Best Irish Blended Limited Release at the 2018 World Whiskies Awards.
This ranks among two awesome, small-production Irish whiskies I've sampled recently. (The other was The Irishman 17-year-old, a luscious cask-strength spirit matured entirely in ex-sherry casks, a rarity that's not yet available on these shores.) In this case, Teeling collaborated with Galway Bay Brewery for what might be described as a two-way flavour exchange. The distillery sent the craft brewer some old whisky casks for use in the maturation of its barrel-aged 200 Fathoms imperial stout. Then Teeling took back the beer-soaked containers, filling them anew with a mature small-batch whiskey and letting the liquid continue mellowing for a short 'finishing' period in contact with residue from the dark brew. Bottled at 46-per-cent alcohol, the result is luscious and uncommonly smooth, with rich chocolate, coffee, apricot-jam and spice notes and a big nutty character. Available in very limited quantities in Ontario Vintages stores. Score - 95. (Beppi Crosariol, theglobeandmail.com, March 6, 2018)
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