Teeling Whiskey Company may have only been founded in 2012, but since then they exploded onto the Irish market with several releases from aged stock they had sourced until their own spirit is of age (this year!!). Since their launch they have numerous releases which are wide and varied. It’s akin to Willie Wonka’s factory with the amount of trial and experimentation that they have undertaken in the area of cask finishes. Dare I say that they are the de-facto experts in cask finished whiskey in Ireland at the moment.
For this weeks review I delve into one of these finishes which was released exclusively for O’Briens Off Licences nationwide, the 12yr old Single Malt Musella Amarone Cask finish. Released in November 2017, this is the second exclusive Teelings have provided O’Briens with the first being a 10yr old Single Malt Musella Amarone Cask back in 2016. Obviously, the 10yr old must have sold well if O’Briens went for a 12yr old only 12 months later! Italy’s Musella Winery work closely with O’Briens in Ireland and for the finishing of this whiskey, an Amarone wine was selected for it’s sweetness and complexity. Under the skillful watch of Alex Chasko, the Single Malt was finished for a number of months until the perfect balance was attained between the whiskey and the wine cask. Obviously, with any whiskey being finished in a specific cask, there is always the chance that the casks previous contents can impart too much taste and flavour and therefore ruin the whiskey experience. For me, Alex and Teeling are experts at getting the spirit out at the right time with the right balance.
So, onto the tasting. Bottled at 46% and non-chill filtered, the colour is a nice golden hue with a slight rouge touch to it.
Nose – Rich with almond notes and sweet caramel. Slight hint of the red wine but not over powering. Still plenty malt to the fore.
Palate – Big malt hit with a surprisingly oily mouthfeel. Orchard fruits, caramel and raisins all there. Complex.
Finish – Medium to long. Nicely lingering with some burnt orange peel and citrus towards the end.
Overall – A very pleasant dram. I don’t think you’d have to be a wine drinker to appreciate this, although it does help that you can identify that there is a nice influence in there. At €80 its not the worst price point, especially considering that it is a 12 yr old. It’s still available from O’Briens here but I can’t imagine there is much stock left. I must thank Richard “Dick” O’Kelly for picking this up and hounding me to review it!! Incidentally his nickname is “Dick the Duck”……. if you know him make sure to ask how he got that name……until the next time, sláinte!