Review: Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Teeling SB 1.jpg
Rum Cask Finish
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Cooley (Louth, Ireland)

Jack and Stephen Teeling, the sons of the founder of the Cooley distillery (John Teeling) started up a sourced Irish whiskey brand with great success, leading to the first new distillery in dublin in 125 years in 2015 (at one point, Dublin was one of the biggest distilling powerhouses in the world). Whiskey is in their blood, with an ancestor having built a Dublin distillery in 1782 which is long lost - however, it leads to the brand image of a phoenix rising from a pot still as the Teeling brand is re-established (though, admittedly, Teelings have been involved in the business before the brand started up). The small batch is perhaps their most well known whiskey, non-chill filtered and a blend of corn grain whisky and single malt.

Review (2018)

  • Batch: 04/2017

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

An oaky, and very spicy nose. It reminds me of walking into an Indian grocer, with all the spices sitting out and giving a rich, exotic, spice reminding me of countless curries. Fennel, cardamom, pickled mangoes, apple, toasted coriander seed,  and a rich oily, grainy character. There is fancy molasses, definitely, on the nose, but I didn’t notice it until I started to look for it.

The palate is rich, with a nice integration of a sharp barley character – terrific mouthfeel and spiciness – and telling a long story leading into a spicy and creamy pot still character. Banana, milk chocolate, and green pear - The finish is spicy with lots of white pepper, banana splits, green wood, pear, and carrot cake.

If it didn’t say so, I’m not sure I would have noticed the rum in this. 46% is a nice touch, especially given the youth – I think it would suffer significantly with a smaller punch.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, based on $56.