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Teeling 28 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey - A Pocket-Sized Review of a 1991 Vintage Cooley Whiskey

Teeling 28 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey Sample - Pocket Sized Review

We're back with another pocket-sized review, my new take on a short-form review. These should just be a flash of words, not my usual wax-poetic prose, but the heart of the liquid at hand should still be captured. What a special sample from my friend Laura! My heartfelt thanks go out to @lele_lele29_; this girl does not mess around with her whisk(e)y. A brief intro from Irish Spirit:

Part of the highly lauded 1991 distillate produced at Cooley distillery by the Teeling family. If you liked the 21 and 24 Year Old, you’re going to love the 28. Matured in ex-bourbon for 20 years with the final 8 years in Sauternes French Oak barrels. Sauternes is made from Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc, and Muscadelle grapes, and is known for it’s distinct complexity and sweetness. Pair that with the small amount of peated malt in the original mash bill and you have a absolutely gorgeous liquid. Bottled at 46%, non-chill filtered, with only 4000 bottles released worldwide. Recently announced as the recipient of the World’s Best Irish Single Malt 2021 (21 years and older).

Teeling 28 Year Single Malt Review


Company on Label: Teeling (Cooley)

Whiskey Type: Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Mash Bill Percentages: 100% malted barley

Proof: 92°

Age: 28 years

Further identification: This rare bottling (only 4,000 produced worldwide) is priced at an MSRP of around $550


Nose: Ooooh, what a healthy wave of kelp and brine splashes forth upon first lifting the glass. Hints of the same medical latex rubber hose that I found in the Brora 37 year bottling from 2015 that I tried last summer. From a distance, there is a good bit of nuanced yet nondescript sweetness that emanates from the glass. Cherry pits and grape skins are interesting additions to the canvas. Returning from a sip is where all the creamy tones proliferate... mmh. Suddenly a new wave of subtle spice builds as cardamom, anise, vanilla, ginger, and coriander all speckle themselves across the senses like a tapestry of stars. Rich, earthy oak bark, well-seasoned from several years outdoors, completes the array of aromas. The empty glass smells of springtime, sitting out in a lawn chair as the first warm rays of sun begin to thrust new life into the sod and soil.

Palate: My first sip is much like the old Brora example from the nose; this whiskey comes across as burly and medicinal, commanding your attention at every step of the way. It crashes powerfully over the tongue as prickles of sea salt, hot black tea, allspice, and black pepper flash up in a cacophonous rage. Another taste offers the feeling of sipping around an ashy fire pit surrounded by moss-covered rocks. The mouthfeel is slightly viscous and offers a good coating that presents like the licked spoon from a maraschino cherry scoop. The balance and integration are exceptional here as honey-drenched pineapple and delicate peat meet in a swirling elixir, well fit for a pinnacle score. My last sip presents refined, but powerful again. Caramel, honeysuckle, butterscotch, and peach rings dance in the smoldering, long linger.

TL;DR: A really interesting dram with parallels to some legendary whisky...


Rating: 4.5/5

Hints of Brora you say? Yes, that Brora, believe it or not. This is a gorgeous whiskey.

Brora 37 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky - 2015 Bottling

Thank you again to Laura for sending along such an awesome sample! @lele_lele29_ told me this sample contains the very last drops of the bottle she had. What a thoughtful way to conclude an experience, with a dear friend she knew could appreciate it! I may be hunting this one down.



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