Showing posts with label Teeling Small Batch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teeling Small Batch. Show all posts

Glendalough 13 Years Review - Bushmills 16 Years Review - Teeling Small Batch Review


“Ireland Special”

Introduction:

Most of you know that I mainly use samples and miniatures when preparing my Reviews. I usually buy these in Holland and sometimes in Germany or the UK. Sometimes I receive samples from friends or readers or independent bottlers. In only two cases I received a few samples directly from distilleries. When planning my reviews for the coming months I always try to give attention to all Scottish Whisky regions as well as other Whisky/Whiskey/Bourbon producing regions all over the world with special attention to the USA, Ireland and Japan. And last but not least the blends. At the request of many readers I give preference to more recent expressions. As a result my backlog of older samples has increased quite a bit. To do justice to those samples I will review them in the format of Specials. These specials will deal with a specific country like today or with specific bottlers, regions or distilleries. The reviews in these Specials will concentrate on the Whisky and won't go into details about distilleries, maturation etc. I do hope you will like these Specials just as much as my regular reviews and I look forward to your reactions and suggestions. Today's special will look at 3 Irish Whiskeys. Enjoy!
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Whisky Review # 689

Country: Ireland
Distillery: Cooley 
Brand: Glendalough
Type: Single Malt Whiskey 
Age: 13 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Apparently First-Fill Bourbon casks 
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 75-100 (February 2018)     
Buying Advice: 😒 Too expensive for what it offers. 

Colour: Light Golden (Uncoloured or Perhaps lightly Coloured)

Nose: There's a first waft of Varnish or Thinner but it decreases over time so be sure to give this Glendalough enough time in the glass. I must admit that I most likely wouldn't have identified this as a Single Malt in a Blind tasting as I get a distinct Cereals Aroma. Some First-Fill casks are clearly recognisable via lots of Vanilla and Cinnamon. I also find Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Toffee, Porridge, Grass, Straw, Resin, Apple Pie with Nuts, Lemon, Tangerine, Tinned Pineapple, Milk, Fresh Herbs, Mint and hints of Clove and Banana Ice Cream. Most of these Aromas are quite muted. The Nose is quite similar to the 7 Years. Perhaps a bit less Edgy and not quite as Fruity. The Alcohol is still noticeable despite the 13 years in the casks.

Palate: Bitter-Sweet and a little Unfinished. The similarities to the 7 years are quite remarkable. I find Malted Cereals, Caramel, Toffee, Heather-Honey, Hay, Grass, Vanilla, Varnish, Nuts, Pear, Banana, Lemon, Grapefruit, Seville Oranges, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Herbal Tea and a hint of Chocolate.     

Finish: Short, slightly Bitter and quite Hot and Spicy. Again, the Alcohol is quite present. I find Varnish, Thinner, Cereals, Vanilla, Caramel, Charred New Oak, Lemon, Grapefruit, Grass, Pear, Apple, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove, a few Mineral and Metallic notes and hints of Tinned Pineapple and Milk Chocolate. Again, quite similar to the 7 Years. The extra six years of cask time didn't do a whole lot extra to the Spirit. I wonder if all casks used were in fact First-Fill.  

Rating: 80.5      

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20    

Conclusion:

Quite disappointing really. At this price-level you would expect a better quality product. I'm not sure if it's the Spirit or the casks or both but there are quite a few weird off-notes to be found. The 13 Years is also remarkably comparable to its younger sister, the 7 years. So I would suspect that at least a part of the casks was not very active. I'm not really a big fan of most of the Irish Whiskeys as I consider them to be blend when compared to Scottish Malts. There are some exceptions of course like the Bushmills 21 Years but this Glendalough 13 Years just doesn't work for me, certainly not at his price level.

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Image result for bushmills 16

Whisky Review # 690

Country: Ireland

Distillery: Bushmills
Brand: Bushmills
Type: Single Malt Whiskey
Age: 16 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Bourbon and Oloroso casks with 6-9 months Port Wine Finish  
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 90-110 (February 2018)     
Buying Advice: 😐 Good if you like Port Wine. I prefer the 21 Years! 

Colour: Golden Amber with shades of Red (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Quite a difference with the Glendalough as could be expected of course given the totally different maturation process. The Sweetness of the Oloroso and Port casks is quite overwhelming. In the 21 Years I found more balance between Spirit and casks. Still, if you love Whisky, Sherry, Port Wine and Madeira you're gonna love this Bushmills 16. I find Dark Red Fruit like Berries, Cherries and Red Grapes. I also detect Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Maple Syrup, Dried Fruit like Apricot, Apple and Banana, Papaya Cream with Cassis, Dusty Road, Orange Flavoured Dark Chocolate, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger, light Menthol and hints of Tobacco, Marzipan and Espresso. The Alcohol is nicely integrated. As the ABV is clearly too low for a Whiskey of this age, you actually get the feeling you are Nosing a Fortified wine. I clearly miss a bit of balance here. 

