Origin: Dublin (Ireland)
Type: Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Wine
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Teeling Whiskey Company
Average price: € 90.00
Official website: teelingwhiskey.com
The fourth and final bottling in this series named after the family that contributed to the rebirth of the neighbourhood in which Teeling is based, in which the distillery explored the influence of fortified wines on the maturation of whiskeys from Cooley’s vast stock of casks.
10,000 bottles filled in 2020 from 2007 casks where to the initial maturation in ex-Bourbon was added a couple of years in casks that contained a little-known Portuguese white fortified wine, Carcavelos, decidedly a minority in the country’s production scenario.
A curiosity comes from the label, in which Carcavelos is erroneously referred to as White Port, something that has given rise to lively protests from the protection consortium which, quite rightly, only assigns the title of Port to wines produced in a specific area to which Carcavelos doesn’t belong.
The initial approach to the nose in some respects makes me think of rum maturation, with notes of muscovado sugar, pear and lemon cream emerging first from the glass, along with a rather marked sulphurous streak. Dried fruit (orange, melon, apricot) also passes through the nostrils, with touches of acidity comparable to grapefruit juice. Flashes of cinnamon and coriander. Intense and pungent.
The palate is immediately warm and enveloping, with a well-balanced spiciness of pepper and cinnamon, placing more emphasis on fruit with pear, grapefruit, kiwi and currant, adding a cascade of muscovado sugar paste. Candied orange peel, almonds, a touch of aniseed and a slight herbaceous component in the background complete the picture, reintroducing the sulphurous vein that runs through the dram.
The finish is quite long with bitterish tendencies in which fruit, almonds, light touches of spice and vegetable notes return.
Two years in casks is hard to define as simple finishing, so much so that the influence of the Portuguese wine appears massive to the point of almost completely obscuring that of the bourbon. The end result is not exactly balanced but has several points of interest and is certainly neither boring nor easy, well embedded in the distillery’s philosophy.