Many months ago, I picked up a bottle of Teeling's rum cask finish Irish whiskey. The bottle didn't last long as I was eager to share it with friends. It disappeared quickly, but not before I bottled a 5cl dram, which I tucked away for a rainy day. Well, it's dry in Scotland today, but it's time I got a few notes down, after all, other bottles need to be opened, tasted and blogged about, right.
I'm also taking the opportnity to review Teeling's Single Grain Irish whiskey alongside the rum cask finish. I bought a bottle for a great price in my local Oddbins and it's running low so in front of me, I have two drams, so I'm about to do a 'live' tasting.
Usually, I get into a bottle, taking notes as I go and then transfer them to the blog when I get a chance. Not tonight. I'll sniff and taste the whiskies and type up my findings as I get 'em, which is actually a good and immediate way to get things done.
Both whiskies are 46% and non-chill filtered and neither have an age statement. As Teeling are going for the full craft presentations - which I heartily approve of - I'll say right now that they're worth looking out for on your travels.
So, on with the show
Teeling Small Batch Irish Whisky - Rum Cask Finish
The rum influence jumps straight out for me as soon as I put my nose to the glass - not a heavily sweet dark rum, more of a lighter, fresher spirit. There's also juicy blackcurrants, blackberries, a musty vanilla, dark chocolate ganache, toffee, orange oil, sharp apples and a smudge of butter icing.
Take a swig and the light characteristics of the nose are instantly kicked into touch by a full bodied, rich sweet sensation. Again, blackcurrants are there, as are strawberries, lemon, cinnamon and vanilla. It's sweet, but not cloying and would make a very decent after dinner dessert whiskey.
The finish is dry and spicy, with loads of vanilla, oak, baked apples and burnt sugar. There's also a little caramel tucked away for good measure.
Time for a glass of water to cleanse the old palate.
Teeling Single Grain
Everything I've been led to believe in the past is that single grain whiskies take longer to age than single malts. This has no age statement - and I think it's quite young - but it packs a huge amounts of flavour. It should also be noted thatTeeling Single Grain is finished in wine casks, which I think has taken some of the rough edges away. Anyway...
On the nose it's floral, with Juicy Fruit chewing gum, vanilla, soft golden fruit, red jelly babies, white icing, tarte tatin - there's a definite buttery pastry note kicking about - light liquorice, a slight smokiness and red grapes.
A sip and a swirl reveals a slight rubbery note - not as pronounced as when I first opened the bottle - apples, golden syrup, treacle tart, sweet red fruits galore, nutmeg, cinnamon and white pepper.
The finish is thick and rounded, with more treacle, wood, sweet spices, custard creams and a slight sour note right at the back.
So, two excellent light, easy going whiskies with a good deal of complexity. Definitely worth adding to your shopping list.