We’ve had the pleasure to join a virtual tour and tasting by Teeling Whiskey last week. Since live tours are a bit difficult at the moment, this was a refreshing thing to participate in.
We’ve got to know a lot about Teeling, accompanied by three drams. We were intrigued by their vision and experimentation with different types of casks and even more so: where the casks are sourced from. Teeling believes in small local businesses, and so they use, for example, beer and rum casks from breweries/distilleries that aren’t globally known.
Today we’re going to talk about the Teeling Small Batch. A premium blended whiskey from column and pot still distillation, that is made out of 75% corn and 25% malted barley. It has matured on bourbon casks, with a finish of central American rum casks. It’s bottled at a lovely 46%:
Fresh and sweet, lots of vanilla notes with coconut, aniseed and churros. Remember our Runaway Bay Rum review: it has some similarities on the nose. We can safely say the rum cask finish did its work.
Sweet and tingly on the palate, waves of vanilla, pineapple, spices, apricots and wood shavings dance around the tongue. It’s wonderfully fresh and spicy, but nowhere harsh or grainy. No signs of cardboard as well, which we come back to later.
The finish is short, but pleasant. A nice balancing act of bourbon and rum cask influences. The rum is noticeable in the form of coconut and apple pie. A trace of ginger, wood and cinnamon give away the fact that this surely is a whiskey we’re talking about.
It’s incredibly easy to drink, which makes this a good summer evening dram or something that would work perfectly in a cocktail. We liked the Single Grain and Single Malt better in comparison, but as we tasted it on its own, it truly convinced us that this is well crafted too.
As for the cardboard: our relationship with rum cask finishes and maturations isn’t quite the love story. The only perfect one we had was the peated Benriach Arumaticus Fumosus. But drams like Glenfiddich Fire & Cane left us with a cardboard taste in our mouths. Even the Balvenie Caribbean Cask didn’t work for us (sorry guys, we know many of you love it).
Teeling found the right balance right here. It might be the surprise (we didn’t expect too much) or the magic of the tour, albeit virtually. But guys at Teeling, you’ve got our attention, we’re looking forward to explore you even further!
Some birds whispered that something really good is on its way, we’re ready.