Blackpitts is a section of Dublin just behind Teeling’s new distillery in the Liberties, and it’s the namesake for a unique and evocative whiskey that will challenge many expectations of what Irish whiskey should taste like.
The triple-distilled single malt is made with peated barley — reportedly the only peated whiskey being made in the city today. The triple distillation keeps the peat influence at bay, as does aging in a combination of ex-bourbon and Sauternes wine casks. The result? Inventive and delightful.
Crisp and malty on the nose, the whiskey pours on notes of black tea, almond, and sesame, smeared with brown butter and a sprinkle of salt. It’s evocative but never smoky, with a lush savoriness to it. Nougat and almond appear quickly on the palate, offering a surprising sweetness that seemingly comes from nowhere. Caramel sauce gives the palate a creamy lushness, with notes of apple peel and grapefruit pulp adding some fruit. Plenty of ruddy spices linger as the whiskey develops on the tongue until, at last, some smokiness — tempered by salinity — comes into focus on the finish.
Extremely gentle-handed with the peat, it may be the least peaty peated whiskey I’ve ever encountered. That’s not a slam but an eye-opening compliment, as I had no clue a peated whiskey could turn out this gentle and refined. Amazing stuff, and neither black nor pitts-like.