Teeling Whiskey Single Grain Tasting Notes

teeling-whiskey-single-grainTeeling Whiskey Single Grain is, as you’d expect, a single grain whiskey fully matured in Cabernet Sauvignon casks from California.

Single grain means that it’s, in part, made with grains other than malted barley (in this case, corn). By comparison, Scotch is, by law, only malted barley. So this is a bit of a departure from me already, but my friend Rick gave this to me as a Christmas gift because he knew I was adventurous and this was something I’d have a hard time finding locally (he’s right, of course).

So we already have a different mash bill, then Teeling matures the whiskey in California Cabernet Sauvignon casks. It’s not as crazy as their Single Malt, which is matured in five different wine casks (Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon), but it’s still a departure from the what’s I’m used to (ex-Bourbon barrels).

What did I think? It’s tasty!

I don’t have a lot of experience with Irish Whiskey, or single grain whiskey, so I really have no frame of reference. It’s light, has some bite because it’s bottled at 46% abv, and is easy to drink. The lightness is something I’ve come to appreciate about Irish whiskies, despite how much of a novice I am, and none of the flavors really punch you in the face. It’s corn based but it’s not overly sweet, like some bourbons can be, and the Cabernet Sauvignon maturation really adds a lot of fruity and floral characteristics, in addition to the oak.

  • Nose: Fruity sweet, like a dried Red Delicious apple, and a hint of floral, some grape and a citrusy freshness and lightness I can’t place.
  • Palate: Sweet and light like the nose, and buttery. A bit of the tannic bitterness too.
  • Finish: Has some heat, being 46% and single grain, and dryness at the end.

Teeling Single Grain was awarded the World’s Best Grain by the World Whiskies Awards in 2014, and it’s really interesting to read the notes by the judges. Does anyone know what orange fondant syrup is? 🙂

3 thoughts on “Teeling Whiskey Single Grain Tasting Notes

  1. “orange fondant syrup”

    Hmmm. I know what all those words mean separately, but not together. I do think tasters get a little full of themselves sometimes and start spouting purple prose. (No offense to current company; it’s more the pretensions of wine writers I have in mind.)

    I have precisely zero knowledge of Irish whiskey, so I wouldn’t even know where to start. Sounds good, though.

  2. I am surprised to learn that many scotch whisky lovers are so unfamiliar with Irish whiskey. They say the Irish taught the Scotts to distill whisk(e)y. My knowledge of both is only a little over 5 years in length…but while on this journey of learning which actually includes as much reading/file keeping as sipping, I have explored the world of Irish whiskey along with scotch.
    Teeling has been available in my area of Ohio for about a year now. This is the label I see on the shelves, and it is a decent dram at a decent price. http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/aa18.jpg
    I also sprung for a bottle of Green Spot this past St. Patty’s Day, and I really enjoyed that one too.
    For the most part, most Irish whiskey brands leave me longing for scotch, but there are some exceptions. The few exceptions are shoulder to shoulder with scotch, but never really tower over scotch, in my humble journeyman’s opinion.

  3. Jim, did you get a chance to try the small batch blend with malt and grain whiskey finished in rum casks? That one really has me curious and I am thinking of giving it a try. Room in this life to try all sorts of whiskies at least once or twice.

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