Becoming an international classic does not come easy. The Teeling family of Ireland has been making small batch Irish Whiskey for 125 years–and I think they’ve gotten the hang of it by now. Their modus operandi for making this serious 46% alcohol whiskey is unique:
- Two whiskeys, 1 part pot-distilled malted barley whiskey and 3 parts column-distilled corn whiskey are aged separately at a ratio of 3.1 in ex-bourbon barrels.
- Next step, they add a unique spirit cask into the flavour equation.
- Both whiskeys are then blended in small batches and finished in personally selected, Central American rum casks where they have time to mingle, co-habit and marry.
The barrels have had a long history and have been used for many different whiskies. Some folks might say, a cask is a cask is a cask. Why be so meticulous? No two handmade barrels are exactly alike, and with age and use, the flavours they impart are different. After a full year, this richness and the smooth and sweet approachable taste come to fruition. On bottling, each batch number is listed on the label. Once a batch has been sold, there will never be more.
The moment of truth: ice cubes in a glass and 2 oz. of Teeling.
By the third sip, we have recognized all the flavour nuances: a clear and bright taste, a rum raisin nose, a Minuka honey sweetness with a tingle of spice, smooth rich vanilla, fruity and a little woody taste.
Teeling was made to be enjoyed neat, until bartenders began to experiment and put it into cocktails. Some purists will have it neat with a pint of stout. Still, it does make an interesting Margarita, or mixed with a tropical theme of pineapple and coconut, which is tied in with the rum cask.
My favorite on a relaxing summer weekend is the Dublin Mule.
Glass or copper mug
Fill with ice right to the top.
1 ½ oz. of Teeling
Top off with Fevertree Ginger Beer
A squeeze with a lime
Teeling Irish Coffee
35 ml Teeling Small Batch
120 ml Freshly Brewed Coffee
25 ml Spiced Stout Syrup
Step 1: Start by adding 1 part Stout (500ml) to a pan and heat at medium high until it begins to bubble, stir consistently, until the volume decreases by half.
Step 2: Add spices (teaspoon of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, anise, ginger, or/and orange peel and a pinch of salt) and continue to stir.
Step 3: Finally add your rich dark demerara sugar (500g) to the mix and stir until dissolved.
Step 4: Allow to cool.
Step 5: add to hot coffee
Step 6: top with Double Cream
Teeling Whiskey Sour
50ml Teeling Small Batch
15ml Honey syrup
30ml Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
5ml Apricot brandy
½ an egg white
Step 1: Chill a rocks glass with ice
Step 2: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker
Step 3: Shake until chilled and fine strain over ice
“May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows you’re dead!” – An old Irish toast.
Sara Waxman, OOnt, is an award-winning restaurant critic, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and has eaten her way through much of the free world for four decades, while writing about it in books, newspapers and magazines. She is the Editor in Chief of DINE and Destinations magazine.