We’ve had an awful lot of exclusives recently, haven’t we? We love that lots of great drink makers have entrusted us with some of their most precious liquids. What a turn-up for the books that is. Wouldn’t it be terrible to find out you were rubbish and nobody wanted to give you anything? Wouldn’t know mate. We’re ace.
Anyway, our latest exclusive is Teeling Single Malt (cask 14972) Calvados Cask. Sounds intriguing, right? Well, Teeling master distiller Alex Chasko isn’t in uncharted territory here when it comes to fun cask selections. Rum casks have been put to great use in multiple examples, most notably in the flagship Small Batch. But there’s also a Pineapple Rum cask edition, Ginger Beer, Red Wine, Chinkapin Oak, Dark Porter, and Amber Ale all available from our site right now and that’s just a selection.
The Irish distillery has continued its habit to great effect here. Here’s the short version: this is an Irish whiskey that was made with 100% malted barley before spending its entire maturation period in a cask that previously held calvados. Just 330 bottles were taken from this single cask before the whiskey was bottled without filtration at 62.5% ABV. Got it? Good.
Chakso gets creative with Calvados
So why use a Calvados cask? “Irish Whiskey has a classic light and fruity nose and taste which is largely associated with pears and apples. I think that the use of Calvados casks for maturation simply highlights these notes for the consumer,” explains Chasko. “It helps to prepare the consumer for what to expect from the whiskey and also brings these notes to the front of the tasting. The light and fruity nose with the sweet taste of the whiskey and calvados casks are a match made in heaven”.
Sounds lovely, but it can’t be all fun and games, right? Using unusual casks often means contending with potentially unforeseen challenges with the way it interacts with the spirit or even just getting your hands on them. For Teeling the latter was the case. “To be honest, the hardest part of using Calvados casks is getting your hands on good casks,” Chasko says. “There are simply not enough people producing Calvados these days which is a shame. I wish that calvados casks were everywhere and that we used them like bourbon casks to age whiskey.”
We can’t help but agree because Calvados, while delightful, remains unknown and underappreciated by a fair amount of people. As a fellow fan, Chasko says that part of the idea to use this cask is bring some people who would not drink Calvados into the tent and show them the wonderful drink that it is. “I hope that people do start to drink more Irish Whiskey in unique casks and maybe some Calvados also,” he remarks.
Teeling Single Malt (cask 14972) Calvados Cask – Master of Malt Exclusive Tasting Note:
So that’s the story, but we know you want to hear all about how this Teeling single malt tastes. Our own tasting note is below, but Chasko also had some thoughts to share. “My main tasting notes for this whiskey are very simple. Apple and Pears with stewed apples and pears with a bit of cinnamon and puff pastry, shoved into an apple pie. Oh, and some apples and pears. Ha ha ha…”
You can buy Teeling Single Malt Calvados Cask now!
Nose: An array of tropical and orchard fruits are drenched in honey and joined by sprinkles of nutmeg and a little chocolate.
Palate: More peppery spice joins the party alongside toffee apple, charred pineapple, maple syrup, and rich malt.
Finish: A good length with dried fruits and honey.