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Teeling Small Batch whiskey, 46% ABV
Star rating: 4/5
Teeling Small Batch has no age statement, but is made with whiskies that are up to six-years-old. While it’s said to be made with a pleasingly high proportion of malt to grain, there’s no definitive labelling on that front.
The whiskey is not chill-filtered and is bottled at 46%. All pretty standard so far, but what sets it apart from others is the rum barrel finish – it spends six months in casks from Central America. On the nose you get lots of vanilla, soft fudge and toffee, brown sugar, sweet apple and floral notes amongst the spice.
On the palate, the whiskey is light, with an ever-present note of dark sugar. Smooth, with a tiny prickle of heat, you also get hints of banana, apple, lots of nutmeg and vanilla. The finish has a woody note that keeps all that sweetness in check.
The complexity is fascinating, tending towards the character of rum. It echoes the brand’s rich family history, which goes back to the 18th century when Walter Teeling founded a distillery in Dublin, inspiring his descendent John Teeling to do the same in 1987.
John’s sons continue the work and together, they’ve been an important part of the revival of Irish whiskey over the last thirty years. In 2015 their new Teeling distillery in The Liberties, Dublin, began operations using unusual cask finishes to keep things fresh.
The perfect pour
For a sipping whiskey, a simple ice cube would set Teeling Small Batch off nicely. However, cocktails seem a natural playing ground, as you have those notes of dark sugar and light spice to play with.
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