Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party that created it. This in no case, by our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. Also note that by clicking the purchase link in this review, our site receives a small referral payment that helps support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Teeling Whiskey was founded in 1782 by Walter Teeling. The modern distillery, part of a revival of the brand, was opened by Jack and Stephen Teeling in 2015. With “one eye on the traditions of the past and another resolutely looking to the future to find ways to bringing innovation to the industry”. Teeling introduces Wonders of Wood (WOW) in 2022.
Their first offering was a standard Teeling whiskey aged in barrels of Chinkapin White Oak, a hardwood found in the central and eastern United States. The offer is also an opportunity to give back. Each bottle of WOW helps the brand work with the Tree Council of Ireland in reforestation efforts across the country to plant native Irish trees. For Teeling, they will plant an acre of woodland in the Glencree area of County Wicklow, just outside Dublin. This second version will plant a second acre.
Jack Teeling, Founder and Managing Director of Teeling Whiskey commented“Wood is an incredible, durable and environmentally friendly material that plays a huge role in the development of the flavor and character of a whiskey as it matures. We are truly amazed by the role of wood in the making of our Teeling Whiskeys as well as its impact on the wider environment, which is why with our new series we wanted to do our part to help replant our native Irish forests.
This year the WOW uses virgin Portuguese oak (Quercus faginate) to finish their whisky. The whiskey has a mashbill of 50% malted barley and 50% unmalted barley, which is triple distilled before maturation. Originally from the Iberian Peninsula, this Portuguese oak was selected because of its higher tannin content compared to typical oak. The resulting flavor profile produces distinctive salty marmalade flavors with traditional Irish whiskey tobacco and pepper notes.
Something I found interesting about Portuguese oak – it doesn’t seem to be a common wood used for making barrels. It is commonly used for construction and wood. Teeling selected this wood because it has a high tannin content and not because it was a traditional barrel. I’m not trying to say that this wood isn’t used for shells, or can’t be, but I find it curious that this isn’t a more traditional use for this wood.
wonders of wood was a hit with Irish whiskey lovers. I’m a sucker for a good cause and I applaud reforestation efforts. Teeling is still taking a risk with this release. A non-traditional oak barrel could result in a slam dunk or be too odd on the palate. With that, we turn to glass.
Tasting Notes: Teeling Wonders Of Wood Virgin Portuguese Oak
Vital Stats: mashbill of 50% malted barley and 50% unmalted barley. triply distilled. 100 proof or 50% abv. MSRP of $99.99.
Color: light amber with yellow reflections.
Nose: Bananas, citrus, clove and sweet oak char are delicately balanced.
Taste: The mouthfeel is deliciously greasy, it coats the teeth and tongue. I beg for nutmeg and toasted oak. Many notes from the nose did not carry over. I can’t find any marmalade but there is pepper and a slight fruitiness.
As we cross the finish, I find tobacco and salt. The hold is long, but the flavor is relatively discreet.