Teeling Whiskey Expressions

IMG_4952A while back we received a sample of Teeling Irish Whiskey and found it to be a great addition to our Irish whiskey selection, very full-flavored and easy to mix with. Since then, Teeling has released two new expressions here in the States and we were lucky to get a couple of samples (see our Samples policy to understand what it means that we’re talking about them). With the samples in hand, we were very curious as to how they compared to the original Teeling Small Batch. Read on to find out.

First we tasted the whiskies by themselves, to see how they compared when drinking them straight.

IMG_4952Small Batch

  • 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. Compared to the other two expressions, it is sweeter, and the molasses-y rum characteristics stand out.

You may notice that these are the same tasting notes from the original Teeling post. We tasted it again and it was just the same, so we re-used the verbiage rather than try to come up with a different way of saying the same thing. 😉

Single Grain

  • Nose: Grape spirit notes. Spicy, dry, woody smell like sandalwood. Tiny bit of black pepper and clove. Red fruit like berry or cherry underpinning the whole thing.
  • Palate: Really velvety fine-grained texture. A little reserved on the open, with dry, spicy wood notes. Opens up on the mid-plate with tannic wine flavors and red fruit. Finish is dry again with a touch of bitterness and an alcohol bite. Drier and more contained compared to the other two.

Single Malt

  • Nose: Buttered popcorn, cocoa, lemon, fig, dry driftwood. Nice!
  • Palate: Very rich mouth feel, silky and viscous. Caramel, little bit of sweet smokey wood, hint of black licorice to start. Dried fruit like figs or prunes on the mid-palate. Finish dries out and brings out some spice. Still some alcohol bite but not as much as the other two, seems to be moderated by being somewhat fuller bodied.  Richer and rounder compared to the other two.

Of course, we here at Booze Nerds are all about how things mix. Irish whiskey can be particularly challenging in that it typically has a subtler flavor profile and can easily be stomped on. As we mentioned in our previous post, one of the reason we like the Teeling, beyond it just tasting delicious, is that it stands up fairly well to some stronger ingredients. With a little bit of sleuthing, we came across a yummy sounding Manhattan-like cocktail from Paul Clarke, the Emerald, which we used to compare how the different Teeling expressions came across in a drink.

The Emerald

  • 2 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz red vermouth (once again we went with the La Quintinya because it had a slightly sweeter, spicier profile without being overly strong (we’re looking at you Carpano) or having prononced savory notes)
  • 2 dashes orange bitters (we found that a milder bitters works better here, the Angostura orange overwhelmed a bit)

Stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into a glass. Garnish with a lemon or orange twist (We went with both just for fun). Cheers!

Small Batch

  • Nose: Very nice nose. Fruity and lemony. Cooked orange and molasses, like caramelized orange peels. Faint hints of malty cereal notes.
  • Palate: Surprisingly viscous. Opens with molasses, burnt sugar, and a touch of walnut. Mid-palate is vermouth spice, orange, and lemon. Finish is malty grain from the whiskey and bitter herbal from the vermouth. Strong citrus flavor stands out more when compared side-by-side with the other drinks.

Single Grain

  • Nose: Vermouth stands out much more on this one. Burnt sugar, bitter green herbal, a little bit of the orange and lemon (less cooked, more fresh compared to the Small Batch). Little bit of dry, spicy, woody notes.
  • Palate: Light, velvety, fine-grained mouth feel. Little bit of dry woody spice and red fruit to start. Orange, lemon and spice on the mid-palate. Finish is burnt sugar, bitter herbal and wine. Lightness and fruitiness really stands out when compared side-by-side with the other drinks.

Single Malt

  • Nose: Sweet orange and lemon, dried fruit like fig, black tea.
  • Palate: Candied orange and clove to start. Honey and a hint of sweet, smokey wood on the mid-palate. Burnt sugar on the finish with a hint of black licorice and tobacco. Much heavier and richer when compared side-by-side with the other drinks.

All three expressions made great though very different drinks in our opinion. The Single Grain would work really nicely in the summer with its light fruity notes, not something you’d expect from a Manhattan alternative! The other two are equally delicious, just with stronger flavors and heavier bodies so probably not things you’d drink in the summer. Overall we’re really happy with how all three of these whiskeys mix. In all honesty we’d happily drink any of them any time. Until next time, cheers!



This entry was posted in Cocktail Comparisons, irish whiskey, orange bitters, sweet vermouth, Tasting Notes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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