Teeling’s hometown of Dublin is a city that I’ve spent some time in but not much. It was just a short few days I tacked on after a longer trip to Ireland. I enjoyed myself, but I’d honestly rather be in a remote location in the Irish countryside. That’s where I really unwind. It’s also why I much prefer staying in the Scottish Highlands compared to one of their two big cities, Glasgow or Edinburgh. While I’ve great memories of the larger Irish and Scottish cities, I’ve even better ones of the quiet, serene, heaven-like rural parts of either country.
Although I must say I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Cork. Not big but not small either, yet absolutely vibrant and with plenty of good culinary options. And attending a Damien Rice concert in the Cork Opera House was a once in a lifetime experience. So, I you’d ask me right now, I’d much sooner return to Cork than Dublin. Although that would have one downside to it. After having tasted many of the Teeling offerings over the last year or two, I’d love to tour their distillery sooner rather than later.
Last time I was in Dublin I chose to visit the Jameson Distillery Bow Street, which at the time had just reopened. It was also part of a work assignment, as I was asked to write about it for the now defunct Dutch magazine Whisky & Spirits. It didn’t leave me with much time to also drop by Teeling, especially after also spending time in the wonderful Palace Bar, Dingle Whiskey Bar and Celtic Whiskey Shop. So that oversight will have to be rectified at some point. Not immediately though.
Because now that there’s some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, a visit to Scotland is my first priority. It’s been two (!) years and I’m having some serious withdrawal symptoms. I used to fly over three or four times annually, but now I barely remember what a bagpipe looks like. So, Ireland will have to take a backseat, but I will return and finally visit Teeling at some point.
Until I do, let’s tide things over with a closer look at the third installment of the Renaissance Series. Like the first two in the series it’s 18-years-old. After having used Madeira and Shiraz barrels for their first two releases, Teeling has finished this latest edition in ex-Muscat wine casks.
Teeling 18 Years Renaissance Series No. 3 (46%, OB, 2021)
Nose: Sweet, chalky and with plenty of mango and apricots, followed by strawberry, but some aniseed as well. Then soft notes of orange zest and honeyed cereal bars. Taste: Big fruits. Plenty of figs, some lime and nectarines too. Peach as well and some menthol, but also grape juice. Mouthfeel stays behind a little. Finish: Somewhat drying with lingering red apples and some greener notes.
A fruity, mature Irish whiskey that doesn't leave much to desire. Maybe just a little more oomph would be nice. I'm not that person who thinks everything is better at cask strength. And even though 46 percent is usually plenty, the Teeling 18 Years Renaissance Series No. 3 would probably be even better at 48 or 50 percent.