We’ve reached the end of the first week of the Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar, and we’re wrapping it up with a jaunt over to Dublin for Teeling Small Batch!

Right, it’s the 7 December, which is just about the perfect time for planning an important Christmas thing. Of course, I am talking about: what flavour of crisp are you going to have out for the whole of Christmas Day to peck at while doing the presents and cooking the dinner and watching the same movie you’ve watched for the last four Christmases? Yeah, getting gifts and all that figured out early is pretty vital (especially so this year when you’re looking to do all your shopping safely socially-distanced online), but those crisps set the tone for the day. Ready Salted is a bit plain for the general festivity theme. You don’t want something acidic, as that can get almost painful by about 2pm, so that’s Salt & Vinegar out. Cheese & Onion does well later on in the day, but early morning oniony notes are a bit much. For me, personally, I’m going for a Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper flavour crisp. It feels fancy, it’s got a nice touch of flavour to it, but it’s not going to feel out of place at any time of day. The ideal Christmas Day crisp.

The 7 December also means we’re opening the seventh window of the Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar! Behind the window sits a dram of Teeling Small Batch, a brilliant Irish whiskey which is initially aged in ex-bourbon barrels, before being moved over to Central American rum casks for a finishing period of up to 12 months. This helps to bring forward some of the fantastic fruit notes, along with a helping of warming spice. To bring us up to speed with the goings-on at Teeling, we were lucky enough to ask Teeling Distillery co-founder, Stephen Teeling, a couple of questions…

Stephen Teeling

Behold, Stephen Teeling!

Master of Malt: We saw some innovative releases coming from Teeling in 2020, including your first peated single malt and a ginger beer cask finished whiskey. Any hints at what’s coming in 2021?

Stephen Teeling: The final instalment in our Brabazon single malt series will be launching in the UK in January 2021 and it is an exquisite 13 Year old that we have finished for 24 months in Portuguese Carcavelos wine casks. This will be quickly followed by our Renaissance Series III at the end of February that is an 18 year old single malt that we have finished for an additional 12 months in a Muscat cask. We feel the Irish single malt category has a lot of catching up to do so watch this space!

MoM: What has been your favourite whiskey released this year?

ST: Our release of ‘The Blackpitts’ the first ever triple-distilled Dublin peated single malt is hugely rewarding for me as a new milestone that we have achieved in 2020.

MoM: You’ve collaborated with all sorts of cool producers for some of your whiskeys, like Galway Bay Brewery and Kyrö Distillery Company. Are there any dream producers you’d love to work with on a whiskey?

ST: We have been lucky to work with some of the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial producers in the drinks industry. We love to seek out like-minded progressive local producers and see if we can collaborate together to excite whiskey drinkers. We tend to work on long term relationships so in 2020 we are looking at doing a few more collaborations with people we have worked with before but also looking at more localised country specific projects for 2021 like an Aquavit project for the Nordics.

MoM: Will you be having a post-Christmas dinner dram this year? And if so, what will it be?

ST: I will be drinking a large double measure of our Blackpitts Peated Single Malt to celebrate bringing back an old tradition of Irish whiskey production and making it relevant to the whiskey drinkers of today.

Teeling Small Batch

Teeling Small Batch was hidden behind window #7!

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Cut grass and orange blossom. Allspice, hints of vanilla, apple pie and blackberries.

Palate: Spiced, rich palate with rose petal jelly and lemon curd. Creamy vanilla, hints of dried herbs and cinnamon.

Finish: Floral, herbal finish. Caramel on the tail.