Teeling Single Malt

Teeling Header

Would you believe it, for all the Irish whiskey I’ve tasted over the years, including this very special Teeling whiskey, I’ve never properly tasted their single malt. I’ve sampled it at whisky festivals, and been poured a dram while with friends, but I’ve never sat down and given the whiskey my undivided attention. Time to rectify that.

The Teeling brand has gained more and more momentum, and fans, since the family-owned distillery first produced spirit back in March 2015. The family has a much longer association with the Irish whiskey industry, what with Walter Teeling having set up a micro-distillery in the Liberties area of Dublin in 1782. Fast forward to 1985 and, several generations later, John Teeling buys a former potato schnapps distillery and converts it into a whiskey distillery within two years. This distillery, originally known as Cooley and now known as Kilbeggan, was the first new distillery to open in Ireland in over 100 years, and it marked the re-introduction of the Teeling name back into Irish whiskey distilling. Having sold this distillery to what is now Beam Suntory in 2012, John’s sons, Jack and Stephen, established the Teeling Whisky Company, initially as an independent bottler and, more recently, as a distiller.

Part of the T&Cs involved with the sale of Cooley included the transfer of approximately 16,000 cask of mature Cooley spirit to the Teeling brothers. Presumably some of this stock, as well as maybe a wee bit of Bushmills, comprised the initial releases of Teeling Single Malt, but now the Teelings’ own stock is over 5 years old, so I wonder if they’ve started to use a bit of their own juice in the recipe now. Either way, a selection of five wine-cask-finished-whiskeys were used for this release, including sherry, port, madeira, white Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon. This should be fun.

Teeling Single Malt
Irish Whiskey
46% ABV
£52.95 here

Nose: Juicy orchard fruits initially, then some gooseberry and pink grapefruit. Then there’s floral honey, malt biscuits, sugared almonds, a light ginger spice, and soft, sweet oak.

Palate: Soft and enticing, with floral and perfumed notes initially, followed by banana, candied pineapple, orange blossom, apple crumble, and just a touch of chocolate.

Finish: Those fruits linger, and the ginger is back along with creamy oakiness.

Overall: The liquid as a whole is delicious, extremely moreish, and great value at around £50. I was worried that all those cask types wouldn’t really work together, or that one cask type would dominate and leave the others redundant, but the exact opposite is true; they work nicely together to create a really well balanced whiskey. The nuances of each cask type integrate seamlessly to create a beautifully crafted product, and one which brought back fantastic memories of sharing a bottle at pre-lockdown gatherings. It’s that kind of whiskey – widely palatable, sessionable (responsibly, of course), and a great example of Irish single malt.




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