We recently received a bottle of Teeling Small Batch Irish whiskey. (See our Samples policy to understand what it means that we’re featuring it). What sets it apart for us and makes it interesting is that it’s aged in rum barrels. Read on to see why we like it and what we can do with it in the mixing department.
- Nose: Malty cereal notes, vanilla custard, rich molasses, some toasty barrel notes. Little bit of pine resin. Dried fruit like prunes.
- Palate: Malted cereal to begin with, then strong brown sugar. It’s fairly sweet, relatively speaking. Barrel notes on the finish, along with a decent alcohol bite. A bit more robust than the irish whiskies that we’re used to.
Of course, we here at Booze Nerds are all about mixing with booze. We felt that the unexpected sweetness, molasses notes and robustness would make for some interesting results when mixed. So naturally we wanted to experiment with it and see what we could come up with. We tried the whiskey with quite a range of liqueurs and other mixers,. Calvados and black walnut liqueur were nice but kind of one note. Ginger liqueur was tasty and would be a good avenue for further experimentation. Yellow chartreuse and raspberry liqueur weren’t bad but overwhelmed the whiskey in even small amounts. With everything else, we found that the key thing is to make sure whatever you mix with doesn’t pull the barrel notes out so much that the drink is woody-tasting. Fizzy wine and most bitters do seem to do this. We finally settled on a hint of orange from the curacao which harmonized with the sweet malty molasses flavors, plus some vermouth to lighten up the drink and bring some bitterness. We rounded things off with just a hint of cardamom bitters to add some floral and spice notes.
Tip of the Spear
- 2 oz irish whiskey
- 1/3 oz Imbue bitter sweet vermouth
- 1/4 oz curaçao
- 1 drop cardamom bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into a glass. Enjoy!
- Nose: Fresh orange, preserved orange like marmalade, white wine, malty cereal notes. Little bit of bay leaf.
- Palate: Sweet orange, faintest hint of floral cardamom, wine notes to start. Rich malty cereal, bay leaves, and herbal notes on the mid-palate. Sweet-sour orange and barrel notes underpinned by some bitterness on the finish. Little bit more cardamom at the end of the mid-palate as it warms up.
Overall, the Teeling is an interesting whiskey. It’s a little more robust and definitely brings some new and interesting characteristics to that spirit. As a sipping whiskey, it’s a little hotter and more intense that your typical Irish whiskey. However, for mixing we think this is an asset, as it allows the whiskey to stand up against stronger ingredients which is usually a challenge when mixing with Irish whiskey.