Peat and Irish whiskey is an uncommon marriage. Drying barley with peat is almost solely a Scottish affair. Enter Teeling Blackpitts, the first peated malt whiskey released by the Teeling Whiskey Company. They are now part of an exclusive group.
Only Cooley has continually made peated whiskey—for over two decades—to be used for their Connemara brand. But that’s really about it. Yes, some of Cooley’s peated spirit has made their way into a few little known releases. There have also been a few Irish whiskies matured in peated casks. But nothing on the scale that Teeling is now bringing to market.
Contrary to Connemara but very much in line with modern Irish tradition, Teeling Blackpitts is triple distilled at their distillery in Dublin, which presumably should have an effect on the type of phenols that have made it into the new make spirit. Maturation took place in ex-bourbon casks and ex-Sauternes casks. The peated malt used was sourced from Glenesk in Speyside. The barley is peated at about 55 ppm, while after triple distillation the new make sits at roughly 15 ppm.
Teeling Blackpitts (46%, OB, 2020)
Nose: Charcoal but also a sweet fruitiness. Think some port poached pears, pineapple and honey-glazed apple. Touches of barbecued, charred bacon. Finally a whiff of smoked barley husks too. And some Irn-Bru? I thought this was Irish! Taste: There’s yellow fruits, stewed apples, bonfire and a pretty distinct ashiness. Also bitter pineapple, refined sugar and ripe red apple parts. Finish: A tinge of wood smoke and soft yellow fruits. Short to medium in length.
Proper whiskey at a young age that regresses a little on the finish. Overall a success and fascinating to see the impact of the third round of distillation. It’s fruitier and more subtle than your average young peated whisky, which usually tends to be about smoke and little else. Teeling Blackpitts is peated whiskey done the Irish way.