Wednesday 19 August 2015

Teeling Whisky range expands in Australia - Silver Reserve 21yo and Single Malt launched (Tasted #201-202)

We've gushed about Teeling Whiskey Co once or twice (actually a lot more) on this blog, and with good reason - it's the first Irish whiskey that's genuinely gotten us excited about, well, Irish whiskey. Not just because everything they've released so far is:

  1. Extremely high quality; and
  2. Incredibly good value

..but also because of their interesting use of different finishes. With their core lineup consisting of whisky finished in Flor de Caña rum casks, Sauternes casks, Californian cab sauv casks, and the new (to Australia) Single Malt which receives finishing in five different wine casks, this isn't your ordinary distillery pumping out nothing but Bourbon and Sherry-aged stock.

Now, fancy finishes are all well and good, but they really only matter if the end product is good...and with Teeling, it really is. Their Single Grain is a whiskey I'd happily sip every day, and costs a meager $59.90AUD (not yet available in HK, though that may well change soon). Their "Small Batch" (which we first tried back in 2013) is probably one of the best value whiskies you can find for $52.99AUD, and their 21 year old single malt, See our thoughts below.

A trade launch was held in Australia on Monday night, coinciding with the Australian launch of the 21yo ($199.99AUD) and the Single Malt ($79.99AUD). They join the Small Batch and Single Grain which we've previously tried (here and here).

So what makes the Single Malt and 21yo so interesting? As mentioned above, the Single Malt is finished in 5 different wine casks (Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon) and despite being an NAS whiskey, features malt barrelled in 1991.

The "Silver Reserve" 21yo Single Malt (which contains a small amount of lightly peated malt) was aged for 20 years in Bourbon, before undergoing a 1 year finishing in Sauternes (and we do love a good Sauternes-finished whisky here). Both whiskies (in fact, the whole range) are bottled at a very respectable 46%, are non-chill filtered, and have recently won the "Worlds Best Irish Single Malt" awards at the WWA (the 21yo 2014 and the Single Malt in 2015)

So....our thoughts? Read on...

Teeling Whisky Company Single Malt Irish Whiskey (46% ABV, NAS, Dublin Ireland, $79.99AUD)
Colour: Golden copper.

Nose: Rich and fruity. Some lighter sherry-style notes (Christmas cake, raisings), but also some fresh grapes and even some strawberries.

Palate: Slight citrus zest at first, quickly developing into a bold, almost meaty palate. Definite berries on the palate too - raspberries I'd say.

Finish: Medium to long, with sweet red berries, fruit cake and a hint of masala-chai.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 91/100.

Teeling Whisky "Silver Reserve" 21yo Single Malt Whiskey (46% ABV, NAS, Dublin Ireland, $199.99AUD)
Colour: Dark orange copper.

Nose: Massive fruity bouquet. Tropical notes - passionfruit, some cashew, caramel sauce and pineapple sorbet.

Palate: Fruit but with a hint of spice. Sweet pineapple runs throughout, with a moreish nuttiness initially, leading into stronger, spicier notes - almost Tobasco-sauce like.

Finish: Long, lush and sweet. The tropical fruitiness lingers, and is accompanied by some whipped cream at the very end.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 94/100.
In one sentence: "Like a Hawaiian pizza with a hint of Tobasco sauce, followed up by a tropical fruit salad for dessert. Magic." 


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