St. Paddy’s is coming! Choose your Teeling!!

Sunday is Saint Patrick’s Day and then we celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. Originally this happened only in Ireland, but since the Irish travelled a lot during the 19th century, now the entire planet turns green on the 17th of march! And as we know, every celebration comes with a good drink, but the problem is which one first. In order to solve this we were invited by our good friends from The Nectar to join a Teeling Tasting, hosted by Chris Hayes, in a small whisky temple (Dram 242) in a village called Moorsel.

Oh, you will be having a Teeling, I tell you! Why? Simply because it’s the flaming best of the new Irish Whiskeys out there. It’s the leading spirit of the Irish Whiskey Revival. It’s the Soul of Dublin. Mark my words, this Phoenix will conquer the world in no time. We were lucky to have visited their distillery at the Liberties in Dublin (and their spectacular warehouse outside of Dublin) and meet the visionary people behind this fantastic brand. Every other Teeling expression tastes completely different from the last one, all are amazing. It’s a young, passionate brand without pretense and recently the new distillery released it’s very own Single Pot Still. So let’s have a look at some Teelings.

Teeling Single Pot Still

Remember that Teeling is the first distillery in Dublin in 125 years and this is their very own first Single Pot Still. Single Pot Still is a type of whiskey, it is what you could call the defining style of Irish whisky. It means that it is made in a single distillery out of a mash of malted and unmalted barley. It is this combination of malted and unmalted barley that produces the typical mellow flavours of Irish Whiskey. For centuries Single Pot Still was the most popular whisky in the world and was found better than Scotch. And this remained to be the case up and until the demise of 90% of all Irish distilleries. But now they’re back!

The Teeling Single Pot Still is a 50-50% malted and unmalted whiskey matured on three different barrels: American Bourbon, Oloroso Sherry (Portuguese Oak) and white Burgundy wine. This would be your ideal choice as a celebratory whiskey for St.Paddy’s Day. Its flavour notes are: butterscotch, vanilla, spices, pepper, confit lemon, barley and even a hint of hibiscus.

It should be their new standard whiskey in my opinion, but sadly there are only 60.000 bottles of it. And only 600 of those for Belgium. So you better be quick!

Teeling Plantation Rum

Whiskey and rum, why not? Teeling whiskey finished on ex-rum barrels is something they did before with Trois Rivières rum agricole, the result was amazing and an immediate favourite of mine (but then again, we do love agricole). Now they have done the same with ex Plantation rum barrels and needless to say: we are also big fans of Plantation rums, so we were very curious about this one. The result is again splendid and when it first hits your palate you’re actually wondering whether it is rum or whiskey you’re tasting. There’s something about Irish whiskey that makes it blend perfectly with rum apparently. This expression is very rich and fruity with hints of chocolate and apple toffee. If you really do force us to choose, we’d go for the Trois Rivières, but then again, we really do love agricole.

Teeling Barley Wine

Now this is something new! You should know that several of the Teeling whiskey makers have a beer brewing background and this is clearly represented in their whiskeys. Barley Wine surely being one of them. Barley wine is actually a type of beer with high alcohol percentage and lots of sugars. Very popular as a winter type of beer. Westvleteren 12, for instance, is a typical barley wine. Now at Teeling they used a barrel of barley wine to finish off their whiskey for 9-12 months and the result is quite nice. It has a pale colour and hop notes as well as pine and dry spices. The flavour is not very unlike our own Omer Beer.

Teeling Chocolate Porter

There is something about Irish whiskey that also makes it blend perfectly with beer apparently. This time the Teeling boys finished their whiskey on Ganys’ Dark Forest Beer. Ganys is a Lithuanian brewer and the Dark Forest is – as you might have guessed – a chocolate porter. Now porter is a dark style of beer, much like a stout, originally brewed in London and the chocolate refers to the type of malt used in the beer. With a name like chocolate porter you immediately expect something very sweet, right? Well, it isn’t. It’s spectacular in flavour, not too sweet at all, with hints of roasted coffee and a dry cacao finish. A must try!

Teeling Revival N° V

The Revival range was started to commemorate their comeback as Dublin Whiskey Distillers and the start of Teeling Whiskey. The fifth expression being the final one of the Revival range is a 12 years old Single Malt, finished on cognac and brandy barrels. A real beaut! Hints of roasted almonds, vanilla, grapeskin and a crisp, dry finish. A beautiful whiskey to enjoy.

Teeling Vintage Reserve 24 years old

This is the beast! This was love on first sight. It’s amazing, a fantastic balance of unusual flavour combinations. It’s also 10% peated, which is unusual for an Irish Whiskey (but not unheard of). It has rested for 21 years on bourbon barrels and 3 years on Sauterne wine barrels. The result is actually difficult to describe, because it has everything going on there. It’s fruity, from the exotic to black currant, it has almonds and coffee with a hint of peat, lots of spice and a dry wine finish. It was awarded the medal of World’s Best Single Malt of 2016 and it well deserves so. You should own this bottle.

Cheers! And remember, sunday everybody’s Irish for one day. You want a tune with that? Fine! My daughter, Juno, became 3 years old yesterday and below is a tune from a movie she really loves. Enjoy!

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