As mentioned in my review of two Teeling’s Brabazons, I’m not a huge fan of the Teeling as a whole due all of their well-aged products being sourced.
Yet, one of the most memorable whisk(e)ys I’ve ever tasted was a Teeling 24 year old. This was during a Tales of the Cocktail seminar in 2018. There were other memorable aspects in the seminar such as getting to meet the late Dave Pickerel and a really good Ocho Blanco Tequila Single Estate. But the Teeling stood out the most and gave me a good first impression of the brand.
These two Teeling single malts were part of the online tasting with Robert Caldwell, which included the two Brabazons. I initially wasn’t interested in the tasting, but seeing two older Teeling single malts intrigued me. It gave me hope that at least one of them would come close to the 24 year old. Sadly, none came close. But the experience of tasting more single malt with unfamiliar secondary maturations was well worth it.
Teeling 14 year old Revival 3 spent time in ex-white Pineau de Charentes casks. Pineau (in short) is not a very popular fortified wine. It’s made in the Cognac region by blending around ¾ freshly squeezed grape juice or slightly fermented grape must with around ¼ Cognac eaux-de-vie and aging them at least 18 months in French oak.
There are three types of Pineau. I’ve only tried a few reds and white but never a rosé. Grapes used for white Pineau are usually Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and Folle Blanche. However, sometimes Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot Blanc, Jurancon, Montils, and Meslier St Francois grapes are also used.
Red and rosé are usually made with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. These make me think of Bordeaux. Red Pineau is said to be more popular as it gives off a fruitier and slightly sweeter taste.
Teeling Revival 3 – Review
14 years old. 46% ABV. Around €120 on release.
On the nose: Initially hot and peppery, with a tinge of acidity. There’s an enveloping tannic texture that’s complemented by light and brief aromas of lemon zest, roasted grapes, raisins, and starfruit.
I set the glass down for a few minutes and nosed it again. There are now light and brief aromas of grape stems, kiwi, baked pears, honey, toffee, grilled pineapples, and salted caramel.
In the mouth: A fruit festival. I get a tannic sensation and medium tastes of roasted grapes, grilled pineapples, and pineapple skin. The notes’ intensity dials down and I get toffee, grape skins, grape stems, grass, kiwi, white sultanas, barley husk, and citrus peels.
This is a different profile I could have more of. It’s not impressive on the nose; there aren’t many layers to it. But, bit by bit, more aromas slowly come out.
Your focus should be on the taste, though. The flavors are packed here. It seems like the flavors of Pineau took over the whiskey, to the point that I think I’m drinking a type of white dessert wine. I wouldn’t consider this a balanced whiskey. But there’s an interesting and just right tannic texture here along with the flavors of a white Pineau. It’s just so new to me that I don’t mind it, as I enjoy it.
More of this please. When their own distillates come of age, I hope they can replicate this or even make it better.
Teeling 18 year old Renaissance 2 spent 18 months in ex-Australian Shiraz casks. I haven’t dabbled much into New World wine yet, but I know Shiraz as a type of red wine that can have spicy notes. I’m just unsure how Australian Shiraz is different from the ones made in France. The Renaissance releases are also said to be the new versions of the Revival series.
Teeling Renaissance 2 – Review
On the nose: A very mellow welcome. I get medium and round aromas of honey, barley tea, toffee, and lemon zest. The aromas suddenly flip and make me think of dark fruits. I get heavy but quick aromas of ripe plums, dates, apples and sapodilla. Suddenly, the fruits become more tropical. I’m reminded of Taiwanese pineapple cakes, pineapples, pineapple leaves, sultanas, and lime.
In the mouth: A weird mix of ex-bourbon and ex-wine casks clashing. I don’t really know what I’m tasting. I get the first half tastes of sapodilla, honey, vanilla, barley tea and toffee. But at the same time, I get pineapple leaves, pineapples, lemon zest, lemon peel, sultanas, plums, and dates.
After letting this breathe more, the wine notes become more dominant. More sultanas, pineapples, lemons, lanzones, grape stem, basil, and mint.
I love the nose on this. It’s traditional ex-bourbon single malt aromas at first, then darker and red fruit notes come out later on. The layering of aromas on this whiskey is great.
Sadly, it’s a different case in the mouth. For an 18 year old, flavors in this are impatient to show off. It ruins the balance. I expected to taste more red wine notes. However, the tastes I’m getting are more like the whiskey spent time in ex-white wine casks. But then, I haven’t really explored New World wine… I wonder if this is the work of the toasted French oak, which most wine producers use?
Despite the flaws, I still find this to be an interesting whiskey.
Images courtesy of The Whisky Exchange.