Ireland Teeling Distillery Whisky from 50 to 100 euros

Teeling Sommelier Selection Douro Old Vines

Review of the Small Batch finished in ex-Portoguese wine casks

Origin: Dublin (Ireland)
Type: Blended Irish Whiskey
Strength: 46%ABV
Ageing casks: Ex-bourbon, ex-Rum, ex-Douro wine
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Teeling Whiskey Company
Average price: € 95.00
Official website: teelingwhiskey.com
Vote: 87/100

The Sommelier Selection consists of five bottlings featuring Small Batch in as many ex-wine barrels.
The first two saw the influence of French wines, Margaux and Sauternes, the next pair moved to Italy with Amarone and Recioto, and the final version at today’s tasting is finished for at least 14 months in Portuguese ex-wine barrels, Douro.
Produced from ancient vineyards in the northern region of Portugal, Douro is a particularly incisive red wine, the influence on whiskey is therefore to be expected quite big.

Tasting notes

And indeed, the nose immediately reveals red fruits (currants, blueberries, unripe strawberries), plums and gooseberries, but the tartness is kept at bay by a soft background of custard, caramel, baked apple and brown sugar. Orange marmalade and almond paste are added along the length, in a precarious but working balance of aromas.
On the palate the balance becomes more solid, a good dose of black pepper and paprika supporting the harmony between the sweet and edgy components of the whiskey, which here play in concert in creating a rich and pleasant drink despite a certain lightness in body. The acidity of orange, pink grapefruit and red fruits dance with trifle, ginger biscuits, caramelised apple and a touch of ripe black cherries, without ever stepping on toes and finding the right balance thanks also to a vegetal and floral vein that emerges in the distance together with a hint of coffee. The tannins are well present without becoming invasive, with nuts closing the circle.
Quite long finish of red fruits, pink grapefruit, nuts, paprika, coffee, fondant.

I have to say that this whiskey was a surprise, I am generally wary of such pervasive ageing in wine but in this case I have to admit that it works: perhaps a stronger alcohol content would have given more substance, but even so the combinations work with a satisfying and delicious dram.

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