Spirits & Liqueurs Other Whiskey

Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey Review

Rum casks give this blended whiskey a unique flavor profile.

Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey bottle against maroon background

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Our Rating

Overall: Our tasting panel’s overall assessment of the quality of the product,as well as its rank in comparison to others within the category

Value for Price: Our tasting panel’s assessment of this product’s quality-to-cost ratio within its larger category of competitors.

Mixability: Our rating of how well this product can be used as a component in cocktails.

Sippability: Our rating of how well this product tastes as a stand-alone pour.

Learn More about Liquor.com's Review Process

Overall Quality
Value for Price

Although Teeling Whiskey Company was only founded in 2012, it is made by an Irish family with centuries of experience in distilling Irish whiskey. Our reviewers are divided on the overall quality of its flagship Small Batch bottling, a blend of grain and malt whiskeys that are aged in ex-bourbon barrels and married in rum casks. However, they all note the perceptible influence of the rum casks, which gives this blended whiskey a unique flavor profile. Two of our reviewers considered Teeling Small Batch an excellent value for highballs and sipping on the rocks.

Fast Facts

Classification: Blended Irish whiskey

Company: Teeling Whiskey Company

Producer: Teeling Whiskey Distillery

Expression: Small Batch Irish Whiskey

Cask: Ex-bourbon; finished in Central American rum casks

Still Type: Combination pot and column still

ABV: 46%

Aged: No age statement

Released: 2012

Price: $42

Awards: 95 Points, Extraordinary Ultimate Recommendation, 2021 Ultimate Spirits Challenge; Double Gold, 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • Good value

  • Excels in whiskey highballs

  • May appeal to bourbon drinkers thanks to vanilla and baking-spice notes

  • May strike some drinkers as hot

  • Flavors from rum casks may be considered overpowering

  • Not recommended as a neat pour

Tasting Notes

Color: Pale golden amber

Nose: Fiery, with notes of Caribbean grass, grain, apple pie, cut grass, vanilla, orange blossom, allspice, oloroso sherry, gingerbread, and citrus

Palate: Grain silo, dusty rum barrels, apricot, apple, cherry, rye spice, milk chocolate, ginger, vanilla, baking spices, and caramel

Finish: Short-medium and fiery

Similar bottles: Bushmills, Green Spot, Jameson, Tullamore Dew

Suggested uses: On the rocks; highballs like a classic Whiskey Highball or Whiskey Ginger; Irish Coffee

Our Review

The influence of rum barrels on this Irish whiskey, which is made with grain and malt whiskeys that are married in rum casks for up to one year, was very perceptible. However, our reviewers were divided on Teeling Small Batch’s overall quality. 

“I thought this was a solid Irish whiskey with a lot of flavor,” says Julie Reiner. “The rum cask added a lot of rum quality to the whiskey, which I found to be very enjoyable.” She adds that it may appeal to bourbon drinkers. 

Jacques Bezuidenhout notes the great value of this whiskey, but says it may strike some drinkers as “fiery and light on oak.”

Jeffrey Morgenthaler has a more critical opinion. “[Teeling Small Batch shows] kind of a confusing mishmash of flavors between the rum casks and the harsh graininess of the distillate,” he says. “[The] flavors are not the light, quaffable sorts one expects to find in Irish whiskey, but rough and jagged.” 

Bezuidenhout and Morgenthaler found the whiskey to be fiery, while Reiner thought it to have a “nice and creamy mouthfeel.” 

Bezuidenhout and Reiner both recommend sipping this whiskey on the rocks or mixing it into highballs like a Whiskey Ginger or Whiskey Highball. Bezuidenhout also says it “would be wonderful with some fresh apple juice.” 

“The lack of age or heavier oak makes me lean away from using this [whiskey] in a classic like an Old Fashioned or Manhattan,” says Bezuidenhout. 

Morgenthaler recommends using it in an Irish Coffee, “where the base spirit can be hidden underneath rich, chocolatey coffee and sugar.” 


This no-age-statement blended whiskey is made at the Teeling Distillery in Dublin, Ireland. Hand-selected casks of grain and malt whiskeys are aged in ex-bourbon barrels for an undisclosed amount of time, then married in Central American rum casks for up to one year. Teeling does not chill-filter its whiskey, which it says “maintains the true natural character” of its distillates. 


The Teeling family’s history of distilling Irish whiskey dates to 1782, when Walter Teeling set up a distillery in Dublin on Marrowbone Lane, in the city’s Liberties neighborhood. At the time, Dublin was known for whiskey production, but spirits production declined in the city and throughout Ireland during the 20th century. Among the reasons were decreased exports to the U.S. and the growing popularity of scotch. 

In 1980, there were just two working distilleries on the island where there had once been thousands. In 1987, Teeling descendant John Teeling purchased a plant near the Northern Ireland border that was used to make industrial alcohol and converted it into Cooley Distillery. At the time, Cooley became Ireland’s only independent distillery. 

Beam International bought the Cooley Distillery in 2011. As part of the sale, John’s son Jack (then managing director) purchased 16,000 casks of aged whiskey, which he used to launch his own company, Teeling Whiskey, in 2012. Jack’s brother Stephen joined Teeling in 2015.

In 2015, the modern-day Teeling Distillery opened down the road from the old Marrowbone Lane location and became the first distillery to operate in Dublin in over 125 years. In 2017, Teeling Whiskey Company sold a minority stake to Bacardi Ltd.

–Written and edited by Audrey Morgan

Interesting Fact

When it opened in 2012, Teeling was the first distillery to operate in Dublin in more than 125 years.

The Bottom Line

Our reviewers have differing opinions on Teeling’s flagship Small Batch expression, a blend of grain and malt whiskeys that are aged in ex-bourbon barrels, then allowed to marry in rum casks. However, they all note that the rum casks give this whiskey a unique flavor profile that may excel in highballs or cocktails like an Irish Coffee.