The Best Single Malt Whiskey in the World is Irish. Teeling 24 Vintage Reserve.

The Best Single Malt Whiskey in the World is an Irish Whiskey. Teeling 24 Vintage Reserve Single Malt Review.

Teeling 24 Vintage ReserveSingle Malt Irish Whiskey. Best Single Maalt Whiskey in the WorldReview by Irish Whiskey Blogger Stuart McNamara

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.

It’s also hard to believe that back in 2013, a bottle of Jameson 12 was considered a premium-whiskey and the annual release of Midleton Very Rare was as rare as super-premium Irish whiskey really got for the ordinary Irish Whiskey shopper.Cooley Distillery led by positive disrupters John Teeling and Willie McCarter had lit the initial flame of the Irish Whiskey renaissance, but it was John Teeling’s two sons, Jack and Stephen who in Olympic style, took over that flame in 2012 and have kept that Irish Whiskey Torch burning brighter and stronger each year since through their own independent Teeling Whiskey brand.

When Cooley was sold to Beam Suntory in 2011, the Teelings negotiated the sale of a large inventory of high quality aged casks of Single Malt and Single Grain Whiskey which had earlier formed the basis of Cooley’s own premium expressions such as Tyrconnell (premium finished) and Connemara (Peated) Irish Single Malt Whiskeys.
Jack Teeling Stephen Teeling Teeling 24 Year Old Vintage ReserveSingle Malt Irish Whiskey Review Stuart McNamara Irish Whiskey Blogger

Jack and Stephen Teeling.

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.

Teeling 21 Vintage Reserve Single Malt Irish Whiskey Review by Stuart McNamara Irish Whiskey Blogger

The first of several bottles of Teeling 21 Vintage Reserve 21 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey I bought in 2013 was Bottle Number 361 of 5,000. I was an early Teeling Adopter!

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.

What makes this later 24 Year Old expression so newsworthy today is that last week, on Thursday 28 March 2019, at the World Whiskies Awards at the Honourable Artillery Club in London, Teeling 24 Year Old Vintage Reserve Single Malt Irish Whiskey from Dublin Ireland, was declared the Best Single Malt Whisk(e)y in the World.

The World Whiskies Awards is a premier celebration of the very best in all internationally recognised styles of whiskey. Presented by and Whisky Magazine, these Awards are one of the highlights of the year for the global whiskey industry in selecting, rewarding and promoting the world’s very best whiskeys to consumers and trade across the globe. A distinguished panel of internationally recognised independent whiskey experts chose Teeling Whiskey’s 24-Year-Old Vintage Reserve Single Malt Irish Whiskey as the best Single Malt Whiskey in the World.

This is the first time ever that an Irish Whiskey has won this award. Single Malt has long been the preserve of Scottish distilleries and their successor-protegés from Japan. For a relatively new Irish Whiskey brand to be awarded this whiskey-accolade supreme is an absolutely stunning achievement, not just for Teeling Whiskey, but for the reputation and standing of the entire Irish Whiskey sector around the world.

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.

Teeling Master Distiller Alex Chasko, Stephen and Jack Teeling celebrate their award in London last week of Best Single Malt Whiskey in the World for Teeling 24 Year Old Vintage Reserve Single Malt Irish Whiskey Review by Irish Whiskey Blogger Stuart McNamara.

Teeling Master Distiller Alex Chasko, Stephen and Jack Teeling celebrate their award last week of Best Single Malt Whiskey in the World for Teeling 24 Year Old Vintage Reserve Single Malt Irish Whiskey.

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.

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Whiskey Blogger
Whiskey Blogger

Stuart McNamara (@WhiskeyBlogger) is an international Whiskey Blogger who edits several International Whisk(e)y and Whiskey Tourism sites including and He is Chair of the Irish Craft And Artisan Distilleries Association (ICADA) and is an elected member of the National Council of ISME, the Irish SME Association. He is also the creator and editor of International Irish Whiskey Day which is celebrated on 3/3 or 3rd March each year and had a global social media reach in 2021 of over 20 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.

International Whiskey Reviews by Irish Whiskey Blogger Stuart McNamara