Spirit Of The Week: Teeling Wonders Of Wood 2 Portuguese Oak Irish Whiskey

One of Ireland’s top whiskey distilleries launches the next bottle in its award-winning Wonders of Wood series.


At the beginning of June Irish whiskey distillery Teeling dropped the second iteration in its limited edition Wonders of Wood (WOW) series.

Imagined for utilizing unique barrels for their award-winning Single Pot Still Whiskey, the debut WOW earned Teeling “World’s Best Single Pot Still” at last year’s World Whiskies Awards. They also nabbed “World’s Best Single Malt” and “World’s Best Single Grain,” making Teeling the only whiskey brand to receive top honors across three WWA categories.

Needless to say, anticipation is high for their second Wonders of Wood. 

“It was an honor to have our first release in this Wonders of Wood series recognized as World’s Best Single Pot Still, particularly for a brand with such a young history,” founder Stephen Teeling tells Maxim. 

“We just celebrated the distillery’s eighth birthday, and are up against brands that have dominated this category for many decades,” he continues. “It is always thrilling when our whiskeys are recognized for those characteristics, cementing what we are doing as world-class.”

Traditionally known as a “pure pot still” Irish whiskey, the term was forced to change due to TTB restrictions and is now known as “single pot still”— meaning the whiskey comes from a single distillery using a mash that blends both malted and unmalted barley distilled in a pot still. This uniquely Irish method of adding unmalted barley into the mashbill adds both weight and spice to the white dog it produces. 

In Teeling’s case they use a 50% malted / 50% unmalted barley mashbill, which Master Distiller Alex Chasko triple distills in Dublin. The traditional triple distillation of Irish whiskey partly explains the consistent smoothness and easy drinkability common in Irish brown. 

“The use of malted and unmalted barley in single pot still whiskey gives us an added element of spice to play with,” Master Distiller Alex Chasko explains.


So where does the wood from this year’s WOW come into play? Teeling takes their renowned single pot still whiskey and ages it in virgin Portuguese oak, a very unique barrel in the whiskey world better known for wines.

“The Portuguese Oak brings loads of tannins to the maturation,” Chasko explains. “The dark color and beautiful flavors of toasted oak, savory marmalade, and nutmeg all come from the wood.” 

He also lists flavors of orchard fruits and pepper on the finish, with additional “notes of citrus, old spice, leather, and cloves all coming to the party.” Founder Stephen also namechecks the savory marmalade component, and adds “warming hints of tobacco and pepper unique to Irish whiskey.”  

“At Teeling I’m constantly experimenting,” the Master Distiller tells us, mentioning how in their warehouse over 150 different casks are currently maturing. “We’ve been casking our whiskies in unique casks from day one of Teeling.

“The joy is getting to put whiskies in front of whiskey fans and personally see the reactions on people’s faces.” 

Teeling Wonders of Wood 2 Portuguese Oak Irish Whiskey comes bottled at 50% ABV in embossed glass, all packaged in a handsome gift box. The first WOW release funded an acre of native oak trees to be planted in the Glencree region in partnership with the Tree Council of Ireland. Now for the second release a second acre will be planted in County Dublin. $100