As a very proud Scotsman, it has historically been very difficult for me to accept that there are whiskies worth drinking that aren’t made in Scotland. After all, Scotch whisky is the only place to go for the best whisky right?
Well, over the past few years, that view has very much been dispelled. More and more we are seeing whiskies from around the world that are on a level, if not better than the very best of the Scottish whisky offerings.
The first that really opened my eyes to this was the Japanese offerings from the Suntory Distillery – Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve and Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve. These really are on a par to any Scotch whisky I have ever tasted and they really opened my eyes to potential out there, outside of Scotland’s borders.
The whisky, or whiskey as it should be that is on review today firmly falls into the category of whiskeys from outside of Scotland that are really pushing the boundaries. Teeling Single Malt is an absolute pleasure to drink. Although I’m not sure I’ll ever feel truly comfortable with writing whiskey with an ‘e’, as whiskies from outside of Scotland are referred to.
Since 1782 the Teeling family has been crafting Irish whiskey. It all began with Walter Teeling in 1782, when he set up a craft distillery on Marrowbone Lane in the famous whiskey producing Liberties area of Dublin. This set in motion a 230-year family tradition for distilling the finest of whiskeys.
The new Teeling Whiskey Distillery, where this offering comes from is the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years, and is little more than a stone’s throw from where Walter Teeling first opened his original distillery 1782.
The incredibly high-quality single malt offering that they have produced is an absolute triumph. It consists of five different wine cask finished Irish Malt Whiskeys (Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon), with various ages including malt whiskey distilled in 1991.
The Teeling Single Malt does not go through a chill filtration process, which allows it to retain all the natural flavours of the various different wine casks.
The first thing you notice on the nose is the unmistakable influence of the 5 types of wine cask that the single malt in this whiskey has been finished in. To my nose, the sherry cask is undoubtedly the strongest and gives this a very pleasant smell, with a slight sweetness.
In the mouth, this drink really comes alive. There is an explosion of intense fruity flavours, with the grapes coming to the fore. There is the expected hint of vanilla and a strong malty backbone throughout, which is complimented well by dry fruits and a slight spice.
For a whiskey with so much going on in it, it’s incredibly well balanced and smooth. The finish in the mouth is long and pleasant with a late hit of slightly bitter tannins from the wood casks.
We honestly couldn’t recommend Teeling Single Malt Whiskey highly enough. It is a very unique whiskey and won’t be like many you have tasted before. Quite how they have managed to balance all of those flavours into a whiskey that works I’m not quite sure, but my word they have succeeded. Our only real issue with it, is that it further adds to the growing list of whiskeys that can compete with Scotch Whisky’s.
If you ever find yourself at a loose end in Dublin, you can go to the distillery itself for guided tours and tasting sessions. Or if you’re feeling particularly dapper, why not go for a “Teeling whiskey, dot brew and seasonal cheese pairing evening”, although we advise you to pre-book due to very high demand
To get your hands on a bottle of Teeling Single Malt, head over to The Whisky Exchange where a 70cl bottle will cost you £43.95