Monday, 4 July 2016
Teeling Revival II
I was quite surprised when last week the postman delivered a package from Dublin. Inside the package was a sample bottle of whiskey alongside a letter from the Teeling Whiskey Company who invited me to review their latest release. That whiskey is the Revival Vol. II which is a commemorative bottling to mark the first anniversary of the Dublin based Distillery.
Teeling is the first distillery in Dublin for over 125 years and was founded by Jack Teeling who was previously at the helm at the Cooley Distillery but left the company after it was purchased by Jim Beam. The spirit that is currently bottled by Teeling was produced by Cooley.
The Revival II consists of whiskey that was distilled in 2002 and that was matured for 12 years in ex-Bourbon casks. It then got a finish in 250 litre ex-Calvados casks for another year. It is bottled at 46% ABV with no chill filtration. It is limited to 10'000 bottles and a bottle will cost around 100€.
Calvados is a French apple brandy that I am not too familiar with but I really liked what I have tasted so far. At a French wine tasting I was able to sample some really stunning Calvados called Pays d'Auge Coeur de Lion that was produced by Christian Drouin. I tasted some very old expressions including vintage bottlings from 1958 and 1967 that were absolutely fantastic.
I've never had a Calvados matured whisky before but as I just mentioned I quite like the apple brandy on its own and I am also a sucker for apple desserts so I'm quite interested how this whiskey is going to be.
Nose: At first there is a cooling sensation of alcohol but in no way unpleasant. So what else do we have here? Apples? (I might change my name to Captain Obvious). There are some very prominent aromas of apples and also some caramel. Some tarte tatin with vanilla pods on top (have I already mentioned that I'm a sucker for apple desserts?). Some grainy notes that remind me of oatmeal and a lightly acidic passion fruit aroma.
Palate: So let's taste this shall we? On the palate we again encounter apples (who would have thought?). This time there is a variety of the fruit: Some rather sweet notes of Gala apples and also some tart and juicy notes like Granny Smith that coat my mouth. On top of that there are baked apples with almonds. Oatmeal and granola bars. The whiskey is rather mellow on the tongue at first but then it gets a little peppery.
Finish: On the medium long finish I think I get the influence of the Calvados casks which I think are made of European oak. Some spices with cloves very prominent but also a little bit of cinnamon and pepper again.
Verdict: A rather light but still complex Irish whiskey. Like I expected apples are quite prominent and come in a variety of different sorts (sweet Gala and tart Granny Smith) and styles (tarte tatin and baked apple). Nevertheless the Calvados influence isn't overpowering at all and there is still space for the distillate itself which comes with some very nice grainy notes like oatmeal and granola bars. I was a little afraid that the Calvados cask might overpower the distillate but this wasn't the case. All in all an interesting whiskey.
Thank you very much to the Teeling Whiskey Company for providing the Sample.