Friday 13 December 2013

Tasted #57: Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey

Despite the Teeling family having whiskey ties back to 1782, the Teeling Whiskey Company has only been around since 2013 - following Beam's purchase of the family's former distillery, Cooley, in 2011.

I read a lot about Teeling earlier this year, including some great reports, so when I saw it was available at Dan Murphy's, I figured I'd have my chance to do a write-up. The company kindly sent me a bottle to let me do just that.

I'll be honest here - in the past I was never a big fan of Irish Whiskey. Not sure why, I could just never get into it. That's been changing though, and I've since discovered some cracking Irish drams (Jameson 18yo and Red Breast 12yo spring to mind as some of the drams that changed my mind).

Teeling Small Batch is an interesting release. At under $49.99AUD, it's priced very competitively (especially considering the RRP in the UK works out to be closer to $60, and we typically pay a LOT more than converted UK RRP for whisk(e)y.) At under $50, in price terms it sits in Jameson, Johnny Black and Glenlivet 12yo territory, yet it differs from these whiskies in more ways than one:

  • 46% ABV
  • Non-chill filtered
  • "Small batch" (though no indication of what that really means)
  • Finished in Flor de Caña rum casks!
Not really your average, sub-$50 whiskey. Let's get into then shall we?

Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey (46% ABV, NAS, Dublin Ireland, $50AUD)

Colour: Light and golden - at a guess I'd say no caramel colouring here.

Nose: Sweet, youthful but not harsh (I guessed around 6 years of age, but apparently it's closer to 4yo - I hear this spirit is still from Cooley, their old distillery). Vanilla notes tell me it could have been aged in ex-Bourbon barrels prior to the rum cask finishing.

Palate: Smooth and relatively light - I would have picked it for closer to 40-43%. Buttery. A second sip shows a richer and creamier palate. The sort of whiskey you could sip all night.

Finish: Short and sherbert-y.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 89/100. A very respectable dram, and one you could easily sip all night. Considering that $50AUD doesn't get you a whole lot of Whisk(e)y in Australia, this should be considered a bargain. Definitely one to try if you're fond of Irish whiskey.

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