The Teeling crew paired 3 of their whiskies (Single Grain, Single Malt, Small Batch) with 3 chocolates from The Proper Chocolate Company (one from the Dominican Republic and two from Tanzania). TPCC produces single origin chocolate in Dublin, and all aspects of the company are managed by only two people!
This wasn’t the only activity of the evening, however. We also made an Easter cocktail with the Small Batch, and both Chris Hayes and Robert Caldwell made their own Easter chocolates under the watchful eye of Darren Hogarty, head pastry chef at Chapter One in Dublin.
In this article, we’ll provide you with the tasting notes of the whiskey & chocolates pairing, as well as the recipe for the Teeling Easter cocktail, and a recipe for Hogarty’s Whiskey Caramel diamond bar, which uses the Teeling Single Grain.
The chocolate & whiskey pairing
Rather than focusing on the individual tasting notes of the whiskies and the chocolates, I have opted to describe the sensation of the pairing itself, i.e. how the whiskey and the chocolate interact with each other. For the sake of clarity, I will mention the necessary information regarding both elements.
Pairing 1: Teeling Single Grain & Öko Caribe with Organic Toasted Coconut
The Teeling Single Grain is a 46% ABV whiskey which has matured on Californian Cabernet Sauvignon wine casks. It’s pleasant in the nose, offering vanilla and spice, but also a floral note. On the palate, sweet and honey-like, with a bit of creaminess.
In comes the chocolate, with cocoa from the Dominican Republic (70%) and organic toasted coconut. The combination? Delicious! The sweetness of the whiskey is amplified, deepened, and balanced out with the chocolate (is that even possible?), and the coconut brings out a bit more of the spiciness that is hidden in the whiskey.
Pairing 2: Teeling Single Malt & Kokoa Kamili
We also paired the Teeling Single Malt (46% ABV), which was is made from a variety of wine cask finishes including Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon, with a 75% cocoa chocolate called “Kokoa Kamili” from Tanzania. The whiskey, on its own, offers scents of grape jelly, and even a salty, meaty note, while the palate is all about fruitiness, a touch of wood, and the recognizable dryness of a good white wine.
Paired with the chocolate (a bitter one, but I like that), the whiskey made me think of a bit of soot and ash, even. Perhaps it’s the combination of the dry white wine note and the bitter chocolate. There’s a memory of delicate sweetness on the palate, and the dry note is a bit more amplified.
Pairing 3: Teeling Small Batch & Kokoa Kamili with Cocoa Nibs and Achill Island Sea Salt
Lastly, we paired the classic Small Batch (46% ABV, bourbon casks with Central American rum cask finish) with a chocolate of 70% cocoa, with added cocona nibs and Achill Island sea salt. And I think this is the most ‘oh my god what is happening!?’ of the three pairings.
The whiskey has scents of flowers, a warm citrus note, and even some grassy element. The flavors are a blend of spices and vanilla, lightly warming and a little bit ‘thicker than water’ in texture. There’s even some cinnamon in there. It’s a bit lighter on the finish, as if it’s trying to elevate itself in the back of the throat.
But that combination with the chocolate, well, wow. The spices are brought forward, making me think of gingerbread cookies without the ginger (speculoos, in Dutch), and the salt note just brings out the well-rounded whiskey to the forefront, because it acts as a counter. This is a salivating combination, and I highly recommend trying out this combination yourself.
Recipe: Teeling Easter Cocktail
During the second act of the Easter tasting, we made a special Teeling Easter cocktail, easily made in a Mason Jar. No nonsense, simply all the ingredients together, over ice, and shake away! Just don’t forget to close the Mason Jar first..
Here’s the full recipe:
- 1 miniature bottle of Teeling Small Batch (50ml)
- 200 ml of coconut water
- 30 ml special syrup (a chocolate liqueur would be a good alternative)
- Chocolate powder / coconut powder
How to make the cocktail:
- Add all ingredients to the Mason Jar
- Add ice, so that the jar is almost full.
- Put the lid on the jar, and shake for 10 seconds.
- Add some more ice, if necessary.
- Optional: garnish with chocolate powder or coconut flakes, or even add a bit of chili flakes for that extra spiciness (chocolate and chili go well together)
Recipe: Whiskey Caramel diamond bar
- 85g caster sugar
- 80ml cream
- 25ml Teeling Single Grain whiskey
- 15g unsalted butter
- Bring sugar to an amber caramel
- Add in cream
- Add in whiskey
- Cook for 1 minute
- Whisk in butter
- Cook at room temperature for 2 hours
Dark chocolate shell:
- Equipment (mould & thermometer )
- 200g 70 percent chocolate
- Temper chocolate ( heat to 50 degrees then cool to 28 degrees)
- Fill chosen mould
- Allow to set
- Fill with whiskey caramel
- Chill and set
- Tap chocolate out and enjoy