Two different Teeling Vintage Reserve 21 YO
The Teeling family owned the Cooley Distillery in Ireland from the start in 1987 until they sold it to Beam Global in 2011. Shortly thereafter Jack Teeling started the Teeling Whiskey Company. The agreement with Beam ensured they had access to Cooley produced stock. They could therefore start releasing whiskey bottlings under their own brand. On August 24, 2014, they announced that they would build a new distillery, Teeling Whiskey Distillery, in Newmarket, Dublin. While we are waiting for Teeling to produce their own whiskey we can still enjoy their products. I have prviously reviewed batch 1 of the Teeling Vintage Reserve 21 YO. Now it is time to review batch 3 released earlier this year, and a special cask strength variant released for Shinanoya in Japan in 2013.
Teeling Vintage Reserve 21 YO Silver Bottling - Batch 3, 46 %
The Teeling Vintage Reserve 21 YO Silver Bottling is released in limited batches of 5000 bottles. The first batch was bottled in 2012, followed by a second batch in 2013, and now the third batch this year. The whiskey is matured for 20 years in bourbon barrels, before receiving a 12 month finish in Sauternes wine casks.
You can buy this whiskey in Norway at NOK 1150 (item number 913101), and in Sweden at SEK 1299 (item number 87924). So this is another of those rare bottles that are sold at a lower price in Norway than in Sweden.
Nose (22/25): Deep and fruity. A rather complex nose. Some chocolate, spices and a pinch of salt. A very mild hint of something like sulphur or rubber, but it works as a spice and does not take anything away from the experience.
Taste (22/25): Full-bodied and rich. White chocolate and spices. Somewhat dry but it works - some wine notes also. Is that the wine finish maybe?
Finish (22/25): On the finish the salt is back, mixing well with the chocolate notes. Some pineapple and other tropical fruits.
Balance (22/25): A lovely dram, I must say. Now let's see what cask strength can do for this whiskey...
Teeling Vintage Reserve 21 YO St Patrick's Day bottling for Shinanoya, 57,1 %
This is a special single cask release for the Japanese company Shinanoya. Unlike the regular expression this single cask is also cask strength. The whiskey was matured in cask SA-5-91. I am assuming this release did not receive the 12 month Sauternes finish, but I do not know that for certain.
I have not seen this expression available to buy online anywhere. It was released only in the Shinanoya shops, and the outlet I visited while in Japan last time did not have it in stock. Their online shop did not have it either, but we did find a bar that had it on offer - the excellent Highlander Inn Bar in Tokyo.
Nose (22/25): Oh, what a delightful and playful nose. Fresh, rich and sugary with mild spices mixed in. Light caramel notes.
Taste (22/25): Smooth mouth-feel, really soft and delicate. Very well integrated and balanced I would say. Still sugary, now also with some licorice and a bit of salt.
Finish (22/25): I am now picking up some herbal notes. It still has white sugar and licorice. Long and warm finish.
Balance (22/25): I realize I have given these two whiskies the exact same score, yet the experience is quite different. Both are lovely dram though. Do try them if you get the chance!
Sláinte! - Thomas