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Teeling Small Batch

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Teeling Small Batch

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Teeling Small Batch

The final review of the budget trifecta from my club's blind tasting in March.

I chose this for a myriad of reasons, I knew I wanted to throw a blend into the mix and an Irish blended whisky was the curve ball I needed. Besides the Teeling Single Malt was extremely well received in a past session and was curious to see if the blend would be of similar quality.

Yes I'm getting on with it.

Nose: It's rather sweet on opening, coton candy, caramel corn, then shows its youth and grain with varnish and copper smell.

Rising dough, vanilla, banana chips, trail mix. There's a feeling of celery and lanolin.

Palate: much like the nose to begin with, sweet things, cotton candy, creamy vanilla, caramel, underripe banana. A slight feeling of violets like a popular brand of fabric softener, brioche and a hint of mozzarella cheese, all of this is sitting on a fairly grain forward blanket.

Finish: barrel char, heavy cream and Rhum Baba. The texture is oily but it doesn't end too sweet despite the sweet aromas.

During my blind tastings, I thought this was the Deanston Virgin oak. How wrong was I?

All things told, it has some interesting nuances but it's fairly rough at times strange and probably quite young. The abv which is an asset in the Teeling Single malt, is definitely highlighting the rawness.

This faired decently among the group with only one person saying it didn't feel like Scotch, all agreed it was a bit rough. I think It's decent if a bit high priced compared to other Irish blends.


So this was from a small 5cl Trinity pack. Glass was aired for one hour before tasting.

On the colour scale it's a pale light yellow/golden whisky.

The nose brings with it the familiar tones of Irish pot still and the crystal clean lines of unmalted grains, lemon citrus, chardonnay wine, vanilla, honey wine mead, sultanas and notes of sweetness from the rum cask. Hints of that unrefined brown sugar and sultanas from the rum, mixing with some slightly unripe banana ester. Very pleasant on the nose but little in the way of complexity. Solid clean lines.

On the taste it's crunchy unmalted cereal grains, lemon citrus, chardonnay wine grape, with the associated steeliness, honey, very slight hints of dark rum, and some more of that slight banana ester. Little rough around the edges and hot.

Body is light.

Finish is a bit hot. Honey and mead with some hotness, but it doesn't linger too long. Some tangy unripe banana coming in every now and again. Bit of sultana too.

A decent whisky if a little rough around the edges on the taste and finish.


The original Teeling distillery was established by Walter Teeling in 1782 in Dublin. It eventually closed as a result of the decline in Irish whiskey sales. In 1985, John Teeling bought a state-owned industrial potato distillery on the Cooley peninsula. He added a column still and in 1987 launched the Cooley Whisky Distillery and set about re-launching forgotten Irish whiskey brands such as The Tyrconnell. When the Cooley distillery was sold to Beam in 2012, John’s sons Jack and Stephen negotiated with Beam to sell them 16,000 casks of aged Cooley whiskey. With these stocks they set up the new Teeling Distillery in Dublin, where the first run of whiskey flowed in March 2015. Teeling Small Batch is a blend that consists of grain and malt whisky that is initially matured in ex-bourbon casks before being married for six months in ex-rum casks.

The nose is sweet, floral and just a bit creamy. Distinct rum flavours come first, followed by notes of oranges and cinnamon. All in all this is a very sugary and almost syrupy nose.

The palate is medium-bodied and spicy. The orange and cinnamon flavours are back, now accompanied by notes of raisins, lemons and vanilla. Quite a multi-layered palate but also, unfortunately, with a rough edge to it.

The finish is of medium length, floral and spicy. Once again, oranges and cinnamon take centre stage, followed by a hint of caramel.

Teeling Small Batch is a blend that shows the youth of its ingredients. The whisky that went in there is clearly young and, although showing signs of promise, needs more time in the cask in order to develop its full potential. The palate is dry and sweet at the same time, which is unusual and interesting, but I was not very fond of its rough and sharp edge. More time for maturation will make this mellow and just right.

@Pierre_W, thanks for a very relevant and accurate picture of this whiskey. I have yet to find anyone who has gotten very excited in a good way about Teeling Small Batch. I was a bit surprised when I first learned that these were the Cooley people, because Teeling Small Batch is to me a weaker performer than anything (else) I have had from the Cooley Distillery. From what I have had of it I don't know why anyone would ever buy a bottle of it.

Thanks, @Victor. Indeed, this was my least favourite of Teeling's core expressions that I recently tried. I will be visiting the distillery this week, perhaps a good opportunity to quiz the guys about what exactly they wanted to achieve with this expression.


I was excited to try this one: single grain whiskey finished in dark rum casks - how curious.

Nose: Lot of alcohol, sweet rum, chocolate, pineapple, raisins

Taste: Raisins, prunes, cinnamon, vanilla, sugar cane

Finish: Grain, floral

Unique. Not atypical Irish. There were some bad reviews posted online, but I decided to not let that deter me and to satisfy my curiosity. I feel it needs something more. It's hard to pick up what's going on here. I feel a bit muddled and the distiller wasn't sure which way to take this whiskey in. Or maybe he got some barrels of grain whiskey for a great price and had to make due with the stock - enter the flavoured finish.

