This single cask Teeling 24 Years was bottled for the tenth anniversary of The Nectar in Belgium.
It is special whiskey in the sense that it was distilled from crystal malt, a practice long utilized at Bushmills. Crystal malts are made by cooking malted barley in a pressure cooker, prior to kilning it. The cooking process breaks down the starches into sugars more efficiently than in the normal procedure. The heat from the kilning then caramelizes these extra sugars which introduces specific aromas and flavours. The spirit was matured in a sherry cask.
Teeling ‘Vintage Reserve’ 24 yo (51,5%, OB for The Nectar 2016, sherry cask #6766, 270 btl.)
Nose: a surprisingly buttery profile compared to most of the other Teelings. Babelutte, brown rock sugar, toffee… Then some forest berries and dates set in. You can sense the original, bright character of old Irish whiskey is still there (pink grapefruit, maracuya, pineapple), but it feels a bit more bloated and for me it takes away part of the magic. No need for caramel aromas in this.
Mouth: nicer, crisper, more classical, with a really creamy texture. Quite some milk chocolate now, with a tropical fruit ganache. Grapefruit, pineapple. Stone fruits. Some spices from the oak.
Finish: long, still bright and fruity but it also returns to its toffee side.
Great Irish whiskey, no doubt, and I hear many people really appreciated this slightly deviant profile, but I’m personally not a fan of toffee and caramel aromas when it’s masking a bright fruitiness. I prefer one of the other single cask Teelings from The Nectar. In stores soon – around € 300.