Let’s be honest: When someone talks about Irish whiskey, they typically speak of a lower end, everyday drink that is smooth though typically doesn’t break the mould.
That’s mostly because the industry has taken a hit over the last century. English trade embargos, the Coffey still, American prohibition, and even Canadian’s calling uncut, poisonous whisky (note no E, it was from Canada) Irish and killing people with it.
So when you visit Ireland, you start to find an industry smaller than the fame it once had. And you start to find the higher end whiskeys on the island.
But which ones do you buy? I personally aimed for Teeling last time, as I’ve enjoyed previous offerings.
One I missed out on (it came out a few months after I visited) was Teeling 12 Collinstown Collection. This is an exclusive to The Irish Whiskey Collection, aka the Duty-Free shop at Dublin Airport.
Airport exclusives can be hit or miss though. And with being in Ireland, you have a rare chance to try whiskeys that were so good they didn’t need to make it off the island.
So let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: €65 (Duty-Free) at the Dublin Airport
Casks Used: Finished in ex-Loupiac wine casks
Total Bottles: 6,000
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Guava, cereal, caramel, cream, coffee, hot
Good tropical fruit and cereal on the nose. Some sweeter notes, some bitterness/earth to balance it all out.
Very hot on the nose, lots of alcohol. Sometimes that happens with younger drams that have been watered down, so it’s a bit of a concern here.
Taste: Banana, black pepper, cream, peach, grape
More of the ex-bourbon is coming forward. Banana notes, more of the cream and some fruit. If there is something that Irish does well, it’s fruity notes and this is a good showing.
That said, there’s a peppery note in there. It doesn’t quite get my goat up, though it’s sticking out like a sore thumb.
Finish: Brine, banana, cereal, thyme, dry wood
Nice saltiness, though less of the fruit. Goes a bit herbal and dry here, with lots of wood notes. Gets really dry at the end. On the other hand, no heat on the finish.
Conclusion: Interesting whiskey, tastes closer to a more ex-Bourbon forward whiskey, has elements I like and others I don’t (hot aspects).
If you picked this up as one of the Irish whiskeys that I wish could make it off the island, then you wouldn’t be disappointed. It’s a nice whiskey, if flawed. There are some epic whiskeys that will cost you more Euros though.
I don’t really know what the EDIT: White (not red, major mistake there )wine finish did here. It’s the start of an interesting whiskey, and I hope that they make more, older, interesting picks moving forward.
World Whisky review #374, Ireland review #110, Whisky Network review #1800