Whiskey drinkers, it’s time to expand your rare collection to include “super-premium” Irish whiskey. Ireland, known for its young, quaffable whiskeys has seen a boom in bottles with age dates well exceeding the four years it takes to make a Jameson. There has been some 3,000 percent growth since 2002 from Ireland’s “new” brands like Tullamore D.E.W., who has released two new products this year with big age statements: single malts at 14 and 18 years.
Teeling, another brand with newer releases shows similarly old stock, aged 24 and 33 years, the highest age statement ever released by modern Irish whiskey maker. Much like the tale of the ever-rare Pappy Van Winkle, as demand for these products rise, the small supply fast becomes more valuable. While Tullamore didn’t specify how many bottles would be available of its new “limited” offerings, only 275 bottles of Teeling 33 were produced, and just 5,000 of the 24. With more than 30 new distilleries planned or under construction, the Irish boom is still just in its infancy. But right now you can enjoy some of the early fruits of it, if you can track them down.
Tullamore D.E.W. 14 and 18
Four finishing casks flavor the Tullamore D.E.W. single malt line: port, sherry, madeira, and bourbon. Tullamore’s single malt is a well-rounded whiskey with a lot of fruit character. We noticed a brighter maltier character on 14. A limited number of bottles of each will be produced each year.
Tullamore D.E.W. 18
As with the 14, 18 is finished in port, sherry, madeira, and bourbon. Tullamore 18 is a generally bright and malty whiskey with notes of apples and citrus. We noticed more oak and spice with the 18 than the 14. Again, a limited number of bottles of each will be produced each year.
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Teeling 24 single malt has been aged in bourbon barrels before finishing in sauterne casks. They describe notes honey and fruit flavors with a hint of smoke from the use of some peated malt. Only 5,000 bottles are available worldwide.
A single malt distilled in 1983, Teeling 33 is one of the oldest Irish whiskeys in recent history. It’s the product of just two barrels of bourbon barrel-aged Irish single malt. Teeling says the whiskey has tons of layered flavor and a long finish. Just 275 bottles were produced.