No, this isn’t Teeling whisky from Guadeloupe and it isn’t 8 years old. This is a NAS Irish whisky—it’s just that the sample is from avant garde mixed-media artist, Sku. You may think I’m making fun of him but consider the fact that this sample is of an Irish whiskey finished for 6 months in rum casks. Here’s the short version of the Teeling story: new distillery; hasn’t released any of its own aged spirit yet; in American style is selling purchased whiskey (from Cooley) under its own name; who the hell knows if what they are distilling themselves, once it’s ready to be bottled, will taste anything like the stuff they’re putting out now.
I gather they have more recently put out a single grain whiskey and a single malt whiskey; this one, however, is a blend and it was first released in the US about two years ago . Will it improve my sorry record with Irish whiskeys? I can only hope it will. Let’s see.
Teeling Whiskey (46%; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: A little spirity at first but that burns off pretty quickly. Then a burst of bright citrus over a malty core. Gets grassier as it sits and also more nondescript still. A drop of water brightens it up again and brings out a dusty quality as well.
Palate: Sweet and indistinctly fruity at first but then grainy notes rise up from below, bringing some plasticky bite with them. On the second sip there’s some citrus but the plasticky note seems more pronounced. Not much change with time. A little less plasticky with water but no more interesting.
Finish: Medium. It’s the plasticky, metallic quality that lingers here. As on the palate with water.
Comments: I didn’t see any evidence of the rum cask finish. The nose was pleasant enough but the plastic/astringent quality that became dominant quickly on the palate is not my cup of tea (or whisky). There are far better mild whiskies, blend or otherwise, in this general category for my palate. I’m sorry, Irish whiskey, it’s not you, it’s me.
Rating: 76 points.