Palate: The delivery is way too Thin as a result of the low ABV. The Fortified Wine influence remains very strong. From time to time It reminds me of older Bourbon as well. I find Malted Barley, Toast, Vanilla, Dark Red Berries, Toffee, Dark Chocolate, Rum Soaked Sultanas and Raisins, Red Wine, Nuts, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Grapefruit Juice, Licorice, Tobacco and Herbal Tea.         

Finish: Middle-Long and Very Sweet. Some Bitter and Sour Fortified Wine notes towards the Dry end. I find Sweet Barley, Heather-Honey, Dark Red Berries, Port Wine, Orange-Flavoured Bitter Chocolate, Rum, Nuts and Dried Fruit, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Licorice, Menthol, Herbal Tea, Creme de Cassis and hints of Tobacco, old Dusty Leather, Resin, Struck Matches and Strong Espresso.        


Rating: 82.5     

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 20.5     

Conclusion:

Like the 21 Years, the Bushmills 16 Years suffers from the ridiculously low ABV. They both easily deserve 46%. The 16 Years has one other major flaw when compared to the 21. It misses balance. The Oloroso, and, even more so, the Port pipes take total control over the Spirit. It's not at all a bad Single Malt and Fortified Wine lovers should certainly have a go at it. But for me it's a little over the top. I'll stick to the 21 Years if I want to drink a well-matured and balanced Bushmills.

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Whisky Review # 691

Country: Ireland

Produced by: The Teeling Whiskey Company
Distillery: Cooley
Brand: Teeling Small Batch (Bottled 2015)
Type: Blended Irish Whiskey
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Refill Bourbon casks with Rum Cask Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 35-45 (February 2018)     
Buying Advice: 😒 Not a sipping Whiskey. Suited for mixing.

Colour: Golden (Possibly lightly Coloured)

Nose: Be sure to give this Teeling sufficient air time to get rid of strong initial wafts of Alcohol and Thinner/Nail Polish Remover. The Grain Alcohol is clearly noticeable despite the slightly higher (35%) Malt content of this Blend. I get lots of (Tropical) Fruit Aromas but they are more artificial like in Candies. I find Pear, Apple, Pineapple, Mango and Blackberry. I also get Toast and Margarine, Icing Sugar, Vanilla, Toasted Cereals, Refill Oak, Grass, Straw, Nuts, Dusty Road, Orange Peel, Resin, Dried Fruit like Apricot and Raisin, Lemon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Grapefruit Juice, Young White Rum and a few Floral notes. Moist of these Aromas are mere hints. The main drivers are Grain Alcohol and Fruit Candy.

Palate: Young, Thin and Sugary Sweet. Almost like Young White Rum. I find Toasted Cereals, Grain Alcohol, Candies with Artificial Fruit Flavours, Apple-Vinegar, Grapefruit Juice, Lemon, Caramel, Vanilla, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove, Paint Thinner, Grass, Straw, Refill Oak, Resin and Herbal Tea.       

Finish: Middle-Long and Sugary Sweet. More Bitter - and Herbal notes towards the Dry end. A light Alcohol bite. I find Toasted Cereals, Grain Alcohol, Caramel, Lemon, Seville Orange, Candies with Artificial Fruit Flavours, Refill Oak, Cider, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Cinnamon, Grass, Paint Thinner and Vanilla.   


Rating: 77.5      

Nose: 20 - Taste: 19 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 19.5     

Conclusion:

I understand this Blend has a 35/65 Malt to Grain Proportion. I'm pretty sure that Corn is part of the Mash bill. After around 6 years of maturation the Malt and Grain Whiskeys are married and then finished for another 6 months or so in Ex-Rum casks from Central America. I'm not impressed by this Teeling. It often feels like a Young White Rum and it's totally dominated by Grain Alcohol and Candies with Artificial (Tropical) Fruit Flavours. Not good enough as a Sipping Whiskey. This is for Mixing Purposes only. To end up on a positive note: The Bottle, Label and Packaging are really nice!
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Drinking Advice:
Due to the fact that I merely had small samples at my disposal, I only Nosed and Tasted these three Irish Whiskeys neat. As most of you know by now, I'm not a particular fan of Irish Whiskey in general although I did taste a few very nice ones. I'm sorry to say that the three expressions tasted today were not able to change my general opinion in this respect.

Jan van den Ende                                                                February 22, 2018

Related image
Cooley Distillery