By Richard Thomas
Starting with it’s initial release of the Teeling Small Batch, an Irish blend, Teeling Whiskey Company has developed a line of premium, regular releases that includes a highly regarded single grain, a single malt, and a poitin. However, the Dublin-based distiller and bottler has also made a major stake in the very aged, super premium whiskey sector, with releases running out to 30 years of age. To that, they now add the Teeling 24 Year Old Single Malt.
This whiskey was distilled in 1991 (at least some of that whiskey coming from peated malt) aged in ex-bourbon barrels, and finished in Sauternes wine casks. The initial press release indicated that the production run was just 1,000 bottles, but subsequent retailer entries have indicated 5,000. Either way, it was bottled unfiltered at 46% ABV.
In the glass, this almost quarter-century old single malt has a rich, golden look, and drops its long legs slowly. The nose is just as rich, with an opening stanza laden with grassiness, golden raisins and dried apricots. Underneath and beyond this is just a pinch of charcoal and white pepper.
Once on the tongue, the liquid presents a light and oily feel. The flavor profile, however, is anything but light. The dried apricot is still there, but the golden raisins plump up into white grapes, and are joined on the sweet side with a little honey. The grassy current remains, running right through the middle, and underneath is a slight, but certain chalky aspect. The finish is long and mellow, with an aftertaste that starts a little ashy with the white grapes, and as it runs on the ash falls away leaving just the fruit.
The choice of Sauternes casks as a finish really made this whiskey, endowing its sweet side with fruity aspects that really made its character. It’s yummy, personable and well-rounded, and a fine example of what time and a good choice of finishing casks can do.
The suggested retails price is $499.99.