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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Teeling Single Pot Still Whiskey, 09/2019 batch

Back when I raved about Irish whiskey, it wasn't regarding the young brash Cooley upstart, rather the Midleton Machine won me over. Cooley's single malts rarely appealed to my palate, which may have cost me some hipster cred.

Today there are many more Irish distillers, and I want to support them, but their prices have kept me away. For instance, I was on the Dingle peninsula for a weekend and saw a few moments of Dingle distillery's construction. I was so excited! And then their minimally-aged single malts came out with $80-$120 price tags. And then I was less enthused. Meanwhile, I've lost interest in all of Midleton's blends, and keep waiting for Bushmills to release some age-stated stuff with a reasonable ABV. Waterford's "Irish Terrior! But Also Lots of French Wine" approach seems to be an oxymoron, and it shows in the whiskey. And then there's Teeling.

I've only had Teeling's Small Batch blend, which works well enough with its rum casks. But really I've only tried versions that used sourced whiskey. Their Single Pot Still expression was the first of their releases to use only Teeling Distillery's spirit. Today's version is (I think) the fourth overall batch. Time for some baby pot still!

Distillery: Teeling
Style: Single Pot Still
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Owner: The Teeling Family
Age: 3-4 years old
Mashbill: 50% malted barley + 50% unmalted barley
Maturation: Maybe ex-bourbon, ex-wine, and virgin oak? Maybe not?
Bottling year: 2019
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
Colored? No
(from a bottle split)


The nose starts with some very raw spirit, like a cross between new make and white dog. Essentially grain eau de vie with baker's yeast. Lots of cinnamon with smaller notes of apricot jam and apple sauce.

It's a relatively easy drinker considering its youth, though mostly one dimensional. The palate is heavy on barley, with some golden raisins, Granny Smith apples, and cinnamon. After 20+ minutes a brighter note of lemon marmalade on soda bread appears.

Honey, apples, cinnamon, and peppercorns fill the finish, with a burst of Apfelwein appearing in later sips.


This batch reads like a work in progress, an early revenue generator. One hopes current versions would have a bit of 7-8 year old whiskey in the mix. I haven't run out to buy a bottle because this batch tastes of $30 whiskey, and the current price on this expression is at least twice that amount. The 46%/nc/ncf presentation does keep the whiskey honest, and the spirit withstands whatever casketry was employed. I will root for Teeling's success, but I'll pass on this whiskey unless someone puts it on sale someday.

Availability - specialty retailers worldwide
Pricing - $55-$85 (USA), $40-$70 (elsewhere)
Rating - 77

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