So today we look at the Second Batch of the Teeling Single Pot Still. Teeling are doing quite a bit here and there, with multiple releases world-wide, a slew of whiskies constantly on the horizon, and now we are seeing more and more of the Single Pot Still. The boys have informed me that the use of Batches allows for more experimentation than they would normally have, giving them time to fine tune various styles and find one that fits. Whereas the 1st Batch was ex-bourbon, Virgin oak and finished in ex-Muscat, the Batch 2 uses a combination of ex-sherry (PX), American oak and ex-white wine. The Batch 1 was lighter, 3 years old and embraced the youth of the spirit, and the Batch 2 is a touch darker, 6 months older, and the influence of the American and ex-sherry is emphasized in this bottling. With 10,000 bottles released, this is sure to be a sell out in a similar vein to the Batch 1, but what’s it like?
The whiskies first breathe is reminiscent of tequila and fresh spirit, the copper and steel working of the Teeling distillery rising from the nose to encase light white and yellow fruits, a touch of honey sweetness with malt biscuits topped with vanilla cream and lemon zest, the scent of fresh cut summer grass and lemon scented Windex spray. After a touch we are greeted with sun dried apricots, white pepper, goose berry and a touch of tennis ball tubes found in many a Sauvignon Blanc. At the end it is a touch souring, with chewed flower stems, old dandelion petals and a homemade lemon conserve.
Our palate, on the other hand, is tart and sour, with more flowers stems now dried in the sun, a squeeze of lemon juice, a woody backing, frozen Sauvignon Blanc, old grass and a puckering, stripping mouthfeel. Peaches, lemon juice and cream come together on a short finish that in the nose a whole lot, reminding me of sour fruit and whiskey kept in a hip flask, oxidizing and a touch of iron.
I wasn’t a huge fan of it, if we’re being completely honest. I thought it had many merits, and I enjoyed the light character the nose brought forth, but the palate really didn’t do much for me. This is the benefit of the batch system however; seeing multiple variations on whiskey allow for a broader understanding of the product, what it is and what it can be. Personally I think the addition of the white wine cask is a masterstroke for the nose, if that can be replicated in the palate I would be keen to know all about it. In the end though, Teeling is learning gradually what makes their whiskey their whiskey, and through that make something for the ages. I’d take the Batch 2 over the first for drinking, but this is again one of those bottles to put aside for a few years, crack it once Teeling has a standard release and see how far the whiskey has come.