Teeling Vintage Reserve 28 Year Single Malt
Single Malt — IrelandTastedIf anything should happen to me… If I should shuffle off this mortal coil... Lay me to rest with this one. Place it in my casket. It’s a new favourite. (Better put Lagavulin 16 in there as well) Please play The Bee Gees’ Staying Alive during the service – that should raise an eyebrow or a smirk. But most of all: Cry noisily. Wail and shout. Crumple to your knees as I’m lowered into the clay. Tell them I was one of a kind.
Teeling Vintage Reserve 24 Year Single Malt
Single Malt — IrelandTastedMy grandfather repaired watches and clocks. Through him I learned that one of life’s great pleasures is when everything clicks. I first tried this whiskey at WhiskeyLive last year at a tasting led by Alex Chasko, Teeling’s Master Distiller, and I managed to squirrel some away in a sample bottle for later enjoyment. The second whiskey (after Small Batch) that Teeling released was the 21 Year Old Silver Reserve. It was distilled in Sept 1991 in the Cooley Distillery which was formerly owned by the Teeling family. When Cooley was purchased by Beam Suntory the Teeling sons managed to negotiate the acquisition of a large amount of quality aged casks of whiskey. Maturing that 21 Year Old for 3 further years in Ex-Sauternes wine casks yields this 24 Year Old. In 2019 (a year and a half after it was bottled) it was the first Irish whiskey to win the World’s Best Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards. Chasko admitted frankly that they targeted that accolade. The nose is a dessert of honey, vanilla, oak, chomp bar, light peat, crushed walnut and a jam of marmalade and peach. Tropical fruits too - or more particularly Lilt for those who know that soft drink. The arrival is a somewhat dry and sweet wine (unsurprisingly). It develops into chewy orange and mango, some slightly acidic peat and mineral water, a tannic wood undertone, and a delightful sourness that I can’t pinpoint. Sugared tea and overdone toast linger, and minutes later there are echoes of eucalyptus. Madre de Dios, this is great. World award or no world award, this is a stunning success and deserves the fiery worship of Christians, Satanists, Atheists, Whiskeyphiles and anyone else with a nose and tongue.Dublin Castle
Té Bheag Connoisseurs' Blended Whisky
Blended — ScotlandTastedSometimes it ends up being a contest between a prize-fighter whisky and a journeyman whisky. The prize-fighter whisky comfortably gained the upper hand here. But I enjoyed the bout. And that journeyman whisky didn’t just roll over. I winced at some of its blows. Té Bheag is a blended Scotch from the Isle of Skye which has a high malt content (40%) but I’d say that the grainy elements are the plodding palooka in this case. Shuffling away from the grainy elements, the better aspects of the nose were a briny maritime breeze, seaweed and salt, shortbread biscuits, roasted nuts, woodland aroma (resin?) and the pleasant smell of firelighters. The taste hits all the right notes but not at the right volume. Light peat, light salt/brine, lemon rind and lightly sherried sweetness. Is that a little Talisker pepper I detect on the finish? It melts away well with malty grapefruit and a lingering oak that veers close to being too tannic. Overall it’s a fine blend. Much better in my opinion than the blended malt Monkey Shoulder. A better Grouse. A less famous one, however. But spread the word quietly - it deserves more recognition.
Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select
Tennessee — Tennessee, USATastedI've yet to find a bourbon that wows me. But on the other hand I've yet to experience a wide range of American whiskey. So far, the majority of my tasted drams have been from the Celtic countries, while the choice of US drinks is very limited as, understandably, it appears that mainly the better known "international" brands are imported in Ireland. Of those I have tried I have been impressed by ryes like Rittenhouse BiB but not a bourbon (yet anyway). I tasted this JD Single Barrel Select as a sample from a gift pack that include No. 7 and Gentleman Jack. This is by far my favourite of those three. I'm not a fan of banana flavours, which I see from other reviews is a JD signature note. I didn't get it on this which is a tick for the Pro column. I get brown sugar, oak, some tannins and a pleasant spice tingle as it develops and finishes. Good but no 'wow' factor. But what surprised me was when I went the well trodden JD&C route. I had this over Christmas with Fever Tree Madagascan cola mixer - it was fantastic! The vanilla was brought to the fore, the oak remained and the tannins dissipated. And it mixed much better than other drams with the same cola (e.g. JW Black). Still searching for that straight sipper though.
Port Charlotte PC12 Oileanach Furachail
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedAt the end of WhiskeyLive, just when you think your palate is frazzled and all whisk(e)y is beginning to homogenise and veer to the median, along comes this aggressively powerful beast. It punched through the enveloping fug of the crowded room and the descending fog of bibation with a blast of diesel and blue cheese. How that combination works to deliver something tasty is obviously evidence of some sort of druidic influence (but no mainland policemen were harmed in the making of this scotch). [WhiskeyLive 2019]Dublin Castle
Tullamore D.E.W. 18 Year Single Malt
Single Malt — IrelandTastedWhiskeyLive 2019 Saturday. Great chat with the Tullamore rep at their stand. Very nice whiskey too. Based on a side by side tasting it only slightly shades the 14yo which is a favourite of mine..Dublin Castle
Midleton Very Rare 2019
Blended — IrelandTastedI pity the fool who don’t cite Nation’s masterpiece as the apogee of blended Irish whiskey production. (Mr. T)Dublin Castle
Springbank 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedAwarded a cult, deserves a religion.Dublin Castle
Teeling Distillery Exclusive Chestnut Finish
Single Malt — IrelandTastedBy law Irish whiskey must be subject to maturation for at least three years in wooden casks, such as oak. This leaves some room for experimentation with different types of wood, and Teeling have done just that with this whiskey. Chestnut, which is more porous than oak, is not all that common but I believe that for this expression Teeling have taken the base spirit of their Small Batch whiskey (a malt and grain blend aged between 4 to 6 years in oak) and applied a chestnut finish for 6 to 12 months. Even more, the chestnut casks previously held PX Brandy. An interesting concoction but (for me) ultimately a failed experiment. The chestnut is obvious on the nose, along with some maple syrup as others have noted. The taste carries wood spice but I found it too bitter and sour. Still, it’s good to see them aim for something noteworthy and unique but fall short than try for something blandly popular and succeed.
Caol Ila 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedDo you work in an office with someone who loves Ardbeg, Talisker or Lagavulin? If you get them in the Secret Santa this Christmas, then gift wrap a bottle of Caol Ila 12. I promise you they’ll love it. It has a lovely array of scents that I could enjoy for ages: pineapple; ocean spray; seaweed; heather; damp, vegetal mountain peat smoke; light rubber (like balloons). I agree with @Generously_Paul that “the palate is a little less complex than the nose, but no less enjoyable”. A light airy salty sweetness. Grapefruit, orange, and salt initially with a mid-palate smoky char and black pepper that clings to the roof of the mouth. The sweetness holds to the finish. They. Will. Love It! Oh yeah, by the way - if you have Norman from Sales, don’t get him anything. He’s a total berk. I’ve never once seen him unload the dishwasher. Oh, and remember that smell in the bathroom on Monday? That was him.