Background: This is an interesting one, lets see how much I can remember, and hopefully get right, from what I was told. Teeling came from one of the founders of a big Irish whisky company, who, on leaving, managed to take get a large selection of casks of Irish whisky. This is made from those casks, blended together, then finished in rum casks. If you are doing a thesis on this don’t quote me on that, I’m going by memory. Whisky addled memory. Anyway, I was given a sample of this at Independent Spirit, and highly enjoyed it, so I bought a bottle, and I am now reviewing it. This was drunk while Listening to Ihsahn – After, to take a short break from my recent riot girl punk kick.

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