Another start of the year well-aged Teeling exclusive from The Whisky Exchange – and why not – such things rarely disappoint. This time around we’re in similar territory to 2021 (though at a notably higher ABV) – a single rum cask (#10568) from an unspecified distillery matured for 29 years and then bottled at 52.4% ABV. It’s still available from The Whisky Exchange for £595.
Nose: A polished and syrupy fruit melange that initially presents with tartness but relaxes and sweetens within the glass. Tangerines, mandarins and nectarines sit alongside balled melon, whilst golden syrup joins lime cream and an almost chalky oak presenting putty and tile grout. Over time, the fruit component broadens suggesting mango and lychee. Entirely lovely of course. Reduction offers dried pineapple chunks together with ginger spiced cookie dough and dusty cinnamon powder.
Taste: Vivid and vibrant. Mango, guava and dragon fruit open and develop into kiwi, melon and a tarter lime and grapefruit. Lemon cough syrup sits with cinnamon and lacquered wood and brass polish, whilst gentle white pepper tingles. Reduction interestingly reveals the rum maturation with dark sugars, flambe banana and burnt orange peels.
Finish: Medium. Still expressively fruit-driven with a citrus tang in-step with oaky vanilla and unfined sugary sweetness.
Whilst I couldn’t discern the rum cask until the palate was diluted, that’s not any type of criticism here – this is in all regards an excellent, well-matured, fruit-forward, Irish whiskey. Very hard to pick fault with – however, I still preferred the slightly more complex 1991 27 year old TWE Exclusive (cask #10678), which was also matured in a rum cask and was released pretty much spot on two years earlier. That release was pegged at £460 so that’s a 22% price increase for 2 additional years of patience.
Review sample provided by The Whisky Exchange