Irish whiskey has one of the most interesting histories of any liquor in the world. What was once king in the 19th century was almost extinct halfway through the 20th century. Credited with inventing the spirit circa 1400, Ireland dominated for eons with its single pot still whiskey, which combined both malted and unmalted barley in its mashbill. The preponderance of blended whiskeys in the 1900s nearly put an end to the age-old style, but in recent years it’s been making a bit of a comeback.
Helping lead the way is Teeling, which first opened its doors back in 2015 to become the first distillery in Dublin in 125 years. Its range of expressions, which already includes all three traditional, non-blended styles, is adding a new limited-edition series. Wonders of Wood is a single pot still whiskey that honors and showcases the different types of wood from around the globe. The first in this lineup features triple-distilled Irish whiskey that’s been fully matured in Chinkapin American white oak barrels.
While Q. Alba is traditionally the oak of choice when aging bourbon, Chinkapin — native to central and eastern North America — has become quite popular in recent years for its unique characteristics and similarity to chestnut oak. When applied to Irish whiskey-making, the wood imparts a gingerbread spice and banana bread sweetness uncommon amongst its contemporaries. Other notes in this inaugural Wonders of Wood are toffee, butterscotch, and cream soda, giving way to a dark chocolate finish with a touch of black pepper.
Along with the debut of Wonders of Wood, Teeling will work alongside the Tree Council of Ireland to help restore the forests in their country. Teeling’s Wonders of Wood Chinkapin Oak Pot Still Whiskey is available now to preorder through select retailers for around $119. Shipment is expected to begin in September.