A bottle of Teeling Small Batch

Review: Teeling Small Batch

Last Thursday I met up with my new whisky friend Thomas – @notanotherwhiskeyman – to share a couple of drams. And throughout the tasting the focus of our conversation shifted to Irish Whiskey. Unlike myself he has quite the collection of Irish and he knows quite a lot about it – perhaps also because his partner @gitalalloo is a proud Dubliner herself – and I jumped on the chance to learn more about the category. To do just that he sent me home with a couple of samples, of which I will review the first one today: The Teeling Small Batch.

Tasting Notes: Teeling Small Batch

Stats:

ABV: 46% (92 proof)

Age: NAS

Distillery: Teeling Whiskey Distillery

Owned by: Jack & Stephen Teeling (with a minority stake sold to Bacardi)

Category: Blended Irish Whiskey

Awards: The Irish Whiskey Masters Master 2017 & 2020, The Irish Whiskey Masters Gold 2013 & 2014, The Irish Whiskey Masters Silver 2019, San Francisco World Spirits Competition Double Gold 2019, IWSC Silver 2013 & 2014, WWA Bronze 2014.

Chill Filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Setting:

Enjoyed neat in a Túath, behind my PC on a lazy Sunday afternoon. While listening to the 40 years Reunion concert from the Dubliners. After letting the glass open up for roughly 15 minutes.

Nose:

This dram has a very light and floral nose. It instantly reminds me of spring. I get budding flowers and fresh cut grass. There’s a slight sweetness to it that I would almost describe as powdered sugar. There’s some Turkish Delight in there as well. A drop of water really brings forth the Turkish Delight, in fact it’s all I can smell now. I like it!

Palate:

The lightness of the nose does not reflect in the taste. Oak tannins immediately flood my palate. On the back of it the powdered sugar and Turkish Delight make a reappearance, but the fresh cut grass and budding flowers are nowhere to be found.  A drop of water does tame the oak quite a bit, it’s still there but less sharp and more rounded off. Some apple also makes its appearance, that I wasn’t getting before.

Finish:

The bitterness of the oak does fade away quickly and a warm mouthfeel lingers. There’s a faint memory of the Turkish Delight in there, but it takes focus to find it. The finish is medium short and does not hold a lot of complexity. I’d say more than a lingering taste it’s just the feeling of warmth that lingers for a bit. If that makes any sense at all. The finish is softer with a drop of water, but just as long (perhaps even a bit longer). The oak faded completely from the finish and instead of just warmth there’s a fruitiness to it now.

Verdict:

This is not a complex dram at all, it’s very linear. But don’t get me wrong, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, if this would have been a hundred euro or more bottle, I would have been disappointed. But this is a good sipping whiskey. For the price it’s available for (roughly 25 euro) I have no complaints. This is the kind of dram I would like to pull off the shelf when reading a good book, something a bit milder that works in support of the story instead of taking over. I would pick this over the standard Jameson for example, which I think is a fair comparison price and category wise. The nose is definitely its standout feature and for 25 euro you can’t really go wrong.

Rating:

80/100

Value:

B

Click here to learn more about how I come up with my tasting notes and how I determine rating and value.

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