There are two things I love doing most and that’s going to a good music gig and travelling to places to visit distilleries. Both are a true passion for me. However, as we all know, gigs and festivals have been cancelled and most distilleries are still closed for tours or it is simply not recommended to fly to the country unless you feel the need to spend 2 weeks in quarantine first. But fortunately for us back home, you see the affected industries eagerly looking for creative solutions so that they can at least do something in this strange period.
So there are now more virtual concerts and festivals or mini music gigs where you can book a table as if in a restaurant, in the meantime a lot of virtual tastings have also been given. And then an email from Teeling showed up in my mailbox. Whether I was interested in participating in a virtual tasting. Well, that was new to me! So instead of going to visit the distillery, it was brought to your home, where you could view it from your lazy chair if you wanted to. All of this was hosted by European brand ambassador Chris Hayes, who guided us through the distillery while we enjoyed a few drams. A super nice alternative, although of course, you don’t get the smells and sounds you normally have in the distillery (When will smell-o-vision finally be a thing). Anyway, it was all good fun and this tour can also be found here on their website. It’s even available in VR.
Now on to the whiskey itself. The dram we’ve tasted were from Teeling’s Trinity range. And the first one is the Teeling Single Grain. It has matured in Cabernet Sauvignon casks from Napa Valley and consists of about 95% corn and 5% malted barley. Sourced from the Great Northern Distillery.
Teeling Single Grain tasting notes:
Nose: red berries, apples. A hint of apricots. Honey as well. Caramel fudge. Then bananas appear.
Taste: creamy. Plenty of creme brulee. Blueberries and red berries here as well. A hint of coconut. And also quite sweet, towards honey again. Almonds. Ginger later on.
Finish: short to mid-long with red berries, honey and caramel. Cinnamon and black pepper.
I’m not the biggest fan of grain whisk(e)y, especially not when it’s younger (this is up to 6 years old) and that also goes for most wine cask finishes, so I didn’t expect much from it. Though, not my taste, I thought it was actually ok. But it’s too sweet for me.
The second one is the small-batch release. Matured in bourbon casks after which it is finished in Central American rum casks. Consisting of 75% corn (sourced from the Great Northern distillery) and 25% single malt (distilled at Teeling). Bottled in 02/2020 at a strength of 46%.
Teeling Small Batch tasting notes:
Nose: caramelised pineapple. Vanilla. Sweet raisins, but also a hint of bananas. Caramel fudge and toffee. Lemons in the background.
Taste: pineapples. Sweet raisins. Milk chocolate and toffee. A hint of bananas. Some spices, such as black pepper, cinnamon and ginger.
Finish: mid-long to long with ginger and black pepper.
It’s a nice whiskey. The rum casks certainly come through, but it never gets too sweet or too sugary. Well balanced. Especially with the tropical weather here in the Netherlands!
The last will be the single malt and for this one they have used 5 different casks: oloroso sherry, port, white burgundy, Madeira and cabernet sauvignon. A small percentage was distilled at Teeling, but most of it was sourced from Cooley. Also bottled at a strength of 46% ABV.
Teeling single malt tasting notes:
Nose: lemons. Apple peels, but also red fruit, red berries and raspberries. Oranges. Honey. It’s a lovely nose actually. A floral note even. Later also pears and Galia melon.
Taste: red fruit, followed by raisins and plums. Vanilla and honey. Ripe pears. Bananas and peach in the background. Some ginger here as well and a pinch of white pepper.
Finish: mid-long to long. Red fruit again. Honey.
Oh, the nose is very nice. It’s really fruity. But also the taste is full of flavour, I keep detecting new ones with every sip. The favourite out of the three for me, but a close call with the small batch. 🙂
Samples provided by Teeling