Teeling Festive Wine Theme

Who would ever turn down an invite by the amazing Naimh O’Connor (@Niamhoconnor) and Chris Hayes (@Chris_hayes_twc) from Teeling when you’re being invited for a bit of different, maybe a little bit corky Festive Wine Themed tasting… We’ll, we sure didn’t! Oh… a little side note… don’t forget your Christmas gear. @Whiskypeater sure didn’t forget that note, haha! (We tell you later about that)

First let’s inform you what this tasting was all about. We we’re invited for a special Dutch tasting with Teeling were they send a us a very cool package with 3 wine influenced whiskey’s, 3 chocolate bars (ofcourse to pair with ) and a secret ingredient: Teeling’s house made syrup, for a Irish Coffee Teeling Style!

Teeling has got some interesting collaborations with vineyards. And with this tasting we’ll get more into that. The whiskey’s we’ve tasted:

Teeling Pinot Noir Cask (Small Batch Series):

  • Second bottling with winery Reichsrat Von Buhl whose vineyard is based in the Rhine region of Germany;
  • Matured in Pinot Noir and bottled @ 46% ABV.

Teeling Brabazon Series 3:

  • Produced with a family-owned winery in Jerez, who have specialized in the PX grape over 300 years;
  • Matured in PX Casks and bottled @ 49.5% ABV.

Teeling Sommelier Selection (Small Batch Series):

  • First release of the Sommelier Selection from the French Margaux wine region in Bordeaux. (This is a series within a series!)
  • Matured in Margaux red wine casks and bottled @ 46% ABV.

In 2019, I (@Dramtastic.86) visited the Teeling Distillery in the Liberties Dublin, where I found out that Teeling has got a perfect profile to marriage with Wine Casks. And I’ve enjoyed some expressions so far. I, @Whiskypeater, on the other hand, am not so familiar with Wine Cask release by Teeling. I’m not a huge fan of Irish whiskey’s and my whisky preference is mainly peated. So… one of us was stocked in advance, but the other one was skeptic. But as you may expect of us, we’ll always go in open minded and wright a fair review. So here we go!

After some introductions we’ve heard (from Wouter by Bresser & Timmer)  that all these whiskey’s should be available @ the Dutch Market, but Teeling has released them worldwide. So if you’re getting nosy and interested in some… go on the hunt, but some of these releases are quite limited.

First up we tasted the Pinot Noir Cask, which was paired with dark milk chocolate – 58% Cocoa:

Notes by @Dramtasic.86: 

  • Nose: Straight up when I poured the dram I got fermented red grapes, followed by nectarine, red berries and honey;
  • Palate: Dark berries, spices, gingerbread, some bitter notes and later on strawberry jam scones, yummy!;
  • Finish: A short dry finish with some spices.

Notes by @Whiskypeater: 

  • Nose: Wine sweet, floral and slight spices;
  • Palate: Chocolate, dry and bitter notes;
  • Finish: Short and bitter.

Next up was the Brabazon Series 3, paired with dark chocolate with cocoa nibs – 70% Cocoa:

Notes by @Dramtasic.86: 

  • Nose: Peach, overripe pears, some banana, then it goes into marzipan and creme brûlée. Later on you get more nutty flavors;
  • Palate: Apple, pear, oh boy… Christmas Cake! (the bread and spices) and again that marzipan;
  • Finish: Starting with Christmas spices, dried raisins and after the chocolate some bitter notes, not the spicy ones, but from grapefruit. Medium lingering on the spices.

Notes by @Whiskypeater:

  • Nose: Dark fruits, red wine, mint (don’t know where that came from), but definitely a typical PX nose;
  • Palate: The darkness continues, but now on the chocolate side… creme brûlée and burnt sugar;   
  • Finish: Medium finish with some bitter and spice notes.

And we’ve ended the line-up with the Sommelier Selection and dark chocolate with toasted coconut – 70% Cocoa:

Notes by @Dramtasic.86: 

  • Nose: Nuts (yeah I am to), fruity, raisins, now the fruity notes developed to berries, and a delicious tobacco note after a while;
  • Palate: Vanilla, creamy coconut and again that tobacco, but it’s more present on the palate comparing to the nose;
  • Finish: Again that tobacco note (I like it very much!), some coconut and it ends with some sweet candy note like “spekjes”. Thats a Dutch candy like a marshmallow, but less fluffy and coated with sugar… get the point?

Notes by @Whiskypeater:

  • Nose: Cloves and other spices;
  • Palate: Oily and orange zest;
  • Finish: A medium finish with again that spices.

You can read that our notes have some similarities for sure, but also a lot of differences. It shows again that your own references and palate experience will determine what you will find in a whisky. 

Favorites of the evening:

@Whiskypeater: Definitely the Brabazon series 3 for me. I’m a sucker for PX sherried whisky’s so this dram matched up the most for me. Also it was more complex to me and had a bigger and bolder body in flavors. The others were good as well, especially considering the price points, but maybe the wine industrie just isn’t my thing.

@Dramtastic.86: I can really enjoy a good wine finished whisk(e)y and Teeling has got a good profile for it. I do think these whiskey’s need some time to open up and develop. So the first initial wine “sharpness” is gone and it’s getting more in that fruity, spicy and sweet notes. My favorite was the Sommelier Selection. That Margaux red wine cask is a perfect match! Those tobacco and candy sweet notes were definitely my cup of thee!

Funny thing was that Chris Hayes mentioned that the Sommelier Selection got’s a similar flavor profile to the Cigar Malt style whisky’s. It’s perfect to pair with a Montecristo for example.

After these tasty drams Chris intervened with a short Christmas Music intermezzo to prepare the final treat of the evening. During this intermezzo we had all the time to study the crazy Christmas outfits of everybody including the crazy act by Dutch Whisky Brother @Whiskypeater… He was wearing a Santa hat with magic because the hat was dancing on the music… It was a funny show, wasn’t it Naimh? 

So there’s only one thing left to write about and that’s the Teeling House Syrup! When we opened up this small bottle… BOOM! All those spices came straight out! A lot of clove, anise, nutmeg, cinnamon… 

Chris demonstrated us the perfect way to make a the Classic “cocktail” Irish Coffee in a Teeling Style. We saved some for the next time we’ll make a Teeling Irish Coffee. For the full recipe of this delicious goodness in a bottle check out Teeling’s website.

To wrap things up… We’d like to thank Naimh O’Connor and Chris Hayes again for the delicious and fun tasting and of course Teeling for providing this delicious tasting box. 


Dutch Whisky Brothers

Een gedachte over “Teeling Festive Wine Theme

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