The Best Single Malt Whiskey in the World is an Irish Whiskey. Teeling 24 Vintage Reserve Single Malt Review.
I can’t believe that it is only six years since I first encountered a Teeling whiskey. In 2013, I had moved to Brussels for a year to take up a new appointment in my professional life, working for the EU Council so for the next year, I was also a regular visitor to the Irish Whiskey Collection shop in Dublin Airport.
The Teeling Whiskey Brand, launched by Jack Teeling in 2013, was firmly built around innovative and creative blending and finishing of their selected aged Cooley Whiskey stocks.
I have given my Irish Whiskey of the Year award to Teeling Whiskey twice in recent years. To Teeling Small Batch in 2013 and Teeling Brabazon 2, which typified their excellence in blending and finishing, in 2017.
Teeling maintained momentum with the opening of their own Teeling Whiskey Distillery in Dublin’s Liberties in 2015. The distillery has just released its own very first Teeling-Distilled (Single Pot Still) whiskey expressions in recent months; the first of a new generation of Dublin Distilled Teeling Whiskey.
If my memory serves me correctly, I bought my first ever two bottles of Teeling Small Batch in March 2013 along with my first two (of my eventual five bottles) of one of Teeling’s initial Super-Premium offerings. This was a partially peated 21 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey finished for a year in Sauterne Casks and beautifully presented in a bespoke wooden display stand.
This was one of the very first premium Irish whiskeys that I bought to review on my new Irish Whiskey blog here at IrishWhiskey.Com. See Teeling Vintage Reserve 21 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey Review from November 2014 for the original article.
As you can see from that early Teeling Whiskey blog review, I was very, very happy with my purchase. So happy, that I went on to buy several more bottles of Teeling 21 that year as gifts for my whiskey friends in Brussels. I wondered aloud at the time about the potential of taking this already superb and quite unique Irish Whiskey to even great heights by leaving it mature for another while in the Sauterne Casks.
As I said in my original 2014 blog on Teeling 21, the ideal whiskey for a wine cask finish would probably be the “blank canvas” of a nicely aged single grain whiskey. The more robust flavours and character of a Single Malt or Single Pot Still, will often need much more time for a wine cask to fully tame, influence, soften and complement the power of an aged malt whiskey. Therefore, I am quite sure that I would not have been alone then in wondering what extra magic an extra few years in the Sauterne Casks would bring.
And so to the subject of today’s story, Teeling 24 Year Old Vintage Reserve Single Malt irish Whiskey. As you should have guessed by now, Teeling 21 and Teeling 24 are in fact one and the same whiskey which was first distilled in 1991 and aged for 21 Years in Ex Bourbon Casks before being finished in Sauterne Wine Casks. The Teeling 21 that I had originally bought and reviewed in 2013 was bottled on 17 July 2013 after one year of finishing, whereas the subject of today’s great story is its twin expression which was left at home to mature for an additional three years in the sweet wine Sauterne Casks before being bottled in August 2016.
In years to come, when books have been written about the Irish Whiskey Renaissance, I am absolutely sure that this 2019 Best Single Malt in the World Award award will be seen as a key achievement indicator and force enabler for the Irish Whiskey sector as a whole in the global whiskey market.
This award is not a fluke or a “flash in the pan” success. Witness the solid track record of innovation and creativity as I have outlined already from Teeling Small Batch, through their Vintage Reserve and Revival expressions to their more recent Brabazon 1 and 2 expressions.
All played their part in paving the way towards this incredible achievement and all were driven by the skill, dedication, business- courage and determination of Jack and Stephen Teeling, their Master Distiller and Whiskey Meister, Alex Chasko and the rest of the Teeling Whiskey Team. Commenting on last week’s win, Jack Teeling, Founder and Managing Director of Teeling Whiskey said:
“Since reviving our old family trademark of Teeling Whiskey back in 2012 we have endeavoured to make sure every bottle of Irish whiskey we release with our family name on it is of the highest quality.”
“To be honoured as the World’s Best Single Malt and in the process become the first Irish whiskey to ever have achieved such world-wide acclaim is very humbling and reflects the global resurgence and revival of both Teeling and Irish whiskey. We are now right back at the top table of global whiskey and we look forward to continue leading this new golden era for Irish whiskey.”
“We are also extremely proud of the team we have created, and this award is testament to the creativity, hard-work and dedication of our staff both here in Ireland and around the world, and I would like to thank them all for helping us achieve this ambition.”
This Teeling 24 very small batch bottling is available in select markets around the world including Ireland, US, Benelux, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and some Asian markets. I have yet to taste Teeling 24 but Teeling’s own press release describes it as:
“The combination of aging processes and the unique Irish climate produces an extraordinary whiskey with complex yet silky smooth taste, with flavours of fig jam, honey, apricots, and white chocolate and crisp saltiness at the end to balance the sweetness off.”
I’d like to add my own personal congratulations to Jack, Stephen, Alex and the entire Teeling Whiskey Team who exemplify all that is best about the new Irish Whiskey industry. Continued Success and Best Wishes to you all from one of your earliest Fans.
Author: Whiskey Blogger
Stuart McNamara (@WhiskeyBlogger) is an international Whiskey Blogger who edits several International Whisk(e)y and Whiskey Tourism sites including IrishWhiskey.com and WhiskeyBlogger.com. He is also the creator and editor of International Irish Whiskey Day which is celebrated on 3/3 or 3rd March each year and has a global social media reach of over 8 Million. He is a Director of Portmagee Whiskey and has also acted as both a brand and product development consultant to several other Irish Whiskey and other spirits producers.