Teeling Pineapple Rum Cask (2020)
What in the hell is Pineapple Rum? I rarely drink rum and had never heard of it until I tasted the Teeling Pineapple Rum Cask. So let’s do some quick research before moving on to my tasting notes. Because I always like to know what I’m drinking. And, of course, I’d like my readers to be informed as well.
Teeling Pineapple Rum Cask is part of the whole range dedicated to working with other brands. It’s called Small Batch Collaborations, names after the Teeling Small Batch. The Small Batch is part of the distillery’s core range and is a blended Irish whiskey made from 25% malt whiskey and 75% grain whiskey. In their range of Small Batch Collaborations, each expression is finished in casks from interesting producers.
Previously Teeling have released a Rye Gin Finish with casks from Kyrö, Pinot Noir Cask Finish with casks from Reichsrat von Buhl, and a Peated Imperial Baltic Porter Finish. For the their latest collaboration, they teamed up with Plantation Rum and have used casks that formerly held Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum, named after a well-known Dickensian character.
So, Pineapple Rum is not a category of rum, but rather a single expression made by Plantation Rum. It is the fruit of the labour between master blender Alexandre Gabriel and historian and writer David Wondrich. Pineapple Rum is made by infusing “the barks of Victoria pineapples in Plantation 3 Stars rum, which is then further distilled. Separately, the pineapple fruit is infused in Plantation Original Dark rum. Both distillate and fruit infusion are finally blended together.”
Teeling Pineapple Rum Cask (49.2%, OB, 2020)
Nose: The rum influence is very present, mainly through those classic funky, dunder-like aromas. But the fruit-y, grain-y notes from the Small Batch are here as well. Sure, there are tropical flavours (pineapple the most obvious one), but everything is complemented by spices, mainly cinnamon.
Taste: Again, there’s that clear mixture of the Small Batch and funky rum, while the mouthfeel is rather thick and somewhat oily. A slight spiciness highlighted by cracked black peppercorns. A tad drying and a whiff of bitter lemon zest, but also honey and some mint.
Finish: Spicy, dry and soft sweetness. Medium in length.
Integrated at some points, a little less at others, Teeling Pineapple Rum Cask sometimes doesn’t quite makes up its mind. This tastes almost as much like rum as it does whiskey. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You just have to enjoy the funky stuff.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.