If you want to see how hot whiskey is right now, just glance at the bulging shelves of your local liquor shop. Whether it’s bourbon, Scotch, Irish, or Japanese whisky, more and more offerings are appearing every day. The percentage of retail space dedicated to whiskey is ever increasing, which is a boon for anyone looking for a glass of something delicious and complex to sip. Irish whiskey can be great any time, of course, but with Saint Patrick’s Day around the corner it’s an especially good moment to consider some Irish expressions. I recently tried a couple from Teeling that are available in the United States, and I think they would make an excellent addition to any celebration, large or small.
Teeling Small Batch Whiskey ($37.99)
This whiskey was finished in rum casks. It was bottled in small batches at 92 proof without chill filtration. The moment you pour this small batch it shimmers in your glass with the color of pure, fresh apple juice. Mulling spices and aromas of fresh wheat light up the nose. Apple, quince, and bits of date fill the mellifluous palate, along a potpourri of spices. Pepper, cardamom, and toast lead the long finish, which is a firm bit and shows off some discernable and pleasing heat. This is a nice whiskey that has loads of character, a firm backbone, and a very appealing price. For under $40, it would make for an exceptional every day sipper.
Teeling Single Grain Whiskey ($49.99)
Corn dominates the grains in this selection. The whiskey was aged entirely in barrels that previously held red wine from California. Teeling’s goal with this bottling is to help expand the number of unique Irish offerings on the shelf. The color is a bit darker than the small batch, as it’s tinged with brown. The deep and somewhat funky nose shows off a hint of molasses. From the moment this whiskey touches your lips the prevalence of spices is apparent. They’re joined by lots of fruit and hints of toast on the palate. A touch of sweetness emerges on the finish, joining the continuing parade of spices. In particular, that bit of molasses from the nose reappears and provides a nice final reprise. This is a distinct, full-flavored, and lovely whiskey. It’s more complex and unique than is common for an under $50 offering.
The Teelings have a history with Irish whiskey that dates back to 1782. Their current project, the Teeling Whiskey Company, was founded in 2012. In 2015, they aim to break ground on the first new whiskey distillery in Dublin in more than 125 years. Their goal is to be an independent producer of innovative and distinct Irish whiskeys. The two whiskeys above are a sure sign that this is a brand to keep your eyes on. More delicious liquids are certain to be headed our way from their stills.