Any conversation around Irish single malt invariable revolves around a discussion as to whether a whiskey is from either Bushmills of Cooley. A rather binary guess. In time, with the new range of Irish distilleries coming on stream, there’s going to be much more choice and variance within the market, but for the time being sourced whiskey – especially single malt is utilised extensively by bottlers to build up their cash reserves during their early years.
Teeling’s Single Malt – from their holdings of Cooley single malt stock is an interesting beast. Whilst issued as an NAS, its composition is far from simple - sherry, port, madeira, white Burgundy and cabernet sauvignon have all been combined to form an end result NAS expression which, according to my research, has some constituent components up to 23 years of age (but probably a rather small percentage). The bottle is delivered at 46% ABV and can be purchased for a little over £40 from Master of Malt – be warned, the price variance on this one is quite large with some retailers changing up to 25% more.
Nose: Bright orchard fruits and plenty of confectionary along for the ride – crisp apples and delicate pineapple with Jolly Rancher hard candy and gummy sweets. There’s a strong aromatic floral undertone here – lavender, cut grass, lemon balm and wild honey. Straight-forward, but rather welcoming all the same. The addition of water brings out creaminess with vanilla and yoghurt alongside cut grass and gooseberries.
Taste: Fruit-forward with sugar-dusted pineapple slices, tart grapefruit and lemon curd. Candy floss and icing sugar provide more saccharine treats, whilst buttery biscuits and sponge cake bring us back down towards a more malt-based mid-palate. Spices build, enveloping the mouth in pepper and ginger – zingy with bitterness increasing in to the back palate. Dilution moves things away from the fruity spectrum with white chocolate, malted bread and rolled pastry.
Finish: Medium with fading peppery spice, sour green apple and prevailing oakiness which falls partway between sappy and resinous.
Teeling Single Malt ticks a fair few boxes for me. It’s explicitly fruity (which is what one wants and expects from Irish whiskey right?), but build on a solid malt base that provides both depth and balance. Whilst more expensive than both the Small Batch and Single Grain released, the quality vs. price still feels pretty good here.
Review sample provided by Maverick Drinks
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