As of the date of this review being published, and the bottle bottling itself, I am under the impression this distillery is not bottling its own spirit yet and is currently buying barrels and releasing them under their own name. So who knows where these barrels actually come from, perhaps some multi-national with tired old ex-Bourbon barrels on their fifth refill. I don't know, I just speculate. When the time comes, and Teeling is bottling whiskey from their own distillery, I'll be sure to come back and give it another look in.

While Teeling Whiskey Distillery is new, I think further research would lead to understanding the role the Teeling family (in particular John) has had in the Irish Whiskey industry over the past several decades. Given that the Teelings walked away with a lot of both cash and distilled/aged spirits from their sale of Cooley Distillery to Beam, I might hazard a guess as to the originating source of some/all of the small batch whiskey you sampled.

@Frost: gotta agree with you that this is not the best whiskey offered by Teeling Whiskey. But my understanding is the Small Batch expression is a blended whiskey with approximately a one third malt whiskey to two thirds grain recipe. The Teeling Single Grain expression is a much different animal. IMHO, it is much better than this, the Small Batch blend. I highly recommend it for those looking to sample a decent single grain whiskey.


The reviewed bottle of Teeling Small Batch Whiskey, bottle code L14 006 144, has been open for 13 days. This whiskey has no age statement on the bottle, and was finished in rum casks for 6 months

Nose: malt, grain, and rum cask finish fuse together into a dense medium pitched somewhat amorphous bundle. Elements of each are noticeable when you look for them, but the overall effect is mostly of vanilla and muddled cereal flavours, with a bit of grape-ish fruit around the periphery. This is ok in quality, but lacks anything excellent or memorable

Taste: sharp immediate greeting, with crisp barley and crisp wheat grain flavours. This whiskey quickly goes sweet, with lots of natural caramel. Once again, some grape flavours present

Finish: from a very sweet palate sourness builds into the finish and takes complete charge by the death

Balance: murky balance in the nose is followed by a few balanced initial seconds of the initial palate. After that, unbalanced sweetness succumbs to unbalanced sourness

Water added: 1) raises the pitch in the nose, 2) dilutes, homogenises, and carmelises the palate, and 3) balances the finish amd makes it less sour

This is my sister's bottle. This is drinkable enough whiskey, but I wouldn't buy a bottle from this batch. I expect that other batches of Teeling Small Batch may be more impressive

I didn't really like this one, myself...seemed very spirity to me. I don't think I'd take a chance with a bottle from another batch...


This small batch has been matured in oak cask then finished in Rum cask.I was looking for the Single Grain but the SAQ only carries the Small Batch so I said to myself Why not?

The nose has a lot of alcohol and because of it, it is an evolving experience. First you have only the alcohol. After a while you have cut hay, white raisin with tea, marzipan and white pepper. Furthermore you have dried pineapple and dried peach dipped in honey.

The palate is sweet and follow the nose in a blended way. The flavors are there but not well defined. But sometime you have a hint of milk chocolate.

The finish is short and like the palate. Then comes the best part of this whisky the smell of the empty glass after an hour. You have raisins but the Thompson not the sultana, with milk chocolate and prune going on the goji fruits, surprising! The extra points will be put in the nose.

Conclusion, it is good but too blendy to be great. You have more grain at the beginning and some malt at the end which is a good surprise but, again, the definition is not there. For me, the honey is responsible for the richness but mixed all the higher notes together.


The Teeling Whiskey Company is a new brand of Irish whiskey, started quite recently by Jack Teeling. (who once owned the Cooley distillery, and are now building a new distillery in Dublin). The family has been making whiskey since 1782, and started the Cooley Distillery in 1987. They sold the distillery to Beam in 2011. Their three expressions are a Vintage Reserve Single Malt, a Poitin and this four year old small batch blended whiskey.

This blend has a high malt content, is non-chill-filtered and is finished in ex-Flor de Cana Rum barrels. Although no information on where the spirit was distilled is given, I have to assume it comes from Cooley. This one was bottled in September 2013. I bought this bottle in Whitehorse (it is currently not available in Ontario), and I think it is also available in BC and Alberta.

The colour is a light-to-medium gold. On the nose, very light honey, and also quite grassy. Lemon pastry. Salt-and-pepper. Quite light and citrusy, with some sweetness (like simple syrup) but also a little rough around the edges - slightly medicinal. Water simply dilutes both the nose and palate.

On the palate, quite sweet but in a very bland way - again, think simple syrup. Almost sticky. A rough spiciness combined with lemonade and very light honey. Cloying and not to my taste.

The finish is a little too chalky, with some oak coming through, and also quite short. Given this is the first Teeling whiskey I've tried to date, it is a letdown. At only four years old, it definitely feels too young and clumsy. I've heard great things about their Vintage Reserve Single Malt, but this is not a great introduction to this new brand. Time will tell what other offerings await us.

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