A few weeks ago I had the chance to be in an online Teeling Whiskey tasting in which we tried three distillery exclusives. I’ll start with the highlight if you don’t mind.
Teeling 23 yo 1996 ‘Fill Your Own’ (50,4%, OB ‘Single Malt’ 2020, rum cask #154021)
Nose: really aromatic, plenty of bananas, some fresh, some baked. Toffee notes but also a bright passion fruit note. Pineapples and peaches. Vanilla ice cream. Subtle spice. My kinda Irish whiskey.
Mouth: quite a fruit explosion and far, far more tropical than any of the whiskeys below. Pink grapefruits and passion fruits, banana candy, bright at first but growing darker over time, evolving towards molasses. Subtle almonds and subtle green, grassy touches.
Finish: quite long, still very bright and fruity, although there’s also a drier woody element.
Excellent stuff, really close to their lovely 24 Years, 26 Years and so on. Rum maturation really suites the distillery profile and this cask comes warmly recommended. Around € 300, also available online.
Next up: the third Distillery Exclusive bottling, finished in Chinkapin oak, officially known as Quercus Muehlenbergii. It is an American oak that is more subtle and floral, with a lot less vanilla than the typical Quercus Alba. Teeling used virgin Chinkapin for an 18 month finish.
Teeling Distillery Exclusive – Chinkapin Oak (46%, OB 2019)
Nose: a bit reserved, with plenty of citrusy notes (lemon sourness) before it moves to marzipan and a hint of marshmallow. Toffee. Also spicy notes and sawdust, not unlike a virgin oak finished whisk(e)y but less punchy.
Mouth: sweet and oily, with some butterscotch creaminess, popcorn and vanilla biscuits, but always with this citrusy lightness to it as well. Then there’s more spiciness and dryness. Liquorice. Pepper and nutmeg, but smoother and more balanced than virgin white oak, I’d say.
Finish: medium, with more grains coming out now, caramel and
This wood type doesn’t result in an extremely unique whiskey, I’d say, but the result is rather interesting nonetheless. Around € 60. Currently available from the distillery shop, with a personalised label. Also available online.
The last one is a single pot still whiskey matured in bourbon wood and bottled at cask strength. It will be available soon as a ‘fill your own’ release, replacing the current 2015 vintage.
Teeling Single Pot Still – Bourbon cask (62,8%, OB 2020, distillery shop exclusive)
Nose: a lot of vanilla and a lot of spice, mixed with (unmalted) grainy notes. Crème brûlée and big honey sweetness. Citrusy hints before it gets thicker with a hint of guava fruit and tinned pineapple. A bit of a syrupy nose with plenty of fragrant oaky layers on top of that.
Mouth: plenty of oak spice. Nutmeg and pepper. Also big waves of honeyed cereals and coconut cream. Tinned pineapple again. Candy floss. Still a bit young and simple, in my opinion, but the foundations are good.
Finish: medium length, with a slightly rough edge and a grassy side, before going back to the syrupy fruits in the very end.
This relies very much on the white oak, and because of its youth there’s not a lot to counterbalance it. A bit harsh, at least in this line-up. Score: 81/100