Sunday 3 November 2013

Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey

In my last post I was recalling a blending masterclass with Teeling's Alex Chasko, back in June. You can now sample one of the components we experimented with that night, in the form of Teeling's new Single Grain Irish Whiskey.

It is 5 year old Cooley grain whiskey that has been matured entirely in Californian Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels. Five years takes us back before the Beam acquisition when Cooley was trying all sorts of innovative experiments, including this one. The wine casks impart a rich amber colour to the spirit, along with "strong spicy notes, lush red berry and grape flavours".

Grain spirit is made in a continuous distillation process that results in a much higher ABV (94-95%) than the alternative pot still method. It is therefore much lighter in flavour than a malt or pot still (ie, including both malted and unmalted barley) spirit. The maize that Cooley uses in its continuous still results in a soft, sweet spirit base for the wine-matured Teeling Single Grain Whiskey.

Like all Teeling whiskey, it's bottled at 46%, non-chill filtered. It goes for €53 in the Celtic Whiskey Shop.

There were about 30 casks in this batch, with more to come in 2014. Alex tells me there will also be a no-age-statement single malt at some point to accompany the grain and blend in the TWC line-up.